The World Ends With You Is Actually A Good Port

Look, nothing justifies what Square Enix did. Setting up a weekly countdown that everyone giddily expects will be a sequel to beloved DS game The World Ends With You only to reveal that it's actually a $21 iOS port? Indefensible.

But I bought the iPad port of The World Ends With You today, and after roaming around Shibuya for the past hour or so, I must say: it's actually a pretty good port.

The first thing you should know about this version is that combat is totally different. On the DS, you could control characters on two screens: you'd use your stylus to guide around protagonist Niku on the bottom touchpad while pressing directional buttons to move your partner on the top screen. The key to defeating enemies was to master this simultaneous input. It was confusing, challenging and lots of fun.

Obviously this would never work for the iPad (and iPhone). It only has one screen. So instead of controlling your partner on a separate background, you use her like one of the psychic pins that trigger your abilities. You have to use your partner's abilities concurrently with your own. For example, you might tap on an enemy to summon your partner's lightning bolts while simultaneously swiping the ground near that enemy to conjure up walls of fire. You can alternate these attacks to do bonus damage to opponents.

It's easier than it sounds.

The touch screen controls work well, and in many ways The World Ends With You feels more suited to this platform than it ever did to the DS. The bigger iPad screen does justice to the crowded streets (and minds) of Shibuya, and battles take place on wider, more interesting planes than they did on the original. Everything looks and sounds great.

(All that said, I haven't gotten to any of the really challenging boss battles yet. Presumably they'll be easier now that you only have to use a single screen. Hopefully they're not.)

So is The World Ends With You: Solo Remix worth $US20? Hard to say. Even worse than Square Enix's inflated prices is the fact that there are separate apps for the iPad and iPhone versions: if you want to play the game on both devices, you'll have to buy it twice (just like most of Square Enix's iOS releases). Again, indefensible.

But at least it's a good port.


    I struggle to understand how the very people who are saying that handhelds are dead and mobiles/tablets are the rising future of gaming/better than current consoles then complain about spending $20 on a game.

    If these are supposed to be better/replacements for existing consoles...why would games simply be $2? If the games are of the same quality as a console, then expect to pay a console price.

    The changed combat sounds pathetic. But TWEWY was an amazing game for more than that alone, so I can see it as a decent port. And $20 doesn't bother me, because the DS game was like 12-15 hours long, without any real padding.

    Unlike that other FF RPG Square announced, I can totally understand the price on this. A lot of people worked hard on it, and it's 4x less than what I paid for the DS version. I think the DS version will be superior, but this isn't the end of the world. It's a wonderful game, so I think it's worth the money.

      the ds game was way longer then 12 - 15 without rushing it i spent a good 20 - 25 hours on it especially with the backstory explaining pages and the extra chapter you could easily play this for 30 hours, for $21 ya ballin.

    Neku. His name is Neku. He's not a meat

      I love you.

        ^^^ what you said. But still, what squeenix did was down right dirty to the whole twewy fan base. We shall not forgive them till they bring out a long awaited sequel

      That reminds me of a Zathura quote:
      "Zorgons are the lizardmen. They eat meat and we are MEAT! "

    Bought in bed right after waking up yesterday :). 20 bucks does seem high when you think of it as a "mobile phone" game, but obviously it isn't.

    Plus TWEWY looks absolutely scrumptious on a big iPad screen. The extra scale it gives the game is just superb. This port is actually making me consider the upgrade to the retina display iPad from the iPad2.

      Well the rumoured iPad mini looks pretty awesome. But, it will be the same screen resolution as the one you have now. So not worth it really, unless you find yours too heavy. The New iPad screen is also pretty awesome. Mini might be a myth though. Maybe it'll just be an extra large iPod touch.

      But what does 'mobile phone' game even mean? If I think about 80 bucks for ghost recon: future soldier as a 'tv game' it seems pretty outrageous but 80 bucks for that 'tv game' f12011 sounds great. Let's just judge games as experiences, who cares what medium they are on. :)

    the fact that they still have separate iphone and ipad apps is pretty inexcusable.
    But yeah if your buying one or the other its definitely well well worth the $20

    I'd rather play it on my new DS then waste money on a phone trying to be a glorified handheld device

      You don't know what your missing out on. The difference in resolution is HUGE. No more pixelated sprites.

      Yeah I'd way rather lug around an clunky old console with tiny resolution and a stylus than just play it on the big bright high res screen I already have in my pocket.. Are you a 'gamer' because you games or because you like being a gamer? ;)

        I don't lug around my 3DS nor a enormous iPad and I should've clarified I tried this on the phone.

    Great port. I'm actually glad I paid up for this (I never played the ds version).

    But I thought this was supposed to come with the soundtrack? Or am I simply naive in assuming this? iTunes simply says that it can't complete my request.

    Kotaku, why are you so obsessed with this game being 20 dollars? It's apparently a good port of a great game, with improved visuals on the original, and a third the price of the original? What exactly is the problem here?

    Bothers me that it's only for iPhone 4, 4GS and the iPads because I really wanted to get it

    The combat change robs the game of some of its message, if you ask me.
    I always figured the difficulty of matching up the combat styles was meant to drum home the game's message that, even if your goals were the same and you fully depend on each other, truly meshing with and deeply understanding another person will always be a challenge with a steep learning curve.
    Just me?

      Shhh, you'll scare away all the JRPG haters.

    Sorry, I've found few games on my iPad 3 to pull me away from my DS yet. This was tempting but I'm not rebuying it - especially since it took them 4 months to fix FFT crystal defenders on iPad 3, but even worse I paid the $19 for FFT since I Loved it so and I'm still waiting on HD character art to be added as stated so I can hack through it!

    Handheld gaming dead my arse..

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