NEO: The World Ends with You, preview

NEO: The World Ends with You, preview
Thirteen years after the release of the original for Nintendo DS, Square Enix is ​​back on a cult title that has conquered an important niche of players with a new episode entitled NEO: The World Ends with You. In fact, Square Enix and producer Tetsuya Nomura have never forgotten it, as two revisions have been made over time (one for mobile systems, entitled The World Ends with You: Solo Remix, and a more recent one for Nintendo Switch, The World Ends with You: Final Remix) and its characters have appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. If anything, they were waiting for the right moment, riding the wave of the anime that will soon land on the Japanese schedules, and setting the release date of a sequel by summer 2021. The first trailer, released close to a mysterious countdown, has revealed a few but important details about the new title, which will arrive on PlayStation 4 and Switch: let's see them together.

A new game

We still don't know exactly when NEO: The World Ends with You will take place, but we can say with some certainty that some time has passed since the finale of the first episode , and in particular from the conclusion of the A New Day epilogue with which the Final Mix review was closed: it is in fact the presence of Sho Minamimoto in the trailer and even in the party to suggest this detail, given that the former Game Master came back to life thanks to the powers of Coco Atarashi to support the protagonist Neku in a new Game of Demons. The problem is that in the trailer there is no trace of Neku or his friends: it focuses on the completely new cast, except for Sho, which includes a new protagonist named Rindo, who for some reason wears a mask almost always under the chin, and two unfortunate companions, the feisty Fret and the petulant Magi. The dialogues, which take place using the usual mix of stylized illustrations and comic strips, have revealed the presence of old and new faces, among which a new Game Master named Shiba stands out.

We know very little about these unreleased characters, apart from some vague character traits, and therefore NEO: The World Ends with You would seem to raise a ton of questions, starting with the most obvious. What happened to Neku, Beat and the others? What is Coco's real goal? What is Inversion? We know that the new game will continue to take place in Shibuya, which we will finally be able to explore in a fully 3D version for which Square Enix has not given up on the edgy and modern style that characterized the original The World Ends with You. In particular, the distorted perspectives and the absurd angles continue to instill that sense of chaotic confusion that served to project us into contemporary Tokyo. We are pretty sure, in this sense, that this sequel will also delve into some social themes that are always current, which then had been the great strength of The World Ends with You from the point of view of the narrative, original and much deeper than the previous one. cartoonish look and youthful slang lead us to believe.

New gameplay?

The move to 3D is perhaps the most worrying aspect of the trailer, in the sense that what we have seen of NEO : The World Ends with You didn't seem particularly polished. It is true that there are still more than six months to go, but the movements, the frame rate and the cleanliness of the 3D models leave something to be desired and give the impression that the Square Enix title has not enjoyed a significant budget. Fortunately, everything else has awakened our enthusiasm for this cult franchise, starting with the rock and J-pop music which, once again, perfectly fit the urban setting. It remains to be seen, however, how Square Enix has changed the gameplay, already partially mutilated in the transition to Nintendo Switch with the Final Remix version. Combat in the Nintendo DS original was played on two screens, combining touch and analog controls to move characters. Neku, in particular, used the power of the pins to unleash his ESP powers on enemies, called Noises.

The pins are back in bullying in this sequel, but something has necessarily changed in terms of gameplay, also because the game will not only be released on the Nintendo hybrid console, but also on the PlayStation 4. This means that Square Enix may have ruled out any semblance of motion control or tactile input, turning the fights into real action games, as the sequences in which we see our enemies fighting in a circular arena in real time would suggest. The team health indicator in the upper left and the pin icons in the lower center, with their respective reload time indicators, make a neat interface that will allow us to focus on the action, dodging and positioning. , although some kind of automatism is likely with regard to characters who are not under our direct control. We certainly need more information to understand the extent of the changes, but it seems that NEO: The World Ends with You has still retained the feeling of the original, including the clashes with the giant bosses.

This first trailer for NEO: The World Ends with You hasn't told us enough about the game yet, and we can't wait to hear more, but for now we can be satisfied with the return of this beloved brand and a little fearful of the technical profile and the changes to the gameplay that seem to have intervened above all on the combat system. It goes without saying that we will follow the development with great interest, so expect new previews and insights very soon.


The story will continue what leaked in A New Day The feeling, the music and the cutting style DOUBTS remained unchanged Graphically it still looked rather crude How has the combat system changed?

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