I hadn't thought about what that meant before playing this game.
Neku Sakuraba is a teenaged boy living in Shibuya. He's standoffish and hates people. He loves only one thing: his favorite street artist. Waking up in the middle of Shibuya, Neku has no idea how he got there. With his partner -- a girl named Shiki whom Neku wishes he could get away from -- he has to fight to survive, fulfilling a mission each day for a week. But when Neku should be finished, he's flung into the game again and again, trapped inside under the Reapers' control.
I couldn't relate to Neku a whole lot at first, but what intrigued me the most about him is his character growth. It's well-written, gradual, and -- most importantly -- believable. The key to this change is the sentence, "The World Ends With You." You can be the only person in your own universe, or you can let others in and learn more about the world around you. In the end, that's up to you.
TWEWY has its own art style that fits perfectly with the setting of the game and Neku's fascination with street art. The outer lines are thicker, colors are vibrant, and characters have a distinct shape. There are certainly many styles of street art, but TWEWY has the same colorful, urban feel that I've seen in street art.
Fighting requires a team effort, and the Nintendo DS screens take care of this well. You control Neku on the bottom screen, running back and forth and using his pins to attack enemies via the stylus. You can also control your partner on the top screen with the directional pad. However, it is difficult to control both at the same time. Looking back and forth at each screen every couple seconds gets tiring, so if you don't control your partner for a short time, he/she will play on auto. You can play the majority of the game with your partner on auto, but it's easier to access special combo attacks when you control your partner. There are also a few times in boss fights when you need to play as your partner while making Neku avoid attacks.
Along with the art, the music also has its own urban appeal. I suggest you use headphones when playing the game just so that you can hear the music better.
This game wouldn't be what it is without the fantastic art, music, characters, and storyline. You're stuck in the mystery just like Neku is, and the only way to figure out how Neku got to the Reaper's Game, you'll just have to keep fighting your way to the truth. I haven't played an RPG like this one in a long time, and I haven't seen one like it. In a genre that feels stale at times, it's games like TWEWY that reinvent the genre and show that it's more than its tropes.
The World Ends With You was recently announced that it will be ported to the iOS.