Zero Punctuation: The World Ends With You

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Kaos Incarnate:
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.

Well, until the final third. Then there are random encounters when switching areas.

Complete with an obnoxious cutscene that never changes before and after the random encounter.

I found that it's far more effective to just concentrate on the bottom screen if you've been over-evolving your pins. This is grinding, but thankfully while it takes obnoxious amounts of time, it's time spent not playing the game. Seriously. Evolving generally involves getting Rest PP (PP earned based on the time between save and load) and Mingle PP which can be earned by going into Mingle mode and then wandering off for a couple of hours. You'll get random encounters with things that offer PP.

The soundtracks annoying in that it got stuck in my head after a while. Caaaallling...

Psycho cane, you're so keen
I need more candy canes

(Really! From the song in the opening cutscene.)

I watched this one (of course, else I wouldn't be commenting), and I have to say...

While I enjoyed WEWY (I refuse to add the definite article to game titles unless I have to), Yahtzee (I got it right again! \o/) brings up some good points, which I shall now commence to refute and/or agree with.

To start with, a disclaimer: I am an RPG fan, and if it has RPG elements I'll usually happily pooter around for hours playing it. And yes, that includes Oblivion, though the NPC levelling seemed off to me (playing an Assassin, levelling up Blade slowly, I was always at a disadvantage). As a result, I was engrossed in the story, rather than my own involvement in it. 'Course, some more choice, a la Torment, would have been nice.

When I started, I kept switching clothes and pins to work better. Then... I gave up. Said "eh" and never looked back. This is especially true in the final stages of the game (no spoilers...), since some of the pins your find near the end do colossal amounts of damage, wether weakened or no.

The problem with the trends isn't that it's there. It's an original mechanic. The problem is that the charts only track four brands, and there are about 15 brands. If there were, maybe, 8 brands, and the charts tracked five brands, THEN it would be of more use, since you'd have to carefully consider your deck and your clothing on entering an area.

The combat... To be frank, I never bothered with the top screen till AFTER the game ended. Yes, that's right, AFTER.

... Oh, and during the last boss battle.

Someone commented that the partner gets in the way. And this, I've realised, is completely true. In most cases, the health bar will drop from the top (unless my partner's fighting bats or something, and I'm fighting the big horrible monster). If you don't have some restoratives, you're screwed unless you can pull off fusion.

And this is the incentive to learn how to control both screens. If you don't, there's a very slim chance that the AI will get enough stars for a fusion: it just attacks as necessary. If you take control, however, then there's a greater chance of getting fusion. It's also important in harder difficulty levels, since the enemy becomes much tougher.

The pattern recognition... I have to say, unless you use Sub-Slots, you're going to suffer from that a lot. The reason is that some pins have "slash across an enemy", some have "slash down on an enemy". Doing the second is the same as doing the first. Thus, you assign one to the Sub-Slots, and don't have to worry. In fact, the manual mentions this, as does the game at one point, saying that, if a pin has a similar activation to another, the pin on the left goes first.

I was impressed by the fact that the game didn't treat the touch screen like an optional third limb, like Advance Wars Dual Strike, and instead made using it integral to actually PLAY the game, ie the game used ALL of the DS's... I'll call them "features", some may call them "gimmicks". Although, to be perfectly honest, I never used any pins requiring blowing or shouting in public, no matter HOW powerful (and they're pretty damn powerful).

I enjoyed the game. It had a decent story. Of course, it IS the only JRPG I've ever played to the end. Every other one, I started, enjoyed, then had to shelve due to college. This one, I played on the way into college, so score one for the DS.

Overall, Yahtzee brings up some some good points, which I've commented on above. It is an excellent game for JRPG fans tired of same old, same old (as an aside, a number of western RPGs do the whole "turn-based" thing as well, notable examples being DnD RPGs. Of course, the turn-based stuff is hidden, but it's there), and is a good jumping-off point for those interested in this "JRPG" stuff some people keep harping on about.

