Pin Your Hopes on Me: The World Ends With You Part One: The Power is Yet Unknown

The box art. From left to right, bottom row: Joshua, Neku, Shiki, and Rhyme. Top row: Beat.

The World Ends With You

Japanese Title: Subarashiki Kono Sekai (It’s a Wonderful World)

Platform: Nintendo DS

Developers: Jupiter/Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Japanese Release: July 27, 2007

European Release: April 18, 2008

North American Release: April 22, 2008

Australian Release: April 24, 2008

December 31, 2011: The game’s intro flashes a series of images as protagonist Neku Sakuraba runs past most of the characters in the story. The opening theme, “Twister”, is pretty cool and gets the game’s incredible soundtrack off to a good start.

The game begins with Neku waking up in an alternate plane of existence called the Underground, or UG.

There is a way of returning to the real world: winning the Game. But there is a steep cost: the Player’s most treasured possession.

Each Game lasts a week, with a new mission each day. The objectives are created by the Game’s Composer, and they are enforced by Reapers. Reapers often block off parts of the district until certain objectives are met.

All Players, Neku included, must complete the missions or face erasure.

At the outset, Neku can’t remember how he got to Shibuya. He is soon forced to partner with Shiki, a fashion-forward girl that carries a cute stuffed animal.

Combat in the game plays across both screens. Each partner defeats enemies in two parallel universes at the same time. It gets a bit confusing to try to use both characters at the same time, but you can customize your partner’s AI a bit. All three of Neku’s partners have different methods of battling that are controlled with the DS’ D-pad. Under certain circumstances when characters are perfectly synced, a special team-up attack can be unleashed.

Players fight with ESP abilities. Collecting different Pins allows Neku to unleash different forms of ESP, such as attacking or stunning enemies and recovering health. All of these Pins are triggered by using the DS’ touch screen in a certain way. Pins of the same brand usually have the same method of activation. These methods range from dragging the stylus across the screen, or scratching all over it, or simply touching the targeted character.

The really interesting thing about Pins is that some of them can evolve in various ways into more powerful forms. There are three different types of experience, and some Pins will only evolve in a particular from a certain type of experience. They are gained from battles, periods of inactivity from the game (up to a certain period of time), and points from mingling with other players who own the game.

Someone’s antisocial.

Neku doesn’t want to get close to anyone. He’s the type of antisocial loner that would make Squall Leonhart proud. And yet, he’s forced to partner with someone else in the Game.

Obtained Pyrokinesis!

This game seems very unique.

Another game with Scarletite in it?! Is that a made-up thing?

These Pins are fun!

Damn, Neku really is rude. But Shiki needs him.

Upon meeting some blond guy wearing a floppy hat with a skull on it, Shiki asks, “Neku, you know this guy?”

Neku: “Don’t insult me.”

The blond guy introduces himself as Beat. He’s a Player in the Game like Neku and Shiki. Beat’s partner is Rhyme.

Neku is in no mood for introductions.

Wha’s with the phones?” asked Beat. “He still mad?”

No… he’s just Neku,” replied Shiki. “Don’t feel bad.”

I’m starting to like her.

January 1, 2012: This music reminds me of Persona 3!

It has a similar J-pop/hip-hop sound. Though I think that TWEwY is more the latter than the former.

We got our first designer Pin!

If you wear Pins of a certain brand in certain areas, you’ll receive bonuses… or debuffs.

We got a Sticker that allows Pins to earn Pin Points based on how much time has passed since you last booted the game up. Cool and convenient.

Aw, only Pins equipped in your current deck get the PP when the game is off.

Mr. Hanekoma is a charming and jovial fellow. Even Neku thinks so, even though Hanekoma calls him “Phones”.

The game gives you a funny message if you try to equip an item that you can not wear.

OK, Captain Sappy. Roger that.” Neku is full of funny comments.

Sometimes, I imagine voice actors for games with little to no voice acting. I tend to imagine anime VA’s like Travis Willingham. Guess who does the voice for the employee of the Dragon Couture shop.

It’s nice how this game spices up the traditional RPG item shop experience.

The more items you bought from a shop, the higher your level with the shop increased, and more new items would become available for purchase. Items to buy included accessories that affected your stats, and food that would increase your stats permanently.

In this game, you eat food which digests after a certain amount of battles. Once digested, the Player gets the associated stat boost, and you can then eat a new food. Apparently, if you leave the game off for a certain period of time, you can digest the food that way. What a weird game.

I didn’t read the instructions that thoroughly. It’s a bad habit of mine.

It still is.