Now that The World Ends With You has emerged in Japan, Square Enix gave us some time with a near-final English build of the upcoming portable role-playing game. The game was developed by Jupiter and is currently being localized for release in the US this April. Previous coverage has already touched on the frenetic combat, the zany characters, and the updated name (formerly known as It's a Wonderful World). In our latest hands-on time, we got to tackle not only most of the single-player experience, but also the versatile fashion system.
In the Tokyo district of Shibuya, brands reign supreme. Fashionistas and the demon-like "noise" roam the streets of this high-concept take on action role-playing. Each street is a battleground, and what you wear into battle not only decides what powers you wield, but also results in what fashions are popular among the aforementioned brand-a-holics. You can purchase posh threads from the sensibly styled Natural Puppy store or drop hard-earned Yen on the most hardcore of Tiger Punks attire. Brands are tied both to clothes and to the pin-based talent system.
Pins are a wild fad taking Shibuya by storm. Not only do you wear them, but you also battle with them in contests and very lethal confrontations with the game's enemies. You collect pins of different designs, and each has a different set of attributes. Like clothing, what you wear into battle with the noise determines how well you will fare. The pin powers vary from energy shooting, to melee attacks, to simply dropping a load of rocks on your ethereal assailants. Essentially, if there is a power available, then you can find a pin to manifest it in battle.
Like any great Square Enix game, the weapons become a minigame of their own. The game's pin system lets you slide your pin across a table, using the DS stylus, to knock your opponent's pin off of the edge. When one player's worn collection has been knocked to the ground, the survivor is the winner. The pin implementation is very reminiscent of the pog sensation from the early '90s. Pins can be bought from stores, acquired from defeated foes, and won by completing in-game quests. Pogs were sometimes the spoils of lunchtime fights, but they couldn't grow spines, swing hammers, or levitate themselves away from precipitous drops like these pins can. What the two fads have in common is the ability to drop down on other similarly styled objects to land a devastating blow in the match. grin.gifgrin.gif