And yes, discussing the same JRPGs with someone else can quickly get confusing to outside parties. Once, I was confused by discussions on the benefits of some materia over others and which enemies are more dangerous and why, among other things (less confused by the former now, but still confused by the latter, and everything else). When talking to a friend about this game, I suddenly realised that we were using terms no-one who hadn't played the game would understand, such as "mingle" (which is faaaaar too close to "Tingle" for my tastes...) and "Shutdown PPs" and "light puck" and "Noise" and "drop rate" (well, maybe not so much for the last). So, it's endemic to JRPGs: people talking about them are harder to understand than people talking about most other games.

And now, I'm off to resume study, and thence to get back to beating Another Day.

As an afterword, I loved the soundtrack as well.

PS: Happy Birthday, Yahtzee, you respectibly-hatted paragon of all that is wonderful about the internet.

Moments before watching this, I had just literally finished TWEWY so I found this to be momumentally hilarious.

Whether I will think this way in a few days, I don't know.

However, there are a couple of points raised that are actually spot on, mainly the 30+74 puzzle which also frustrated me into thinking: "do I even need to think in this game or are they going to tell me everything anyway?" - I let myself have it their way mind and loved every second of the game.

I love the combat though but who else is creeped out by the Noise symbols? CONSTANTLY creeped out by the taboo noise preying on me!!!!

exoneuk:
I love the combat though but who else is creeped out by the Noise symbols? CONSTANTLY creeped out by the taboo noise preying on me!!!!

The symbols? Not particluarly. The devs mentioned that they were styled on animal skulls, just... ummm... "tattooified" (they didn't say the last part, I made the word up). I've seen a fair amount of skulls. So, I just said "Oh, is that it? Useful" and thought no more on it.

Oh, also:

twilight_dweller:
Happy birthday you big Australian love-machine.

He IS English, y'know. I was going to say "British", but his accent is neither Scottish nor Welsh, and I KNOW it's not from No'rn Ir'n', so English it must be.

Yahtzee, you herculean exemplar, what the hell are you ragging on about?! I can understand your deep-seated hatred for the JRPG scene, but I think you give them perhaps too little credit where it's due. The following is my take on the game, and what you seemed to have missed.

Let me start with the story, with which you seem to quit halfway through out of either boredom or sheer desire to not read something other than a newspaper: there are so many plot twists in the story, it's almost impossible to make sense of it all, or so it would if this were your standard example of a JRPG, but it's not now, is it? The characters are... well, you had them pretty well pegged in your review of the game; they're JRPG characters, they're stereotypical of the genre, and they're fucking annoying because you can't seem to run away to take a piss without them following you to watch intently. But back to the point, the game gives you the equivalency of seven "days" to absorb the complete chapters of the storyline, learn more about all three of the self-image-obsessed girl that rags on about nothing all the time, the conniving back-stabbing knows-more-than-he-should-and-won't-share-with-you-'cause-Joshua-is-a-fucking-prick androgyne, and the wannabe gangster Player-turned-Reaper-turned-Player-again that you want to gag so as to not hear the voice actor go "BWAAAH!" anymore. Sure, it seems annoying now, but listen. As the story progresses, you learn about all the aspects of all the characters over an equal amount of time, not like the JRPG's usual tactic of hiding half the characters shrouded in mystery and when the final fight comes-- BAM! you're thrown headlong into some deep mushy life-story bullcrap that takes up the entirety of the final boss battle, effectively making you waste double the time that was really necessary. TWEWY can tell a good story... when it needs to. Which is almost every minute you're not running for your life, or beating the senselessness out of the Noise that randomly appear, and speaking of...

