Zero Punctuation: The World Ends With You

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It's strange, isn't it? Jrpgs wants us to be able to calculate tons of numbers to get the ultimate set-up, but they insult our intelligence by explaining every single little thing when it comes to the plot (usually). I bet even this 74 + 30-thingy ended with a huge "gasp!" from the main character in the dialog as opposed to a "Well obviously, asshat" as would've been far more logical. : P

I found that the most entertaining rewievs are of the games I know nothing about.

I actually like TWEWY, but the central point of the review is a damned good one. Yes, I was hacked off by having Joshua explain the answers to most of the puzzles in his section, too. The game does actually tell you that ANY puzzle can be solved by your partner if you wait a few seconds and talk to them, which I think is to get around the "sticking point" problem, but Joshua's are forced upon you. Ugh.

The question is though, how would an RPG work where the gameplay and story were integrated?

Kaos Incarnate:

Codgo:
Yahtzee pretty much sumes up everything i can't stand about JRPGs. Why are these games so damn stale?

I feel that way about FPSs, except for Timesplitters...

I fail to see why people keep bringing this argument up.

"I think RPGs are stale."

"lol other genres are stale!"

I mean...yay? I think a lot of RPGs are tired and samey, that doesn't mean I immediatly class other types as awesome and original.

Ten points for the Sesame Street reference.

Ah Yahtzee, each Wednesday you never cease to make me happy I didn't hang myself on the previous Tuesday.

"Yanking on nerve endings" was a disturbing image indeed. bLheck.

good, good. Cant wait for some descent games to come out....ie Spore, hopefully with this much time before it's release they're able to work out all the kinks so they dont disappoint us....then again these ARE the people who brought us The Sims 2 *look of hatred at EA*

The biggest turn off i see i this game is it's on the DS, Nintendo is some thing i avoid these days... i do not like the NEED to shout at the bloody thing at any point, and the only thing vii
remotes are good for is knocking out Nintendo fan boys.

Dectilon:
It's strange, isn't it? Jrpgs wants us to be able to calculate tons of numbers to get the ultimate set-up, but they insult our intelligence by explaining every single little thing when it comes to the plot (usually). I bet even this 74 + 30-thingy ended with a huge "gasp!" from the main character in the dialog as opposed to a "Well obviously, asshat" as would've been far more logical. : P

Actually, he DID respond in the "Well, obviously, asshat" way. The problem was that the partner at that time thinks that your main character is a complete doofus.

FPS does have its problems and ocassionally stale genres, but its suprising how often it can pull off far better stories and characters than any JRPG. While Timesplitters was a great game i wouldn't call it a shining example of fps excellence.

I wonder if everyone in japan wonders about with retarded hair and swords big enough to be considered penis extentions?

I'm just thrilled that Yahtzee is using some more classic music for the opening and closing songs again... far too many death-metal and punk-rock tracks lately (with a few exceptions), I miss the tunes he used in the early reviews.

Oh, and nice review too.

I agree with something Yahtzee said in a previous review, basically that reviews are subjective and that people should be able to decide whats fun for them on their own. I personally enjoy watching Yahtzee's reviews for the humor and although I take his opinion into consideration when deciding if its worth it to buy a game or not, 90% of the time I have already decided if I am going to buy a game or not before hand and the other 10% of the time I look at several different reviews to help if im not entirely sure (Case and point, Sim City Societies). Now I enjoyed The World Ends With You. Granted it did have alot of dialog and the combat was the enemy of my fingers but I still found it to be enjoyable and will likely purchase the sequel. To me it proves that Square Enix still has it in them to make good RPGs...even though they are practically forcing me (by that I mean that I am forcing myself) to buy a PS3 whenever FFXIII comes out.

On this I agree with Yahtzee's review and found it entertaining as usual as he wants again provides a treat on my Wednesdays but I still enjoyed the game despite its faults.

i tend to stay FAR far away from anything Jap/anime centered so I guess it's a good thing I shunned this.

The only JRPGs I like are the FF series. Lost Odyssey did my head in.

One thing I found even more strange was that, since all of your characters are supposed to be dead and playing in a game to earn back their lives, all of the players are teenagers.

He ABSOLUTELY pegged JRPG storytelling though, and while this style of story telling doesn't bother me, he got it exactly right. JRPG's always divide Story and Gameplay very sharply, in some of the worst cases, they don't even feel like they're part of the same world, in battle your heroes are super powered mega folk yet outside of battle they can be threatened by one guy with a gun... Nonsensical to say the least.

