Zero Punctuation: The World Ends With You

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Yahtzee uses visual novel screenshots?

Excuse me, I have to go check for flying meat byproducts AND if the Mythbusters are launching meat rockets. The latter's absence may mean something significant.

Oh, and congratulations for getting one year closer to croaking you charismatic stallion you.

Gasp! Reusing a song? Tut tut Mr Yahtzee. Oh and happy birthday

good reveiw. :3 i'd have to say i agree with most of what you said.

and happy birthday. :D

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.

I just wanted to suggest the Shin Megami Tensei series in general while it's on my mind. The Press-Turn/One More systems are simple yet surpringly good.

I'll just spread a transcript across your thighs:

I know what you're going to say. "Yahtzee reviewing a JRPG? Perhaps I shall quickly look outside to make sure the sky is not falling and the seas are 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 to most JRPGs, and while I took that with mountainous piles of salt, I was intrigued when I noticed that it came out in the PAL 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 do things differently to 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 the nearest clock tower, he was roped into a mysterious Challenge Anneka-esque game where he has to complete arbitrary challenges on the streets of Shibuya or die. And he has to team up with a partner, partly to make the most of the DS dual screen, but mostly to teach him a valuable life lesson about friendship, and acceptance, and everything else Sesame Street used to bang on about whenever Cookie Monster wasn't around.

A major thing 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 characters from one whingy boring dialogue to the next. Events are driven by their actions, not mine; all I am is a little angry id who takes over for the combat, spending the rest of the time jumping up and down in the back of the character's mind, yanking on nerve endings, trying to make him stop acting 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 this 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 through 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 game 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 kind of 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 finally struggle down 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 that 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 a circle, but chances are you'll find there's a handful of attacks that work well together that you can pretty much get through the whole game using nothing but, and that every other pin gathered dust in the green room. An aspect that doesn't work so well is the fact that the game expects you to switch rapidly between two screens and two entirely different control systems throughout the 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 beat Psychobilly Freakout on Expert. Fortunately, the computer will take over the other character if you can't be arsed, and you'll get pretty much the same results, which just hangs a big question mark over the point of it all. Speaking of which, there's also a fashion trend system that changes your stats a bit if you wear the right label clothing and badges in the right parts of the city. I never really noticed any of it making 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 ancilliary 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 across my thighs is Marshmallow Fluff.

But let's get down to it: is TWEWY a good JRPG? I have absolutely no idea; I feel like 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 a completely alien concept 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 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 got an original aesthetic, and the combat is OK, so if you're into this sort of thing, check it out. Now I have to go play an FPS, before my body finishes absorbing my testicles.

Whoops, didn't notice the other one above. Oh, well. Twice the Yahtzee for ya.

Very fun review, and happy birthday!!...so it seems.

Well, you've convinced me even more to stay away from JRPGs. I tried to play Final Fantasy 7 once, upon hearing that it was 'TEH BESESESET GAEM EVAR!' and found it really boring. I then played Fallout and all other RPGs just seemed rubbish.

-An RPG rant condensed into 3 lines by Livi70590.

well since mostly everyone here HATES JRPG's (I'm not a huge fan of them either, but I don't dislike them by any means) let me just state something so that I can vent a little; I HATE FPS's! just as much as Yahtzee hates JRPG's. There, I feel better now.

Well, those are some good points raised. I usually don't really read and i already think this is complex to me.

But what i do dislike is what you said, you have to be able to look at both screens in order to win a fight. This is all nice and dandy, but if you get to the later days, you'll find yourself that your partner, doesn't matter if it's manual or auto controlled, is getting in the way.
They both share the same HP bar. On the top screen, you don't have as much control as on the bottom one. Your partner can only stay in one spot.
What i'm trying to get to, is just one thing, and that is the enemy attacks. I think they weren't thought out very well, to keep it somewhat fair. Especially in the later ones. I'll expand on this.