The combat system is something to behold: an interesting two-screen system that makes use of both the D-Pad (or A B X Y buttons, for all you Southpaws) and the stylus, which is, as you said, defunct half the time... at least at the points when the character up top is yelling at you to circle for your fucking lives! No, not a triangle, an ellipse, or a goddamn hyper-cube, a CIRCLE! Though the other pins are pretty ingenious as far as other controls are concerned; swipe your stylus to slash enemies, poke enemies to shoot energy bullets... just don't get too frantic with the poking or you'll end up stabbing through your DS in frustration. That'd kill all the Noise pretty fast, eh? Especially that fucking "BWAAAH!" noise-- what the fuck kind of demon possessed that man to make such a noise?! I personally thought the Fusion system got really redundant really fast, as all the computer character knows how to do is SPAM LEFT REALLY FAST and pray you get enough stars-- "AND IT IS ALWAYS STARS", said Yahtzee during his Super Mario Galaxy review-- to perform a Fusion attack that does less damage than one of your pins; though I digress, it was pretty cool to see a giant teddy bear basically rape everything on the screen for thirty seconds or slam a fuckload of cars on a dumbfounded hedgehog and his froggy subordinates. The option to change the level at which you fight enemies was probably the best addition to the system in a long time; imagine all the Japanese people kicking the Game Masters' asses at Level 1 on Ultimate... and the experience system is interesting, at least. You can gain experience by battle, by mingling with other people-- you can gain experience while you sleep, although that system is a bit broken if you have any clue on how the DS's basic functions work... and the clothing system is pretty well thought-out, but I know some of you sick fucks (and let's face it, I'm guilty of this as well, but I'm already the highest degree of "sick fuck" conceived to date and everyone knows it) but some of you will end up force-feeding Neku crepes 'til he's bursting at the seams just to get his bravery high enough to wear goth-loli clothing. Oh, and don't forget to take off any clothing that the second character is wearing before the final boss battles, because when they leave, so does the gear and your well-earned, well-wasted money... but I still give it two thumbs right up the ass of the JRPG stereotype for not thinking of this and sharing with the world sooner.

The one thing, and one thing only, that really pissed me off was "Tin Pin Slammer". What the fuck is "Tin Pin Slammer", and what relevance does it hold towards me trying to save myself from extinction? No, I don't want to waste twenty minutes flicking fucking pins at your fucking flicky pins when I could just as easily undo the safety pin at the back and stab you in the eyes! How does it feel now, Dan Shuto, you annoying little cunt?! I personally feel that "Tin Pin Slammer" is the single largest waste of space of time and space that the video game world has ever seen, right up there with "E.T." and "Shaq Fu".

All in all, I still give this game extremely high regards for its good storyline, its fantastic battle system-- I'm still taking some of those points away for "Tin Pin Slammer"-- and what with TWEWY being the single most popular game Square Enix has come out with since "Final Fantasy VII". Now go play something that makes sense before your mind becomes devoid of all logical thought. Oh, and before I forget, I wish you a happy revolving-once-more-around-the-Sun day to you as well...

Everytime I read or see anything involving the DS I get to the conclusion that the DS is just irritating.....I have a PS3 and monolith nuclear power plant of a PC and a Wii....and Wii is annoying as hell...but I have to admit..........fun ^_^.....for a while -.-

Now I'd love to see Yahtzee review the Penny Arcade game. It'd be funny to see a guy who make fun of games reviewing a game by some other guys who make fun of games.

KBKarma:

twilight_dweller:
Happy birthday you big Australian love-machine.

He IS English, y'know. I was going to say "British", but his accent is neither Scottish nor Welsh, and I KNOW it's not from No'rn Ir'n', so English it must be.

All I know is that he lives in Australia currently. And calling someone an Australian love-machine is funnier than calling them a British love-machine.

EDIT:
@ Gregorius
I kind of liked Tin Pin Slammer. It was a fun addition.

I don't mind Yahtzee hating any game as long as he gives a good, objective reason, which he did very well in this review.

Yahtzee improved from funny-yet-somewhat-childish-reviewer to much-less-biased-but-still-funny-reviewer

for a long time I thought he was British the n he kinda said he lived in Ausrtilia then he said he was british so my brian said what ever to anther meeningless topic

Sgt. Gunlock:
for a long time I thought he was British the n he kinda said he lived in Ausrtilia then he said he was british so my brian said what ever to anther meeningless topic

My Brian never talks. He's a dog, after all.

