Neo: The World Ends With You – Review

Release Date
July 27, 2021
Publisher
Square Enix
Developer
h.a.n.d
Platform
PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Reviewed on
PS4
Review copy provided by
Square Enix

Neo: The World Ends With You is the second game in The World Ends With You universe. This game is not a direct sequel but is happening in the same world as the first game. Does it provide the same satisfaction as the first game? Let’s find out.

Neo: TWEWY starts you off at Scramble Crossing. You play as Rindo who will be the main character of the game. He meets up with his friend Fret who gives him a pin. For some reason, this transports them to the Underground, and is now forced to play the Game. The premise is a little different from the first game since the characters here seem to be alive before they got transported to the Underground. The only thing I have found so far that connects this to the first game was the use of pins and the Underground world.

They have also overhauled the gameplay to match the platform it is being played with. They have gone with a more action-oriented approach. Using certain buttons to let your characters deal damage to enemies is called Noise.

Your attacks are only limited to a certain point before you have to let it restart so you can dish out more damage. Battles are real-time so you either mash those buttons to kill the enemies or time it right so that you can make the most damage in a short amount of time.

Hitting an enemy will also trigger something called Beat Timer, hitting the enemy with another character while the Beat Timer is on will trigger additional damage on the enemy. Utilizing this is crucial to beating difficult enemies.

At the end of each battle, you will be rated depending on your performance. Completing a battle without being hit once and finishing the battle as quickly as possible will give you a star rating which is the highest rating that you can get. Getting a higher rating means you’ll get better loot after battle.

Your attacks are connected to what they call Pins. Each pin has a unique attribute and has different attack patterns. They are also triggered by different buttons on the controller so there aren’t pins with the same button map. Each character in your party is only able to use pins that are compatible with them. There are certain pins though that are compatible to multiple characters. Although this is good, my only complaint about this is that even if you have maxed out a pin’s level, newly acquired pins of the same kind will show up as “new” which is confusing since you’ve already acquired them before.

Each character also has a unique ability called Psych. These get unlocked while playing through the main mission of the game. Each of these Psych abilities is essential in completing the game. Rindo’s psych ability is that he’s able to go back into the past and rewrite history. Time travel is always something good to add to a game and it keeps it interesting. Fret’s ability allows him to reconstruct memories making people “remember” the memory they once lost. Another character allows them to “Dive” into someone’s mind to fight the noise that invaded their minds.

Your party only has 4 characters which I guess makes it easier to just use 4 buttons during a battle. I guess this makes it easier to remember the characters and able to invest in their hopes and dreams. It makes the game more personal and easy to relate to whereas games where you have 100 characters to collect and don’t really care about them.

Neo: TWEWY has a unique way of leveling up stats. Instead of using stat points to increase stats or automatically getting them by leveling up, you will need to visit restaurants in the game to do this. Each food in the restaurant will provide you with different stat increases. You can also only eat a limited amount of food which is indicated by a fullness meter. Once the fullness meter is maxed out, you will have to wait for a certain amount of time before you can eat again.

Neo’s world is based on Shibuya. The world is a hand-drawn art that’s very beautiful to look at. It feels like an art masterpiece that has been brought to life. I’m glad that they kept the same art style that they used in the first game. Even some of the enemy models are familiar making those who have played the first game feel nostalgic.

The music in the game is awesome. It really complements the battles making you really get into the game. The background music while roaming is also very good. It reminds me a lot of music from Persona 5. The music is so good, it actually leaves you in LSS or Last Song Syndrome for those who don’t know. I’m even humming it in my head right now.

There are other elements and features of the game that I haven’t mentioned yet but I believe that it’s best for you to discover them in the game which I’m sure you will love once you unlock them.

Overall, Neo: The World Ends With You is a fun RPG adventure with relatable characters and a combat system that may not be new but still has some elements that are unique to it. It’s an immersive world with great characters, great music, and a story that will leave you craving for more.

You don’t need to play the first game to be able to enjoy this game but it does help with the nostalgia. If you are wanting to dive into a whole new unique game then I definitely recommend this game for you.

Neo: The World Ends With You – Review
Score Definition
Almost perfect if not for the nitty-gritty. If it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game.
Pros
Unique battle system
Great character development
Fun and immersive world that comes alive
Cons
Acquired pins still come up as "new" when you reacquire them
Timer for attacks feel short, enemies don't seem to have any timer restrictions
9
Excellent