Yo uare concentrating on that green light puck most of them, trying to make it go fast between you and your partner. The more it went between those two, the more damage the finisher does. But doing it this way, you don't have enough time to look at that porcupine thing, or a shark, for example. especially the porcupine thingie, it shoots out 'bombs' that explode over time near that partner. Your partner keeps taking damage, and this is where it all falls apart. Your partner is just something that's in the way, a big obstacle, so to say.

That's my main gripe with the battle system. No matter how hard you try, you always end up getting hurt on the top screen, most of the time. Now, this doesn't matter if there is only one enemy there, but if there are more, it will go into cluster fuck mode.

If they redo that system, i'd be happy to buy the sequel of it. If the battle system is redone...

I've come to a conclusion about comparing WRPG's and JRPG's... it's like comapring kinds of cheese. Sure, both are cheese, but in the end Cheddar tastes NOTHING like Mozarella and hence they aren't remotely the same thing, there are different kinds of Cheddar and Mozarella that stack up better being compared to each other than different kinds of cheeses, as if you hate Cheddar, it's not gonna make a lick of difference to you whether its smoked applewood or white american.

I heard JRPG's Make your penis smaller

Ambition:

I say "Meh".

Unless Escapist is handing him these games to review, he needs to just stop reviewing them and do something he's not already going to dislike in it's entirety - which leads to, in my opinion, a less than stellar job (go watch SimCities review to get what I mean.)

What we know about Yahtzee:

1.) He hates JRPGS
2.) He hates People.
3.) He hates JRPGS.

It's called a genre for a reason, and I haven't seen anything change in it since Chronotrigger (the last good one).

Yahtzee, next week, just pre-review every JRPG to come out in the next ten years and tell us it's really going to suck - you won't be telling us anything new, and ten years from now you can say 'I told you so'.

It's not called a genre though, the genre in this case would be RPG.

Saying it's a genre would be like saying "Action Movies By Steven Speilberg" is a genre (or quake maps for that matter if you're going to complain that there are enough JRPGs for it to be a legitimate genre, I guarantee there are more Quake maps than JRPGs out there).

I always love reading people telling Yahtzee what to do. He has pulled in however many million viewers and single handedly popularised this site, but he clearly needs advice from someone as knowledgeable and important as you.

Does anyone thing that someone in the Escapist is just feeding him these to keep his Bile Level Maxxed out?

And how come REM's song was used when "No More Heroes" was too obvious, eh?

Dante_Alucard:
I heard JRPG's Make your penis smaller

Uh huh, and what does being an anime/annoying JAction game fan make you?

Hold on a second... Yahtzee is good at Guiat Hero? Isn't that what he complained about in his review of GHIII? And illustrated in his review of SSBB?
And I'd like to see what he thinks of Metal Gear Solid 4 when it comes out. I hear it has multiple 90-minute cutscenes!

Hell, if he thinks that TWEWY is bad for cutscenes... play the original Xenosaga. It's like watching a movie that you have to walk around and figure out where the next scene is...

*watches review*

Um, Yahtzee, stop reading my thoughts. That little monologue at the beginning of the review was me thinking "What the hell, he hates JRPGs!"

Yahtzee, I don't get why you hate dialog so much and profess to love the Mother series. Unless you've got a version where the turn based battles are replaced with first person shooters.

wats a jrpg?

I see Yahtzee's point on this...

In a game like say... Trapt. The cutscenes usually make little to no sense whatsoever, and are overly and unnecessarily long. In games like Bioshock, where the action is constant (not breaking out of the character) it's much more fluid.

It reminds me of his review on Mass Effect... however, I do believe that the cutscenes in that game are quite entertaining and relevant to everything.

im gonna guess its a junior role playing game......enjoyed the vid btw!

DGKT93:
wats a jrpg?

Japanese Role Playing Game.

Well, it's good to know why Yahtzee hates JRPGs. All complete valid reasons. Myself, I just loathe the random encounters and not being able to move and explore my environment. But I'm a platformer gal.