Don't take Yahtzee too serious, man.

Just sit back and have a giggle.

TheNix:
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.

Now that is not true, he wants INTERACTIVE story telling whereas JRPG's fall firmly into the category of MOVIE or CINEMATIC story telling, where we watch rather than participate in the story.

Senaro:

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.

Well... he (a jrpg's protagonist) usually is so I don't blame him/her.

TheDarkPrince:

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.

He puts out a consumer product, I'm a consumer saying the product sucks - there is no more important feedback, fanboy. But then, you probably already knew that I had hidden my criticism deep within a suggestion - cause your supernatural mental prowess clearly would miss nothing like that.

Also, to characterize Oblivion and World of Warcraft as the same type of game would be folly. Just as you wouldn't put Billy Madison in the same area of the movie store as a Patton Oswalt stand-up. Each of those are a different genre. The word genre is as small or large as a person wants to make it - Yahtzee clearly makes a distinction between western and JRPGS, which is precisely what I'm commenting on.

Now please, go find some other internet fad to defend witlessly.

twilight_dweller:

KBKarma:
He IS English, y'know. I was going to say "British", but his accent is neither Scottish nor Welsh, and I KNOW it's not from No'rn Ir'n', so English it must be.

All I know is that he lives in Australia currently. And calling someone an Australian love-machine is funnier than calling them a British love-machine.

Just to clear things up:

The little text under the video:
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder.

His accent is British. (Or, more accurately, his dialect is British. Freaking pedantic linguists.) Don't ask me where, specifically, I dunno. He currently lives in Australia.

Every biased Square-Enix fan of a game reviewer was praising this game. I don't see how they aren't finding Square-Enix's games repetitive. Great review. I heard what I wanted to hear--What makes this game annoying.

I'd say most console RPGs went downhill after FFVI.

If there's someone suspect of all of the wierdly dressed up characters, it's Tetsuya Nomura.

And I though Yahtzee like Paper Mario and the Mother/Earthbound series. Doen't those qualify as "jRPGs"? And what about Etrian Odyssey?

First of all, I totally called this one.

Secondly... Eh. It seems that Yahtzee was bit bit too concerned with spewing PURE HATRED to get any funny jokes in. Even if I like JRPGs and dislike FPS games, I'd rather him review another FPS game and be hilarious than review something I've actually played and be boring.

But all that might be because I enjoyed the game and my inner fan is screaming foul play. I'd like to think that isn't it, but it probably is.

I'm glad he realized how much he connects with the main character, at least at the beginning of the game. Uniting over their hatred for mankind!

sfried:
I'd say most console RPGs went downhill after FFVI.

If there's someone suspect of all of the wierdly dressed up characters, it's Tetsuya Nomura.

I would have to disagree. I too am pretty old school when it comes to RPG's but YOU CAN'T deny that we have had GREAT RPG games ever since FF 6. I don't feel like naming any, but you should know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Besides Crono Trigger came out after FFVI... as did Earthbound

I AGREE COMPLETELY!
I get so tired of games feeling like they have to hold my damn hand whenever I'm presented with some sort of obstacle, or rediculously simple puzzle. I mean if it' at least something challenging or clever I can understand them helping me along somewhat, but do they really think people are so stupid they need to tell you how to accomplish fucking ADDITION!?

I'd love to see him review crisis core and see how many chinks he can find in that armor.

As for the "you are stupid, let us help" factor, i think its more likely due to the fact that its a DS game intended for younger audiences.

