I finished The World Ends With You on Saturday morning. I liked the ending, and like the fact that even after finishing the game there’s still stuff to do. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.

TWEWY has made me realise a few things. Other than for work and WoW, I haven’t been this focused while playing a game in a long time. That makes me wonder whether it is a better game than so many others I’ve played, or whether it was just more fun to me personally. There’s certainly a lot of elements I like. Messing around with different pin combinations to find good combinations for specific purposes – highest combo count possible, air juggling, long battle chains, boss fights on harder difficulties – is almost a game in and of itself. It also fits really well with the mechanic of levelling each pin individually – like you would level Materia in FF7 or Pokemon in any Pokemon game.

It’s also the first game in a while for which I haven’t looked up the FAQ for fear of missing something on my first playthrough, probably because it was engaging enough to warrant a second run through with an FAQ. It also gave me the impression that it was going to be a relatively short game – which it is, if you compare it to behemoths like FFXII – which may have contributed to a greater or lesser extent to my resolution of playing it through without going through a checklist. It’s a lot easier to start over when you don’t have that much time invested into something than when you’ve already spent 600+ hours playing it. This is especially true of a game like TWEWY which has a single save slot for player data.

Another thing I’ve realised is that games like TWEWY, with it’s assorted multiplayer elements, could easily be the start for ‘game clubs’, which would be to videogames what ‘reading clubs’ are to books. While there are already many many games that do this thanks to the internet, noticing someone that has a DS open and hearing familiar sounds coming from it instantly creates a common interest over which to break the ice and meet someone new, and unlike over ther internet, if you meet someone like this at a place you frequent – like work – there is a chance that you will get to know this peson a little better than you would someone whom you run an instance with.

Heck, talking about multiplayer, I’d love to see some form of linked battle system where two players can fight at the same time, one controlling the character in the bottom screen and one controlling the one in the top screen. Perhaps have an alternating battle system where players take turns using the stylus and the D-pad in one battle and switching roles in the next, or changing the functionality. I’ve always been a fan of the possibility of playing RPGs in multiplayer mode, like in Secret of Mana.

Finally, I’ve become enough of a fan of the IP that should a home console version/port/sequel ever come out, it could easily be the game that sells me on buying a next-gen console. I definitely think there is enough depth to the setting and the gameplay that a Wii/PS3/XBox 360 version would be feasible.

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