I get a sick satisfaction knowing the dual battle gimmick ended up being impossible. I always suspected it would be- either you'd have to abandon one of through any semblance of strategy to the wind and go buttonmashy on it.

Happy birthday, Yahtzee. You're an adult male who reviews video games for a living, you rock star.

ETA:

owosso:
Hold on a second... Yahtzee is good at Guiat Hero? Isn't that what he complained about in his review of GHIII? And illustrated in his review of SSBB?
And I'd like to see what he thinks of Metal Gear Solid 4 when it comes out. I hear it has multiple 90-minute cutscenes!

He's good at GH and probably GHII. He was bitching in the GHIII review about the difficulty, so no, he's not good at GHIII.

Poptart Fairy:

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.

I wasn't arguing, I was mearly stating my preference to FPSs

cheers that jrpg thing was buggin me! lol

Wrothgarr:
I've never heard of this game before but I already agree with everything he says about it. Non-existant pre-order theoretically cancelled

You know how fucking retarded that sounds

COME YATHZEE, WHIP IT OUT

I mean, I don't even care about the damn game.

LadyZephyr:
Well, it's good to know why Yahtzee hates JRPGs. All complete valid reasons. Myself, I just loathe the random encounters and not being able to move and explore my environment. But I'm a platformer gal.

I get a sick satisfaction knowing the dual battle gimmick ended up being impossible. I always suspected it would be- either you'd have to abandon one of through any semblance of strategy to the wind and go buttonmashy on it.

Happy birthday, Yahtzee. You're an adult male who reviews video games for a living, you rock star.

May I point out random battles aren't in TWEWY and the dual screen battle isn't that hard, or at least to me it isn't hard.

I agree entirely with Yahtzee, JRPGS are indeed catered to a select group of gamers.
But then so are all video games really but I suppose these types of games have a smaller audience overall, at least outside japan anyway. I've played my fair share of jrpgs but only ever bothered to complete maybe 2, if that. Western rpgs on the other hand, like diablo, mass effect, etc were brilliant and i replayed them many times. Its weird really as the basic gameplay elements aren't that different. Maybe its that most western rpgs don't have you reading mountains and mountains of text and generally have more intuitive gameplay mechanics, at least from my experience.

Oh and this is my first post, long time watcher/reader though. Kills me that I missed seeing Yahtzee in person last weekend, ah well hopefully I'll make his next trip to melbourne.

Great review , laughed my ass off.
Also coming from the standpoint of a person who loved "Star wars:knights of the Old Republic" i have to say most JRPGs have that boring unskipable useless dialog, that they cram in just to claim the "We have 30 hrs of game play!" sticker like most JRPGs with some story would have anyways.Seriously it feels like I'm having my ear canals raped by a man wearing a sandpaper condom.

Again Great review keep it up!

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what he means here. I take a non interactive story to be one wherein you have no change on the story itself, but that doesn't sound right cause thats the same with everything. Unless you sit on your ass reading comic books instead of playing, the Doom Marine will go through hell and kill the huge mark of evil thats actually a developers head on a stick. Altair will still kill a bunch of guys, feel guilty and then find out why, and the ending will still be shit.

Then again, the last JRPG I played was Golden Sun : The Lost Age, So I guess I can't really understand.

I like the song choices.

Seems like he doesn't like story in games. Or likes games lacking story better. I guess you just gotta keep in mind that yahtzee seems to like FPS and that's really all.

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

And thus it's a bad policy for a non-Japanese critic to review a Japanese game, and vice-versa. Cultures differ by A LOT, so it's like comparing apples to oranges, which is a bit unfair.

Codgo:
FPS does have its problems and occasionally stale genres, but its surprising 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 laughed. Hard.