PedroSteckecilo:
Wow, that well sums up why Yahtzee doesn't like JRPG's and when you weren't completely enthralled by the genre at a young age (as I was) they are quite valid criticisms.

I still will NEVER understand the MASSIVE hate on for turn based combat. I can understand not liking random encounters, number crunchy equipment/ability management and emolicious femmy heroes but I always find realtime (in RPG's) either too spastic or meaningless (except in Mass Effect, because I'm good at shooting things). I also like Turn Based Strategy Games, because the Strategy feels more strategic, less like a twitch based random fest. Sometimes in Action RPG's I feel like I'm doing nothing but pushing a single button and then executing an attack that I have to PRAY hits everything. But there's no getting through to the new generation, so I'll just live in the past with my Shadow Hearts Games, Old Final Fantasy Titles and occasional essoteric treat and hope that at least some game developers will keep making these games.

There's turn based... and then theres JRPG turn based. The former I can tolerate, even enjoy if its done in a new and interesting way. The latter... bores me to hell.

Archaeology Hat:

There's turn based... and then theres JRPG turn based. The former I can tolerate, even enjoy if its done in a new and interesting way. The latter... bores me to hell.

Explain the difference for me, if you please, I'm not familair with too many Turn Based RPG's that aren't japanese. All of the ones I can gave you only a few options and no strategy, I'm talking the REAL old North American Ones where you could only Attack with a Weapon, Cast a Spell, Defend or Run.

(Do not mention Fallout, Fallout 2 or the Jagged Alliance Series, I am familiar with them and while the combat is fun, I do not register it as great).

Ha hee ha hee ha.

Good one, it felt like watching one of the first ZPs again.

My attempt at transcription:

I know what you're going to say: "Yahtzee, reviewing a JRPG? Perhaps I should quickly look outside to make sure the sky is not falling and the sea's not running red with blood, haw hee haw hee haw". Well, you smarmy cunt, I had heard that "The World Ends with You" does things differently from most JRPGs, and while I took that with mountainous piles of salt, I was intrigued when I noticed that it came out in the Powell regions [?] before America, so I thought: "If the release dates are from bizarro world, maybe the entire game is too and will turn out to be the first good JRPG".

Sadly, this uncharacteristic optimism started draining when I saw the box art and noticed that all the characters are undernourished teenage androgynes who do their hair in the morning by sticking their heads in buckets of lead-based paint and dress like they stepped on a landmine in a trendy clothes shop.

But let's be fair. Once I started playing I found it does things differently than most JRPGs, it just doesn't do *enough* things differently. Things started well when I immediately identified with the main character, a sullen hate-filled misanthrope. But sadly the developers seemed to think these were negative qualities. So before he could ascend in the nearest clock tower, he was roped into a mysterious "Challenge Anneka"-assed game where he has to complete arbitrary challenges on the streets of Shabooya or die. And he has to team up with a partner, partly to make the most of the DS's dual screen, but mostly to teach me a valuable life lesson about friendship and acceptance and everything else Sesame St. used to bang about whenever Cookie Monster wasn't around.

A major that turns me off JRPGs and a lot of games in general is when I don't feel that I as a player am contributing anything to the story. All I ever seem to do is wheel the character just from one wingy, boring dialogue to the next. Events driven by *their* actions, not mine. All I am is a little angry id who takes over for the combats, spending the rest of the time jumping up and down in the back of the main character's mind, yanking on nerve endings, trying to make him act like a pillock.

I'll show you what I mean. At one point in the second part of the game I was given the clue "30 + 74". Assuming your brain is located inside your skull and not your rectum, you can probably hazard that it adds up to 104, which was the pretentious name of a pretentious clothes shop near my starting location, but I couldn't actually go there because the street was closed off. It only opened after I went to another nearby location and sat through another dialogue-heavy cutscene in which I was bold-facedly told the answer to the puzzle.

This is *not* interactive storytelling, this is just reading. I know Japan has a very different culture to the west, but I will never understand why they like the visual-novel-style of games so much. The porno ones I can sort-of understand, at least there's the promise of titties to keep you motivated, but most of them play like choose-your-own-adventure books with half the pages ripped out, which kinda goes against the whole idea of gaming.

What I'm saying is that I like games where the story and gameplay go hand in hand, while in most JRPGs the story and gameplay are kept either side of a wrought-iron fence made of tigers.

