Square Enix Announces Release Date for The World Ends With You
Set in modern Japan, The World Ends With You promises to be something different from your average JRPG and will be launching for the DS on April 22. Developed by the Kingdom Hearts team, it's a sidescrolling action RPG that takes place in Tokyo's Shibuya district -- one of Japan's more iconic urban centers. Home to the Harajuku station (which Gwen Stefani has milked for all its worth), the district is the birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends and has been the setting of countless animes. If you've seen any documentaries or news features on Japan, then you'll probably recognize its busy streets and flashy screen advertisements.
Players will take control of a kid named Nek who wakes up in Shibuya with no memory of how he got there. An anonymous phone call warns him that his life is in danger and tells him he has to stay in the area for seven days while carrying out missions for a number of mysterious grim reapers. From there, you can probably expect things to get progressively more messed up.
Stylistically, the game can be described as an almost perfect cross between Samurai Legend: Musashi and the Kingdom Hearts series -- although, hopefully, it'll play better than the former.
Gameplay will mix d-pad movement with stylus-based attacks and will require players to control two characters at the same time on each screen. Nek will also have access to psychic powers that work sort of like the scanner from the Metroid Prime series, only this time, you're scanning people's thoughts instead of corpses terminals.
It's been a while since we've seen anything from Square Enix with a modern/semi-modern setting. Things have been seriously dry in that area for a long time now. The only games I can think of off the top of my head are Parasite Eve, the first disc of Final Fantasy 7 and the first bit of Arc the Lad 2, and those are all at least a decade old. Swords and sorcery are all fine and good but guns and ominous cell phone conversations are certainly entertaining in their own right.