Right from the moment you read the title of this game, you know that you’re in for a different experience. The World Ends With You not only grabs your attention with its unconventional name, but more importantly, with its fresh take on the RPG genre.

If you’ve gotten tired of the same old spiky-haired heroes with giant swords battling medieval-inspired monsters, then The World Ends With You is for you. It’s a breath of fresh air in a genre where staleness is the norm.

Embark on an Adventure to Japan

Instead of creating another new fantasy world, The World Ends With You takes you to a place that’s much more familiar to us…the real world. The game’s setting is in Japan’s fashion and shopping hub, Shibuya, where many landmarks are clearly visible, including Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko’s statue and Dogenzaka. The fact that this game is in a non-fantasy setting only makes it easier to relate to the protagonists and other supporting characters.

In The World Ends With You, you’ll take the role of Neku Sakabara, who is but one of the many participants of the Reaper’s Game. The Reaper’s Game is quite sinister since it requires those who have been forced to participate in it to perform one quest per day for seven days. So what happens when you don’t? Well, it’s game over for you, as your existence is erased (read: killed).

As if that’s not hard enough, creatures have been spawned from God-knows-where to stop you from fulfilling your quest. These creatures are called the Noise, which (unfortunately for you) only you and the others taking part in the Reaper’s game can see. In order to successfully battle these monstrosities, you’ll need to partner up with another character.

Battles are where the game really shines. At first, it might seem a bit confusing since combat makes use of two screens; one for the protagonist and one for your partner. To be successful, you need to control both of them effectively, dish out damage in an alternating fashion and rack up huge combos. The combat in this game feels fresh and isn’t a drag to play.

Another thing that makes this game special is its story. There are some very emotional scenes within the plot that effectively develops characters and allows you to see where they are coming from. Since the game takes place in the real world, it isn’t hard to relate to what the characters are feeling, which leads to a very satisfying experience.

Presentation-wise, The World Ends With You is gorgeous. The game is very colorful, with bright sprites giving the game a very lively vibe. The sound is topnotch as well, and its tunes will stay in your head for days and days.

RPG fans will surely dig this game. With its compelling story, vibrant appearance, and fresh combat system, Square Enix has made yet another champ worthy of mention alongside the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts series.

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Contributed by Daniel Gonzales, Product Reviewer