A brand new year and another year of more gaming. Since buying a Nintendo Switch last month, I’ve begun filling out my Switch library. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest and hottest game for the Switch, there’s another game that really sold me on finally owning the console—The World Ends With You: Final Remix.
Originally released on the Nintendo DS back in 2007, Square Enix’s The World Ends With You: Final Remix is an enhanced version of the action RPG game ported over for the Switch. Among the features included in this remaster are two-player combat using the Joy-Con controllers, an extra new chapter added to the game, and an all-new remix of the game’s killer and notable soundtrack.
Starting up the game for the first time on the Switch, I was immediately transported back to when I first played and fell in love with Neku and the gang. From the bustling streets of Shibuya to the well-crafted story about a guy who transforms into a better individual because of the connections and friendships he forges along the way, this underrated game captured my heart and is by far one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played. While the graphics are even more gorgeous and vibrant on the Switch, TWEWY’s new gameplay mechanics takes some getting used to.
Final Remix can be played with a Joy-Con controller or as a handheld. Playing the game on solo, I naturally opted for its handheld mode. What I didn’t expect was the handheld mode only utilizing the Switch’s touchscreen tablet sans the Joy-Con controllers attached. I suppose using the touchscreen to play the game was meant to recreate or mimic the original Nintendo DS’s mode of playing, which made use of the dual screens and the stylus pen. But rather than two screens you have one and instead of a stylus pen you’re using your finger to control Neku and launch attacks against TWEWY’s foes, the Noise.
I spent the first few minutes trying to understand how to use the touchscreen to play a game I have already beaten before. The gameplay controls on the touchscreen tablet didn’t feel all that smooth, even though I feel like it should be. Whenever I followed the onscreen prompts to activate a pin’s powers or to move Neku out of the way from being attacked by Noise, I often found myself frustrated with the controls because the taps or slides I was making on the screen wasn’t quite registering correctly. Either Neku didn’t move out of the way in time to dodge an attack or the attacks I was doing against the Noise wasn’t doing the damage I wanted it to do. Overall, I’m not a big fan of the touchscreen gameplay for Final Remix on the Switch. Maybe I need more time to adjust to this new mode of playing the game, but somehow it didn’t go as well as I thought it would as I dive back into this world and its characters. I haven’t tried the game with a Joy-Con controller yet, so it’s possible this way of playing the game might suit me better. We’ll have to see.
Despite a slightly rough start with Final Remix from a gameplay standpoint, this newly remastered game holds up well in everything else. The story will still be as wonderfully engaging as ever, the music worth listening to on repeat, and graphics so eye-popping you’ll want to appreciate them longer with every cutscene or move you make as Neku. I’m just hoping I can get past the new gameplay mechanics to beat The World Ends With You: Final Remix for a second time.
Have you played The World Ends With You: Final Remix? What do you think of it?