When I know there’s a video game I’ll want to play I rarely bother with the demo. The purpose of a demo is to sample a game you’re potentially interested in but not quite sure if you should get. But in the case of Square Enix’s upcoming Neo: The World Ends With You, the sequel to 2007’s The World Ends With You, it was too good of an opportunity to pass on getting an earlier feel of the game. From what I’ve experienced so far I’m now more than ever eager to continue playing it.
The demo introduces players to Neo’s new protagonist Rindo who is in Shibuya to meet with his friend Fret. When the two friends finally meet each other in front of the 104 building, Fret has acquired two mysterious pins and gives one to Rindo. Nothing about their day seems out of the ordinary until Rindo gets hit with a strange vision of Shibuya in chaos, as the neighborhood gets destroyed all around him, and Fret’s life in danger.
After being shaken out of his daze, Rindo and Fret resume their hangout until they realize something is not quite right about the Shibuya they’re in as they’re forced to fight against monsters called Noise, using the pins Fret obtained, and need to complete tasks that are given to them by mysterious individuals known as Reapers through text messages. Let the new Reaper’s Game begin.
The demo includes two full chapters of the game and a thorough introduction of the many characters you’ll be getting to know in the new sequel. The two chapters pack in a lot and doesn’t waste any time in launching players straight into the action.
Fans of the first game will immediately feel at home with Neo and learning the new game controls for the Switch, which is a vast improvement on TWEWY’s dual screen game mechanic from the Nintendo DS. The developers did a good job of keeping what made the original game so special, while keeping things fresh and different for those looking for a brand new experience.
The 3D rendering of Shibuya is absolutely gorgeous and makes the whole game come alive when you’re running around the neighborhood to complete tasks as Rindo. It really felt like stepping into the real Shibuya in Tokyo with the crowds of people and back alleys you can walk through.
The game’s soundtrack in Neo is a mix of new and old songs. During one particular battle sequence with the Noise, I heard the song “Transformation” which was a song that came from the first game and one of my personal favorites. I appreciated the small homages or Easter eggs from the first game and how it was incorporated into the sequel in fun ways.
By the time I had beaten the two chapters of the demo, I was disappointed that my time with Neo was up but it made me super pumped for the full game when it drops on July 27th. And those who played the demo will be able to pick up where they left off since the save file from the demo will transfer over to the full game. Considering I could barely put Neo down while playing the demo, I know which game will be occupying most of my time for the next several months.
Have you played the demo for Neo: The World Ends With You? What are your impressions of it so far?