You're probably thinking: "Whoa! Slow down there, the best game of the year? Are you crazy?" - to which I would simply cuff you politely and say "ever so slightly." However... let me embellish my potential hyperbole.
You see, The World Ends With You (which I shall continue to refer to as TWEWY for the sake of my typing) is one of the most striking games I have ever played in that it constantly has me coming back for more. The only reason I had to STOP playing it was because the battery on my DS had ran out. And it was 3am.
You start off as sullen, anti-social grumpy git Neku Sakuraba who initially comes across as a horrific emo-child. As it turns out, he is in fact the very antithesis of emo and much of the game's characterisation is meant to be a parody on emo culture. Thank goodness for that thinks this reviewer! I can't play emo games! I might want to cut myself afterwards!
That was a joke. I apologise.
Anyhow, as it turns out, Neku has been killed somehow and now has to survive the next seven days without being deleted (wow, dying twice in the space of a week? That's gotta be harsh...) and he does so by completing missions set about for him and the other dead folk, or players as they're referred to, which must be done in a set time or else the entirety of the player population gets erased! However, in order to get by, you'll have to have a partner! And Neku, being the jackass that he is, is hardly the most exciting of accomplices when all he wants to do is channel out the entire world and never speak to a living soul again. But he is forced into doing so by some chirpier characters (the effervescent Shiki, the irritatingly snotty Joshua and the over-the-top muscle-head Beat) who eventually start to bring Neku out of his shell and to start being less of a grumpy git and more of a NORMAL HUMAN BEING WITH FRIENDS.
Amazingly, the game manages to draw you in despite having such an annoying lead character. On some level, every person who plays this will be able to understand him and be ableto empathise with him although initially it is hard to empathise with someone who basically... erm... is a jackass (I'm struggling for other words here!) and never really looks to change his persona much. Ahhhh... but give him time and etc, etc... I don't want to spoil it too much.
Twists and turns in the plot abound making it exceptionally intriguing from day one and the characters are hugely impressive and some of the NPCs are even likeable!
The crux of the game is easily the comabt. Neku and partner are separated on the top and bottom screens. Neku can attack by scratching, slashing and tapping the touch screen and even blowing into the microphone while partner is controlled via the direction pad (or by the computer if you get a little too confused, which you will initially) - it's a tricky system to get to grips with but immensely rewarding nonetheless and one that will yield great rewards over time. The attacks are designated by pins you collect during your adventure and certain pins will let you unleash different attacks, allowing for huge combos and huge rewards... it's fantastic fun.
Look, all of this should tell you that TWEWY is a fantastic RPG and a fantastic game in general and if you haven't clicked BUY NOW yet then what the 'eckers are you waiting for? I mean, it's the best game of the year! I said that already and you didn't believe me? What are you, crazy?
*cuffs you politely*
Told you so!