This version of the Reaper’s Game simply isn’t the way to play.
The World Ends With You is one of my favorite games ever made. I've played it countless times on both the Nintendo DS and iPad (dubbed Solo Remix). From start to finish, TWEWY remains one of the freshest games I've played in a long time. It shows that when push comes to shove, Square Enix can push the bar for what a RPG is. Imagine my surprise when the Final Remix of the game got announced; I was thrilled. That cheerfulness wasn't sadly forever as The World Ends With You -Final Remix- is my biggest disappointment of these past ten months.
Let's start with the positives. The story and their characters are still fantastic. The location choice of Tokyo is intriguing next to the normal Square Enix fare. Neku, Shiki and the other characters showcase some excellent writing with a nice build to the proceedings. Every little piece is leading up to something bigger and provides a satisfying pay-off in almost every scenario. It helps that the stakes of the Reaper's Game feels like a big threat. You have to finish the mission at hand or face deletion. It is one of the more exciting plots ever put in a game.
The presentation compliments the unrelenting feeling of the game. You explore the dark alleyways of Tokyo, all while finding clues or monsters to fight. The stylish look of the characters and world has translated greatly to the Nintendo Switch. In some regards, they sharpened the edges of Solo Remix, which looked fantastic in its own right. The World Ends With You -Final Remix- feels like manga brought to life, and I couldn't be more pleased about that. This is paired with an overhaul of the entire soundtrack, and all the tracks sound fantastic. You can opt to go for the original versions, but the composers have done a great job keeping the feel of the music in tact.
The World Ends With You, as far as gameplay is concerned, hasn't changed all that much. As Neku, you still play through three weeks of chapters, which are further segregated in the days of the week. The days see you fighting Noise characters that block your path, scanning the environment for details or going through area to area. As this is a RPG, the fighting is critically important. This is done with the pin system. Within your inventory, you will select certain pins that will provide attacks to perform. These attacks will level as you continue to use them, and some work better on certain Noise. It is a simple yet elegant way to stay ahead of the curve, and I always found the system fun to tinker with.
However, Final Remix isn't the way to play The World Ends With You. The controls in this version are incredibly disappointing. No matter if you play either on a television or on the go, I didn't think they work well. On the television (or in tabletop), you will have to use a Joy-Con pointer. There have been good pointer implementations in the past, but Final Remix is definitely not one of them. The position drifts way too many times for it to be fun, and you really struggle to keep the game in check. At the end of the game, my most used button was the Y-button so I could calibrate the controls over and over again. The calibrating pains only grew due to the fact that you have to make swipe motions to make certain attacks work. Inherently, there isn't anything wrong with that, but it required such a specific way of doing it.
The handheld controls are a little weird. You can't use buttons of the Joy-Con together with the touchscreen, because that would've made sense. Instead, it is touchscreen controls only, just like the iPad version. While this works in a vacuum, the real estate you have now is a bit cramped. Solo Remix gave you the freedom to walk about, and see how you want to approach situations. The tiny touchscreen on the Nintendo Switch makes you lose focus as you happen to block your sight more than once. It is not a bad way to play it as they are accurate, but at point, why not play Solo Remix? That is honestly my question here.
Well, you might say ''because it has changes'', but that is only true in the grand scheme of things. There are some new pins and an updated look, which is what mostly impressed me. The added co-op suffers from the problems with the Joy-Con controls, and overall tweaks haven't been made. A few objectives are still as annoying they ever were and Square Enix wasn't in the mood to fix these. The new content promised was the biggest bummer of the entire thing. It simply wasn't the thing most fans were hoping for and, without giving anything away, it ends with another teaser. It is down right disappointing.
The World Ends With You -Final Remix- left me super bummed out. This was the game I was looking forward to all year, and all I'm left with is a soggy sandwich. That sandwich is eatable and even somewhat enjoyable, but not the thing you were truly hoping for. The ''Another 7 Days'' many have been waiting for isn't here, the controls are really disappointing and there hasn't been many significant changes. In that sense, I feel more strongly about recommending Solo Remix and playing it on an iPad. You will get a better experience as a whole.