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The World Ends With you came out on the Nintendo DS in 2008, and it quickly became a surprising hit, reviving developer Square Enix in the minds of RPG fans everywhere. With the fresh setting of contemporary Tokyo, an art style inspired by graffiti, and a unique battle system that took advantage of the DS hardware, it's easy to see why. The enhanced iOS version came out almost two years ago, but as typical with Square releases, it's just now coming to Android.

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If I had to describe the game in a single sentence, I'd say it's a turn-based RPG version of Jet Set Radio where teenagers play The Hunger Games in Hell. Yeah, that's about right. The story is the kind of incredibly confusing and overly complicated thing that anime fans seem to love, but what's really appealing is the game's visual and music style. In the battle sequences in between the story, you control the main character Neku directly while the computer controls an ally, and the two can team up to perform intense screen-filling super attacks.

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Like almost all Square Enix games, The World Ends With You is phenomenally expensive in Android terms, weighing in at $17.99 in the US Play Store. Not only that, but it also includes in-app purchases. If you look at the iOS page, you'll see that the most popular IAP seems to be extra healing, crafting, and currency items (cheats, essentially) and music tracks. If the game is faithful to its Nintendo DS roots, none of them will be necessary to complete the story... but it's still in pretty poor taste to include IAP in a game this expensive. You can also earn in-game items by trading profiles with other players, and their profiles will appear as NPCs after you swap.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Roberto Ingrosso

    One of the best Nintendo DS games!

  • say

    Lolwut ?!
    17$ + in-app purchase ?!
    Are they crazy ?

    • Mayoo

      Well Dragon Quest is at $29.66 CAD. So it's "not that much" considering SE.

      They are still aholes thought.

    • Heimrik

      Yeah... thats the truth.... And these are the same dev idiots and corporate greed fatcats that are so shocked at piracy's surge in popularity.... X(

    • Spiricore

      I wouldn't have such a huge problem (but a problem nevertheless) with their pricing if they actually supported their products after release. I've had most of SE's games on my wishlist for years watching for changelogs and hoping certain game-breaking bugs would be fixed for nearly their entire collection. I deeply regret buying Chaos Rings and Final Fantasy V because they can't play nice with Xposed - which screws over, what, about half of their customer base - which has stopped me from buying any of their other products until/if something changes.

      • Ghost

        It's sad how all of their games phone home and get broken with every new version of Android.

      • Cheeseball

        Works fine with the latest Xposed and MobileSubstrate.

      • Hary Ayala

        The exposed thing is easy to fix, just make all your exposed modules system apps (use android tuner) the modules keep doing their job perfectly and the SE games work from then on.
        Just remember to make them normal apps before applying an OTA and make them system apps again afterwards.

    • Cheeseball

      IAPs are basically cheats. Not needed to play the game unless you're lazy.

      • Serge Cebrian

        im lazy and rich...
        well not rich only lazy
        so lazy and poor equals no iAPs for me :(

    • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

      Wait, why it's OK to pay around 30 USD on DS, but it's expensive to pay 17 USD on android?

      • Sigmund

        In DS at least we had a physical copy of the game and no IAPs. With IAPs this lost my attention completely

        • Ash

          So don't pay for the IAPs. I've played through the iOS version twice and never even thought about needing them. They're more or less cheats.

      • SYSSMouse

        actually 45

      • Cat Astrophy

        The game was newer then plus you have to consider the medium and the market price for that medium. For example I can get a lot of console games for MUCH cheaper on PC if they got a PC port. Also a stylus is way better than a finger for this game and the way the second screen combat works sucks ass compared to the d-pad system on DS.

        They also lose points for not including a dialogue skipping system. That's a standard feature in RPGs today and a lot that get re-released have that added, SE dropped the ball on that. This game is extremely dialogue heavy and despite being a decent story is not something I'm going to want to mash the screen over and over and over and over and over and over to get past the blabber to move onto the meat of re-experience the awesome combat and customization (like trying different pin setups).

  • http://shywim.fr/ Matthieu Harlé

    This game was so cool on the Nintendo DS! But I don't think it is worth spending all this money + IAP, even if the OST is nice.
    Square Enix should die while they still have a little honor.

  • Jk Jeeks

    Is it ART compatible?

    • Hary Ayala

      Art breaks SE games, but they'll have to fix them soon enough with ART becoming official.

  • Druxee

    I have this on iPad (I also played it on DS). It's a full featured game and one of the best games Square Enix has produced in a decade, and in my opinion the mobile version is far superior to the DS version (especially on a large screen). Well worth the money.

    The in-app purchases are cheats and are not required to complete the game at all. So, I don't have a problem with them.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Oh, DAYUM, SqEn is playing big on mobile I aee

  • Tykin

    My favorite DS game! Definitely picking this up! After I'm done with Dragon Quest VIII...

