- System: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: h.a.n.d.
- Release Date: July 27, 2021
- Pricing: $59.99
- Rating: T
- Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG, Strategy
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://square-enix-games.com/neotwewy/en-us/
NEO: The World Ends with You | Final Trailer
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
TWEWY has never been a game for everyone, and NEO follows the same rules. If you loved the first one, then you're going to love this one too; new players, however, may need more time to actually understand it... if at all.
The vibrant colors and comic-book style art totally fit the game's concept, and the fully animated cutscenes are gorgeous—more so if you're playing on a PlayStation console, of course. It's a shame that loading screens make moving from one end of Shibuya to the other so painful, or that these streets are full of details you rarely can interact with and people with no other use than to emulate a crowded day in Tokyo's liveliest, trendiest, and most famous shopping district.
While the Japanese voice acting sounds nice, we can't say the same about the English version of it. The thing is, the English localization suffers from the abuse of slang and teen culture references, so the dialogues—even subtitled—end up being too cringey. Maybe you can get used to it, but that certainly wasn't our case...
At first, it looks like NEO really takes the time to explain the basics to newcomers, but the more it tries to explain, the more it all doesn't make sense. What is this "game" and why is it so important? What happens to those that end up in the last place? Who are behind the Reapers' Game, and what are their true intentions? Oh, and what's with all these characters acting so suspiciously?
Since monsters don't appear until you switch to this alternate Shibuya, most battles are optional. Not only can you see where the Noise are, but you can also run past them and avoid unnecessary fights. On the other hand, chaining fights will give you more Reduction levels and improve your drop rates. You can also lower your player level and increase the difficulty at any point for better drop rates at the cost of reduced HP and harder foes. Still, combat is nothing but a tiny part of NEO: The World Ends with You—and not even the best one.
If there's something to hate about this game is how it never lets you skip its long, sometimes unnecessary dialogues. Even when you replay a chapter, you can only fast-forward it. Another thing that messes with the game's flow is how every time you move to a different street, you're forced to wait a few seconds because of loading screens.
The third ingredient of NEO: TWEWY is the questing system. There are quizzes, minigames, combat-based sidequests... a little bit of everything, but there's so much hand-holding you can barely enjoy it. Every character has a supernatural ability that will help you solve problems, for example. Sadly, the game always tells you what to do and when to do it. Rindo can travel through time and imprint memories in people's minds, Fret can help people remember things, and Nagi can dive into people's minds to fight their inner demons, for example. In-game, it's not as cool as it sounds; all you need to do is walk around looking for people with red thought bubbles and press X when standing next to them to trigger a minigame, a fight, or a conversation scene where they explain everything like you're 5. NEO: The World Ends with You may be a mystery game about death and other dark themes, but you never feel the pressure, and it all looks like a kids' video game with an edgy plot about cool teens.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- After waiting 14 years for it, TWEWY fans should be happy about NEO's tone and plot.
- Amazing character design!
- Too many gameplay interruptions. Lots of loading times or unnecessary, cringeworthy dialog scenes you can't skip.
- Some people will definitely find the combat mechanics dull.