The World Ends With You is an action RPG for the Nintendo DS. It was developed by the Kingdom Hearts team, Square Enix, along with Tetsuya Nomura and Gen Kobayashi. The game's artstyle and theme was inspired by the youth, trends, and fashion of Japanese culture, and the Shibuya district of Tokyo.
Neku Sakuraba, a 15 year-old boy with a hobby for music and graffiti, wakes up in what seems to be the Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, Japan. With no idea why he's there, he opens his hand to realize he is holding a strange black pin. After flipping it with his hand, the thoughts of the people surrounding him began to flow into his head at once. Surprised, Neku discovers he is able to read the minds of others, and assumes it has something to do with the black pin he is holding.
Neku is in Shibuya to play the "Reapers' Game", a dangerous game held by Death Reapers in an alternate-reality of Tokyo which spans a total of 7 days. All Players of the Reapers' Game have a black pin with a skull embedded on it giving them Psychic abilities and the ability to play The Game. The Reapers' Game has certain rules which prevent him from leaving the Shibuya district, and if Neku or any of The Players don't complete the game, they will be stricken from existence by the Death Reapers (called "being erased").
Along with Shiki Misaki, a girl who is another Player in the game, Shiki and Neku forge a pact to work together with her for the week. In order to survive, Neku and Shiki have to defeat the "Noise", physical manifestations of people's negative thoughts and feelings. Neku's psychic talents are essential not only to gather clues and hints from the people, but to also detect the Noise that sweep through the roads of Shibuya. During their week in Shibuya, Neku and Shiki run into other Players who have become involved in the Reapers' Game, and unravel the secrets of The Game and the mysterious Reapers orchestrating it.
Most of the gameplay focuses on finding clues and battling Noise in an adventure mystery-solving fashion, every Day of the 7-Day trial, all Players are given a universal "Mission" to complete, so gameplay follows Neku's solving of each day's mission and the trials faced. Players can use Neku's mindreading abilities to hear people's thoughts by using the touch screen of the Nintendo DS and find hints for his adventure, several other functionalities make use of Neku's mindreading capabilities and are introduced throughout the game.
The game's combat system, called the "Stride Cross Battle System", uses both screens of the Nintendo DS. Neku's ability as a Player in "The Game" allows him to use powerful abilities called "Psych" based on "Player Pins" that he has acquired, said Pins being endowed with specific spells and abilities that can be equipped to Neku for use in Battle (You start out with only 3 slots available for Pins, but this grows as you progress). Psych in battle are activated by use of specific actions on the DS touch screen, Slashing may activate the Shockwave Pin, a quick Upward Slide with the stylus activates Ice Pillar, dragging the stylus across the touchscreen as if you were striking a match results in flames bursting forth wherever you touch the screen, and many more abilities like these.
In addition to this, special abilities and bonuses are awarded to players based on how "In Style" their equipped clothing is. Being in the Goth district of Shibuya won't get you any points for wearing the Hip-Hip clothes of 104th Street, so head to a Shop and buy a Skull T-Shirt and a Leather Belt, and suddenly Neku has a +50% attack bonus! Keep "in style" based on your current location, and many sorts of bonuses will be alloted to you for wearing the right clothes for the right neighborhoods. This unique Equipment system keeps players on their toes, you never want to be out of style and lose stat bonuses, so read up on magazine on the latest trends and go shopping for bonuses.
Gametrailers.com - The World Ends With You - Exclusive Elemental Attack Gameplay
Gametrailers.com - The World Ends With You - Exclusive Road Hazard Gameplay
Staying in style video:
Gametrailers.com - The World Ends With You - Item Shop Gameplay
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