  • Ghost

    I will buy it and not finish it as usual.

    • barefootbandit8

      as is tradition.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Well now, I believe this will be the first Square-Enix game on Android that I will NOT be purchasing. I've been faithful to them to this point, but that's it until they do FF7.

    • Ash

      ... you'll be waiting a while.

    • Lumi

      ...a LONG while.

      Seriously, this isn't any other SE game, it's one of the best, if not THE best game they churned out in the last 10(20?) years

  • croc.me

    I hate World Ends With You. I can play using emulator but it's not that good RPG to begin with. Devil Survivor DS still a better modern-day RPG.

    • Techee44

      I'm sorry, but I don't see how you can possibly play TWEWY in an emulator. I mean, I know you can, technically, but the original gameplay is so hectic (controlling one character with the D-Pad on one screen, another with the stylus on the touchscreen) that it would be impossible to play successfully on an emulator.

      • Serge Cebrian

        mouse and keyboard? :D

      • Guest

        It's very possible after you adapt to Android input lag. Hard battles will drive you more crazy, but that's it. Had it maxed out on Drastic.

    • lanmanna

      You HATE it? That's a little dramatic.

  • mgamerz

    HNNNGGGG I loved this game!

  • Heimrik

    Game looks and seems quite juvenile.... kind of cheesy and silly.... no thanks....

    • lanmanna

      Just because it has children? How about giving it a chance before writing it off?

      • Heimrik

        No, not because it has children. Just the animation style and gameplay... I dont have to play it to see that its just not for me. If others like it, hey thats just fine with me, I am just giving my input. But dont let my input "offend" you....

    • Ash

      Like your comment.

  • Cesar

    I've never considered TWEWY to be turn based combat.

    • Guest

      Yep, it's as fast paced as you can get!

  • Lati

    TWEWY was great in the DS, such a shame that they had to include IAP for this. :(

  • Yonas Getu

    turn based? I agree with the Jet Grind Radio similarity, but TWEWY is not turn based

  • Toboe

    IAPs? Really?
    I understand the 18$ Pricetag, as it IS (by the article) a full game rather than the usual mobile stuff. But IAPs, imho, don't belong into "real" games.

    • Ash

      The IAPs are unnecessary and weren't even available on the original iOS release until months later. Its more or less like the bonuses from the PC Final Fantasy re-releases; they're there for lazy people, but you don't need them.

  • Terrel Thompson

    dont wanna pay the 17 bucks, download drastic which is one of the best apps in the play store and play the game with that

    • Ash

      This has been revised to work on mobile devices, and adds some new items, bosses, and soundtracks. You won't get those via an emulator.

  • SYSSMouse

    Someone need to hit Square-Enix with a Level i Flare spell.

  • Cat Astrophy

    Holy crap I never thought this was going to happen. 2 years is absolutely ABSURD. They're not getting my money strictly out of spite and I LOVED this game.

  • Zac Yong

    should be $10 bucks tops ,having in app purchase at a high price is greedy. i love the game but probs wont buy till price drops , dragon quest in aus google play is about $30... a port of soul calibur was tops 6-7 bucks when it came out i find that more fair

  • Steven
  • Ash

    I spent $20 for the iPad version of this game. It is probably the only expensive mobile game I've played that is worth every penny, aside from maybe Final Fantasy Tactics. Soundtrack, plot, and replayability are the main pros. The cheats are wholly unnecessary and would probably water down your experience.

    Unless you've played the original and didn't like it, I'd say most criticism is unwarranted (though probably earned from SE's awful pricing policies). Its a really, really good game.

    • Lumi

      What if I've played the original and cleared it, including Bonus Stage?

      • Ash

        There's some sweet new tracks and bosses. The new control scheme is a lot easier. It's with replaying for sure, but I don't know if it's with full price if you already blasted through the original.

        • Lumi

          Hmm, nevermind then, I played the original for the plot, and my pin collection/tough battles was done with coughactionreplaycough. If SE ever give it a discount I'll consider it.

  • My1

    does this work with rooted devices?

    • jbr05ki

      yes it works with rooted devices. Doesn't work with Xposed or ART.

      • My1

        since Final Fantasy IV always killed itself when trying to play it.
        but it always killed itself without anything like a crash popup, so it looked like intended behaviour, thrown out money...

  • mgamerz

    Just beat this. Loved it on DS and the single screen gameplay is still pretty good. Its tough as hell though and most bosses were done on easy. Some of the ending bosses are ridiculously hard. I saw the in app purchase character where you can buy some music and stuff but nothing essential. They added some nice changes and some new content so its not just a straight port. One issue is the game does not force the screen to stay on so the screen shuts off if you're rocking to deja vu... Otherwise, I feel it was a $18 spent. It was 10+ hours for me.

  • Rafael Santana de Brito
  • ecnallaw

    just downloaded and play. work perfectly. cost me zero