The World Ends With You DS

The World Ends With You DS
Taking a detour from its usual Final Fantasy realms, Square-Enix is making its first foray into the modern age with The World Ends With You, a contemporary role-playing game set in the uber-hip Tokyo ’hood of Shibuya.

The real-world setting — which includes an awesome hip-hop, techno and J-pop soundtrack, skateboarding, graffiti, etc. — provides a too-long-needed break from the fantastical rut that RPGs have fallen into.

But this fashion district setting is also vital to game play — clothing choices actually affect your stats, with certain brands being more popular in certain areas, though you can alter that by being badass in an uncool outfit, which will cause others to cop your style like an Avril fan girl.

It’s awesome to have a more modern take on the usual RPG teen hero angst. Neko isn’t a prince ruing a troll invasion or a pauper wishing he could sail amongst the stars. He’s simply a 15-year-old antisocial introvert along the lines of Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caufield, who wishes the world would just leave him alone — until it does, that is.

Via text message, Neku soon discovers himself in an alternate-reality Shibuya, which is just as infuriatingly crowded, except that suddenly most people can’t see him at all — though he will learn to read their minds and realise he’s by no means the only lonely citizen of Tokyo.

Neku would be fine with being ignored by the masses he despises, except that this alt-Shibuya is run by the Reapers, who have inserted Neku and several other teens into a mysterious meta-game that must be completed within seven days or they will all be deleted.

Over the course of this deep and complex adventure — it is flat-out amazing that it all fits on that tiny DS cart — you will start fashion trends, eat Ramen, collect pins, shop for clothes and battle frog-like creatures called Noise on both of the DS screens at once.

In the process of working with the other kids trapped here (Beat, Rhyme, Shiki and… Joshua!), Neku will also eventually discover that no matter how alienated you feel from society, perhaps the world does not, in fact, end with you. (Square-Enix)