Badge of honour.
The World Ends With You launched in 2007 on Nintendo DS and quickly gained a cult following despite that year being packed with a seemingly endless supply of classics. Designed by Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura, it was a darker variant of the usual Square Enix RPG formula. Taking a modern setting, a prescient focus on memetic culture, and satisfying touch-based combat, it remains an undersung classic of the genre. A Final Remix version made it onto Switch in 2018, followed by an anime adaptation last year.
It’s a shame, then, that some PlayStation owners will lack a lot of the context needed for NEO: The World Ends With You. New characters are driving this instalment, but it does function as a follow-up and runs the risk of alienating newcomers. Another downside is its arrival at the tail end of a generation, looking like it’s two generations old. The artwork is gorgeous and Nomura’s designs are like a warm blanket, but this is by no means a visual showcase.
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