Disclaimer: For photosensitive, be warned that there is a boss in the game who could potentially cause seizures. It is not game-breaking like Balan Wonderworld before the day one patch or (as of this writing) issues with the recent re-release of Sonic Color Ultimate. But it is enough that it’s worth mentioning.
Neo: The World Ends With You follows three years after the events of the previous entry in the series, The World Ends With You. Here, it follows Rindo, a socially awkward teenager who gets dragged into this mysterious game with his life on the line.
After covering the anime adaptation of The World Ends With You over at The Amateur Otaku, acquiring the sequel felt like a no-brainer.
The easiest way to explain the game is to imagine a beat-em-up with an over-the-top 3D camera, and Japanese Role Playing Game (or JRPG for short) elements sprinkled in. To attack, each party members need a pin. The pins in question have different types of attacks, abilities, and elements. Another category to keep in mind is that there is no option to change where an attack has its input. Some use the X button others use either Y or the trigger buttons.
The characters party as something that the game calls a groove meter, which is the name of the protagonists’ special attack. This meter fills up depending on how effective the player is when it comes to combo attacks.
When it comes to a JRPG, there is also the factor of giving the characters “armor.” In Neo: The World Ends With You, it’s all about going to clothing shops to get the best clothes. Each clothing type has a specific ability that the character only can access if their “style stat” is good enough.
What differs here from many JRPG is how they handle stats progression. On top of Health Point (or HP for short), Attack, Defense, and Style, once the party levels up the only stat that goes up is their health bar. The way to raise the other categories is through meals that can be ordered in restaurants spread across the town. Each meal raises each stat differently, depending on the order.
If there is something I don’t comment on often, then it’s the soundtrack. Neo: The World Ends With You has by far the best soundtrack from a game I’ve reviewed this year. It blends metal, techno, hip hop, and rock that fits the game’s stylistic graphics and art style. If someone knows where to buy the soundtrack, let me know. (Editor’s note: The soundtrack is available now on CD and digital through Square Enix, or for streaming on Spotify. – LB)
Neo: The World Ends With You is a fun and unique JRPG with one of the best soundtracks in a visual medium. Top it all off with a colorful cast of characters and a fun story, and this is one you definitely should check out.
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