---

As far as this review, I would whole-heartedly agree. After all, the game comes from the same people who made KHII, which was not even that good of a button-masher game, much less action rpg. Also, Nintendo's getting decrepit. I expected this, and your picking at the stereotypes they used was PERFECT!!! 10/10 for Yahtzee and happy birthday too.

As a side note, the visual novels actually do have choices that you can make that change how the story goes (well, the good ones anyways). The problem is that some of them have pretty stereotypical characters so no matter what story you pick you end up getting bored by the result. I think people who are heavy into RPGs are often so depressed from the all action, less story games of America and are seeking a guiding light of good story. Even if it means not feeling like you're the main character, it can still be a good game so long as they let you be a puzzle-solver (like you pointed out, Yahtzee).

Personally, I keep it balanced. I play games like Xenosaga (amazing story chock full of interesting stuff, but gameplay is a bit eh until the third episode. at least there are plenty of puzzles to deal with that aren't big fucking board games with spiky dice *growl*) and GU (surprisingly good realtime RPG, but the story's a little off-kilter, plus the characters are rehashes of Final Fantasy VIII characters. That's right, I said it!) for a while, and then play Duke Nukem (Duke's funny as hell, and watching pig-cops blow up into chunky bits is fun. screw story, it's just fun game to play), Armored Core (custom destruction machine yay, but learning curve is fucked up. Thank God for lock-on feature), or a Metroid game (Metroid. enough said) later on. I do have Halo one (PC version, runs like a grandma. story is bland, but blowing stuff up is fun, especially when the stuff is ally marine guy), but I'd only resort to it if I wanted to put on infinite grenades and ammo for rocket launcher and listen to all the grunts squeal as they blow up and fly in the air. X3 *clears throat*

In any case, everything you hit was very true and can't be reputed. However, for those who are fans of JRPGs, that's just what they like about it sometimes. Still, I wouldn't expect as much of a fanboy response as you did when you tore apart Brawl (which was AWESOME how you hit every point I brought up to my friends who obsessed over it) because 1) JRPG fans are still a minority and 2) most of them are smart enough to realize that you're obviously not a big fan of RPGs with intense storyline and average gameplay (not talking about TWAT or whatever the abbreviation for this game is) so they shrug and say "He's right, but then again, I like it like that, so there's no reason to go yelling at him over something meaningless."

Yeah, this post is a little long, but that tends to happen. ^^; Anyways, I approve of this review, as a fan of good games and one who thought QTE was referring to the media player for about five seconds after first hearing the term.

Happy birthday, Yahtzee. Live long and rip apart more bad games to make room for the good ones! Peace out!

Hahaha, only Yahtzee could find some way to fit a Challenge Anneka reference into his reviews. While I dont hold the JRPG's gameplay similarities against them (dead on for anyone who accused FPS's of the same thing) I have to agree that the teenage/androgynous/spiky hair gig really pisses me off. Also agree with the segregation of story and gameplay, but since I consider JRPG's to be often wooden anyway, I stopped caring.

If what everyone else is posting is true, Id just like to say..... Im not going to say it, and I dont know why anyone else is. It would feel too weird for me.

I agree entirely with Yahtzee, JRPGS are indeed catered to a select group of gamers.
But then so are all video games really but I suppose these types of games have a smaller audience overall, at least outside japan anyway.

I'm guessing you're from usa? I think in europa jrpgs (and the ps3) are pretty popular too

Seriously it feels like I'm having my ear canals raped by a man wearing a sandpaper condom.

I'd second that only for the horrible choice of voice actors ;_;

I have to agree that the teenage/

ok this is lame...

androgynous/

but this isn't. this has the same reason british would draw a car with the stearing wheel on the right side

spiky hair gig really pisses me of

same as above

Happy birthday you big Australian love-machine.

In any case I liked TWEWY. I actually thought that the Main character was a parody of the normal emo characters of the Square franchise. Resulting in the big old moral of, "Emo people suck."

And the method I use for the Dual Screen combat is just to hammer on left and right for the entire battle. Or Y and A if you're left handed.

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