UMass Lowell Connector Logo

“Neo: The World Ends with You” is a hit

(Photo courtesy of: Square Enix) “”Neo: TWEWY” is extremely fun to play.”

Emily Lengel
Connector Contributor

“Neo: The World Ends with You,” often referred to as Neo: TWEWY by fans, is a game developed by Square Enix that is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and on PC via both Steam and the Epic Games store. “Neo: The World Ends with You” was a sequel to the game “The World Ends with You,” which was first released on Nintendo DS in 2007 and later got a remake on the Switch in 2018.

“Neo: TWEWY” experienced a very turbulent development history in the years since the first game’s release, and its release was accompanied by a 12-episode anime adaptation of the first game that would serve as a way for newcomers to the franchise to get a quick introduction before going into “Neo: TWEWY.”

Despite its nature as a sequel, however, “Neo: TWEWY” can be considered a stand-alone game seeing as it follows a completely new cast of characters. Essential mechanics and story elements that were present in the first game get explained very early on in a way that makes it easy for new players to pick up the game without prior experience with the franchise.

The story of “Neo: TWEWY” follows Rindo Kanade and Tosai “Fret” Furasawa, two teenagers who spend an ordinary weekend downtown. However, things take a strange turn after Fret acquires a rare collector’s pin for the two of them, and they start experiencing things that defy explanation. They eventually find themselves as unwilling participants in an event called the Reaper’s Game, run by the eponymous Reapers. Reapers are individuals that seem like ordinary humans at first but hold a very real sense of power and mystery that Rindo and Fret slowly begin to discover as the Game progresses. The rules of the Reaper’s Game are simple: Complete a single mission over the course of seven days, accumulate points, and try not to come in dead last while competing for points with the other teams participating in the Reaper’s Game. Lose, and face erasure — death.

After finding themselves in the Reaper’s Game, Rindo and Fret discover there are more threats to their survival in the Game than they first assumed. They soon encounter the Noise, enemies that resemble animals with stylized tattoo-like appendages that are named after various different music genres. Players can combat the Noise using Pins- that’s right, the kind that can be put on backpacks — in smooth and action-packed combat that emphasizes building and maintaining combos between party members. Each Pin is assigned to one of six specific buttons. Every Pin has a unique type of attack and element and players can utilize this large variety of options in order to find their own way to play.

“Neo: TWEWY” takes place in a fictional version of Shibuya, Japan where many of the locations in the games are ones that can be found in real life, albeit with altered names and some changes to landmark features. Exploring the city over the course of each in-game Mission gives players a real sense of visiting such a bustling location by including shops that can be visited to gain an edge in battle.

“Neo: TWEWY” takes full advantage of the capabilities of modern systems and its setting to create a hyper urban aesthetic. The game’s utilization of 3D models and assets for most of the gameplay means bolder colors, smoother animations, and the ability to see characters from almost every angle. Outside of its use of 3D models and assets, “Neo:TWEWY” preserves the trademark aesthetic from the first game, with its anime-esque art style and cutscenes that play out reminiscent of a comic book. “Neo: TWEWY” also boasts full voice acting in most of these cutscenes, which adds a whole new layer to the liveliness of each character.

Another aspect of “Neo: TWEWY” that shows off its hyper urban aesthetic is its music. The game’s soundtrack is composed of many different songs, both lyrical and instrumental, that sound like they came straight out of an album or Spotify playlist. The soundtrack of “Neo: TWEWY” has it all: Pumping tunes to get the players fired up while taking down the Noise in action-packed combat, mellow music for wandering the streets of Shibuya and even a few more emotional songs for cutscenes. The game’s soundtrack spans genres such as heavy rock, hip hop, electronic and more.

Overall, “Neo: TWEWY” is a niche game with a unique aesthetic that might appeal to anyone who craves action-packed experiences in games or enjoys taking in the sights and sounds of the city. It also uses its characters and narrative to tackle subjects that many can relate to, putting a key focus on themes such as learning to get along with others and being more decisive.

Overall grade: A

Related posts