Getting through the cutscenes is like eating a bucket of wallpaper paste, but once you struggle past the last few spoonfuls and move on, the combat is probably the best thing about the game, mainly because it's not turn-based and there are no random encounters - Two automatic gold stars in the special school that is the genre. Before fighting, you select a handful of badges to represent different attacks and activate them in battle by drawing on the touchscreen in their designated ways. The game does tend to frequently mistake one frantic scribble for another, and it seems to get really sniffy about what constitutes to be a circle, but chances are once you find a handful of attacks that work well together, you can pretty much get through the whole game using nothing but, and that every other pin gathers dust in the green room.

An aspect that doesn't work so well is the fact that the game expects you to rapidly switch between two screens and two completely different control systems throughout combat, and I couldn't get the hang of it. Maybe my mind isn't as vast and evolved as JRPG fans', but it was just too much of a clusterfuck. And this is coming from someone who can Psychedelic Freakout on expert.

Fortunately, the computer will take over the other character if you can't be arsed, and you get pretty much the same results, which just hangs a big question mark over the point of it all. Speaking of which, there is also a fashion trend system that changes your stats a bit if you wear the right-labelled clothing and badges to the right parts of the city. I never really noticed it making any much of a difference to gameplay, but I want to rag on it anyway, because A, fashion victims are one step below nematode worms in the grand scheme of things, and B, like many and silly JRPG elements, you need a fucking strategy guide spread across your thighs to make the most of it, and the only thing I like spread out across my thighs is marshmellow fluff.

But let's get down to it: Is TWEWY a good JRPG? I have absolutely no idea. I feel I'm on the edge of a frightening world I don't understand, treading water on the surface of a deep, deep lake full of weird smelling creatures with completely alien concepts of fun, and a tolerance for boredom to rival the man in the iron mask. There's too much dialogue, the characters are the same shallow stocks you get in every JRPG, and most of the gameplay outside of the main story quest amounts to a big old grind sandwich. But working from the principle that these are all selling points for the intended audience, it's gone [?] and the combat is okay, so if you're into this sort of thing, check it out! Now I have to go playing an FPS before my body finishes absorbing my testicles.

I agree that Yahtzee pegged many common aspects of JRPGS but there are people who like that and people who dont. I happen to enjoy playing most JRPGS and if I am having fun playing a game then I consider it a good game. See Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD) for the PS2.

Seeing this review I understand why Yahtzee hates JRPG. Altought he did something I would never thought of. Which is reviewing a Jrpg. Ill stop my post here because you actually get the point of what I'm saying

Happy birthday you charismatic stallion

Never quite understood JRPGs myself, I normally let my fiance play one and have him explain it to me when i walk in and out of the room when something interesting actually does happen. I think I'll stay with my Assassin's Creed and Bioshock for a little while longer

Happy birthday, and gratz on beating Psychobilly Freakout.

Ahahaha, I find it so sad how I actually recognize the visual novel screenshots that he put up as examples. Yahtzee, how'd you take OMGWTFOTL, eh?

*genuflects in front of Yahtzee.

I wouldn't call 'Challenge Anneka' an obscure reference, well maybe for Americans but the world doesn't revolve around the US!

I've just discovered Zero Punctuation.

You are very intelligent, Yahtzee. The metaphors, parallels, and jokes you make are all very funny. The problem is I have no time to laugh. What's the point of comedy if I can't enjoy it and laugh at it? I don't think this pacing does anything for your content. Oftentimes I'll miss really good, complex lines or jokes because it went by at the speed of light. I know it's your gimmick but it's still just a gimmick and honestly I think it's numbing your creativity.

Happy Birthday.

Good review.

Shame about the nothing's-coming-out-y time of year but solid review nonetheless.

I'd love to see Yahtzee tear apart a JRPG that's actually good, such as SMT: Nocturne. Of course that would never happen cause it's a niche game in a niche genre, not to mention rare as hell.

Now if only the camera was 100% focused on the main character's bum the entire time it would actually BE challenge anneka.

Was grinning throughout, and gave a burst of laughter at the "Spreadsheets are awesome!" because I do seem to subscribe to that mindset. It's mostly western RPGs that get me doing it though, namely NWN2 character builder and World of Warcraft damage calculator.

You raise a lot of good points about the genre, but as I enjoy reading as much as I like playing games, it's win/win for me. You're right that lots of things outside the main story need a strategy guide, though at least because it's on the DS you can carry it over to your computer and check out GFaqs or it's wiki!

As an aside, controlling both charas manually gives you more exp at the end of the battle, and is needed on the harder difficulties as otherwise the bosses will slap you silly. Also I find it weird that the main character knows like the square root of 3 (to like 10 s.f.) off by heart but can't add 30 and 74.

There are many good qualities to some JRPG's, like amazing story......and um.....some of them do have pretty good story.

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