I agree, most frustrating things about JRPG's are that they never involve YOU as the main character or acknowledge you doing anything for the storyline. It's always making a character that you either hate or like (mostly hate) do everything for you. Some games have crossed that line (Praise the ONLY good JRPG of 2007, Persona 3. In fact I would have to recommend it because it's so good, if anyone is looking for a great RPG.) and make you FULLY involved in the story. But again, great review, thanks for telling me the kinda stuff to look out for. I heard great reviews from many people, but since I often share your point of view, I find your reviews to be most helpful. I indeed played some of the games that were "Great" by ratings and found them to be exactly how you said it would be. The game reviewers of today fall into hype too much, and don't honestly look at bad or good points of a game. And the number system will always fail, because it's based on opinion. What we need is an overall look at the game, honest and true. You made a great point, "If you are into the JRPG's then you might want to take a look at this because it has done some interesting things." (Not exact quote) Sadly, I'm not too into the screwed up idea of fashion changing my stats. It kinda reminds me how they screwed up Final Fantasy 12. As far as I'm concerned.. the Final Fantasy was number 10.

the kinks and REM, very nice...oh and the review was good as well

Hmmm, time for Streaks to way in like he always does; with a bottle of gin in one hand and a stomach full of bile for any game Yahtzee reviews negatively, but that isn't nescesarily true this time because to be quite frank I agree with Pedro's comments on the first page. Sure we complain about JRPG's getting old but this is being spouted by the same people who say that the same game with the same guns same basic storyline and same crap brown and boring steel maps are Quote Works of Art Unquote. I quite like JRPG's in the fact that they usually have colourful and interesting Creatures and Scenery rather than Enemy Soldier B and Grey Wall A. I also like the Soundtracks for most of the Final Fantsy games, although I'm a fan of Rock I also like a good well composed piece of Orchestra and the opening theme for FFIX knocked my socks off.. although I agree most of the Characters are just plain unloveable but then again I've never shown much enthusiasm or affection for any Game Protaganists (Excluding Kain and Raziel).

Yahtzee I'm disappointed, I guessed you would use REM but than dismissed it when I remembered you had used it before. Poor, very poor.

*sigh* Yet another weekly masterpiece
"Hohihohiha" rofl

Hmmm... Is it just me, or does Yahtzee sound different today. Clearer maybe? Possibly a new microphone. Or maybe recorded in a more sound proofed room/setup... Who knows..... And am I the only one that cares :oD

FuZion.

A Username Not In Use:
Yahtzee I'm disappointed, I guessed you would use REM but than dismissed it when I remembered you had used it before. Poor, very poor.

What the hell is REM? That's a stage in sleep if I remember. REM sleep...

Happy birthday to youuuu, happy birthday to youuuu, happy birthday dear Yahtzeee, happy birthday to youuuuuuu!
(Sadly, this is all I can contribute with. I happen to like JRPGs.)

I've never been much for Jrpg's. I don't hate them, but I just can't get into them easily.

I really enjoyed Chrono trigger and FFVII though.

Anyways, great review. I'm glad you went outside your favored genres, and yet still didn't completely hate on the game.

And happy birthday apparently!

Gregorius:
[lots and lots of text]

"BWAAAH?!" I forgot about that. I wish I hadn't. *shuddder*

The game made me start caring about the characters. You can actually see Neku's evolution from introverted hate-monkey to decent human being over the course of the game. Which, y'know, is cool.

Yes, the AI sucks ass. No, the Fusion is not, necessarily, useless, since it will also heal you a bit, thus resulting in one hell of a last-minute save. Didn't know it did less damage than pins, though. Point is, though, it overcomes an enemy's resistance to either melee or ranged combat, and does the damage directly. It's also not affected by trends, so that's cool too.

But, yeah. Tin Pin Slammer. Not a CLUE why. I also missed the Imprinting mechanic, which went the way of the dodo and choosing your battles near the end. I miss it. :'(

I find these topics funny. Had Yahtzee said, "I think TWEWY is a solid RPG. Everyone with a DS should pick it up." or something to that extent, everyone would agree.

Gotta love Yahtzee fanboys.

Personally, I've lost interest for RPGs in general shortly after completing Tales of Symphonia. (Which I found really enjoyable.) And yes, FPS' are getting pretty stale nowadays, but you could say that for almost every genre.

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

First to come to mind are cutscenes affected by character stats and previous actions. So if you had to watch your archer do some sniping, his/her Archery skill would determine whether he/she killed, wounded, or missed the target. Or the course of an enemy ambush could change if you had the right items or laid some traps beforehand.

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