A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the game that this is one of the most creative games ever made for the Nintendo DS. Yet the game's protagonist is outside of society, angry, and a little depressed. Occasionally, he uses mild cuss words. There is some fantasy violence used to kill monsters that includes lightning or fire. The characters, story, and gameplay are so unique that kids may want to play the game over and over again. Kids can use Nintendo Wi-Fi to trade items, including songs and play a minigame.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU, you wake up as Neku, a punky 15-year-old, who is disoriented in one of the busiest sections of Tokyo. Somehow, you're able to hear what everyone's thinking. You have a strange looking, tattooed Pin embedded in your hand, and you get a message on your cell phone from a group called The Reapers. The first message: You have seven days to do their bidding or you'll be erased. (That's a code word for being killed.) Within minutes, you meet an affable 15-year-old girl character named Shiki, who takes your flack and balances your pessimism with her optimism. This dialog-fueled story, presented somewhat like a graphic novel in the top screen, is both chilling and mysterious.
Just as the story is packed with enticing drama, so is the gameplay packed with compelling ways to move forward and stay alive as each day ticks away. You'll collect various Pins with a variety of powers to help you combat Noise, annoying monsters which prevent you from reaching your goals. By using the Pins and tapping and slashing on your touching screen, you'll unleash powerful forces that will vanquish your foes. You just can't keep fighting without thought, however. That would be too easy. When your energy is depleted, you'll have to wait a few moments as a circle fills to boost your health. During this time, you'll use the touch screen to move your character around and avoid being hurt by the Noise.
Is it any good?
As one of the most unique games ever created for the Nintendo DS, The World Ends with You is filled with tasty, creative features. For instance, you can shop and collect CDs, which are full length pop songs that you can listen to at your leisure. In addition to controlling combat on the lower screen, you can also control it on the top screen using the control pad. However, it's difficult to alternate between both fighting modes. So if you simply want to use the touch screen only, the game is programmed to help you play along the top screen automatically. Essentially, there's so much here it almost feels like a console game. In other words, unique story + smart gameplay = a great DS game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they would do if they, like the characters in the main story, had seven days to solve a problem or perish. How does the use of a deadline compare to other media using such melodramatic deadlines, like the TV show, 24? What role did the unique graphic-novel-like art within the game have on your appreciation for the game? Did you think the story was scary? What if you could read other people's minds?
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