The World Ends With You: Solo Remix (also available for iPad) from Square Enix is one of the oddest little action RPG’s to come out in a long time. Originally released for the DS, TWETY is a game packed with personality and insanely deep gameplay, full of quirky humor and references to Japanese culture.
First of all, this game is one of the most beautiful-looking RPG’s on any console, handheld or console. The 2D Retina art is absolutely gorgeous, with fluid animations and dozens upon dozens of comic book style cutscenes. It’s all topped with an uptempo soundtrack with 60 different tracks, including new songs and remixes from the game’s composer specifically for the mobile version. In many ways, the iOS version looks better than the DS version – especially the 2D character art and battle effects.
It’s story is something to be experienced, too – players control Neku, a teenager who wakes up in the middle of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, with ominous text messages on his cell phone and a lot of weird things happening around him. Without giving too much of the story away, he finds himself locked in a week-long battle called the Reaper Games, fighting all sorts of enemies with powerful pins he finds scattered throughout the world.
The biggest difference between the DS and iOS versions – besides the new Retina art – is the redesigned battle system. Since iOS devices are lacking a second screen, the entire battling system has been redesigned for touch, with a variety of swipes, drags, and rapid taps on the screen to perform different attacks. The game does a great job slowly introducing many of its mechanics, but there is an insane amount of depth to attacks and their executions, and early battles will have a lot of players wildly pawing at the screen until they figure out the rhythm of the game’s fights.
With a little practice, players will start to get the hang of things like ‘syncing’ partner attacks and chaining together combinations. That’s when the game really opens up: players will be leveling up not only their characters, but the different pins they collect through the world. And the game doesn’t restrict itself to the battlefied, dropping in as many cool features outside its game world – like the ability to fill virtual Shibuya with real user tweets, and play pin based mini games with friends over Bluetooth – as it does in its action sequences.
The price tag on The World Ends With You: Solo Remix is certainly a hefty one – but like every other Square Enix game priced in this fashion, players can expect hours and hours of engaging gameplay, with plenty of replay value packed into things like collecting all the pins and unlocking the hidden bonus chapter. In other words, this is a must-buy for RPG lovers, and anyone looking for a console-quality experience on their iOS device.