The World Ends With You is among one of my favorite games to come out for the Nintendo DS. Critically acclaimed at the time of its release, The World Ends With You has an engaging story, interesting characters, catchy music and unique art style that garnered pretty strong fanbases in both Japan and America. It’s also one of the few games that I think genuinely deserves a sequel because of how open its premise is. Sadly, it’s been eight years since the game’s release and we haven’t got one. The closest thing we’ve gotten is a (admittedly cool) secret ending video and the teaser image below. If nothing else, this at least shows that Square is interested in making a sequel eventually, so here are some of the things I would like to see in The World Ends With You 2.
5. New Setting
Based on the teaser image above, it looks like the sequel would potentially be set in Shibuya. While Shibuya’s stylized look in The World Ends With You made it dynamic and interesting to explore, I think that the sequel should take advantage of a new location entirely. Not only would a change of scenery give new life to the sequel by featuring a new, unique and creative place like Tokyo or Akihabara, it would also allow the story to be different as well. Shibuya was already saved in the last game, and it doesn’t need to be in danger again. Finally, by placing The World Ends With You 2 in a different place, it will give the development team a opportunity to overhaul the atrocious map on the top screen from the first game. I have very few complaints with the first game, but I could never read that thing to save my life.
4. Expanded Story
The story in The World Ends With You spans the course of three weeks, featuring new partners and challenges in each one. I enjoyed this set up immensely, and the ability to replay story quests was great. The lore of the game is really fascinating and interesting, but unfortunately, most of this extra information can only be found in the Secret Reports, which are unlocked through various challenges over the three weeks. These challenges can be quite difficult, and so a lot of the extra, fascinating background information that makes the main story all the more compelling can’t be appreciated. To fix this, I think the main story could easily be expanded in the sequel to accommodate the lore of the game’s universe while still feeling natural and fluid. By making the story longer it can give the writers extra opportunities to insert more information about the lore that makes the first game so enjoyable.
3. Improved Touch Screen Controls
The touch screen controls made The World Ends With You’s combat system one of most the unique and interesting when it came out for the Nintendo DS. Neku would be controlled on the bottom screen, while his partner is on the top screen. I really liked this setup because it used the DS to its maximum potential. While this made the game one of the most creative of its time, the touch screen controls could get wonky and imprecise, which could lead to some devastating blunders against bosses. Because of this, if the sequel is going improve upon the first one, the touch screen controls need to be more responsive. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to use a regenerating shield around me but instead summoned Rhyme to needlessly fly off the screen and not hit anything. Not okay.
2. More Pins
Neku’s fighting style in the World Ends With You relied on pins, where he could draw power from them and do an assortment of attacks ranging from telekinesis, conjuring flames or slashing. The game had a large variety of pins to choose from, and the player could create various decks of different pins to fit their needs. Ideally, using pins to fight in the sequel would help keep combat fresh and open, and giving players an even wider variety to choose from would be great. There could even be collectible pins based on defeated bosses or allies, much like Rhyme’s pin from the first game. Really, I just need an excuse to scour the cities for pins to collect and horde forever.
1. All New Characters
Most sequels feature the return of the main cast from the first game, and while this works in most games, I think for The World Ends With You 2 to stand on its own, it should take advantage of its premise. What I mean is that the premise doesn’t require the same characters to return: it’s open enough that new characters can be introduced and written well because it’s a strong idea. I love the cast from The World Ends With You a lot, but I think for them to return it would hinder the growth and experiences for the new characters; not to mention their return would more than likely ruin the growth they gained from the first game. I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to see some cameos of the previous cast members – that would be great. But unless they can be woven into the story in a way that doesn’t feel cheap, that’s as far as it should go. Anything more than that, and the new characters will be overshadowed. Luckily I think the teaser picture has the right idea and I hope the new characters are just as well-written and endearing as the cast of the first game.
And there you have it! Square Enix doesn’t have the best track record with releasing sequels that aren’t several years apart, but I’m going to remain optimistic that they will one day return to this gem and give it the sequel it deserves. Now to hide in the corner depressingly and listen to The World Ends With You soundtrack while I carve my pleas for the sequel in the wall.
10 thoughts on “My Wishlist for The World Ends With You 2”
Love this game and it’s one of the earlier games in my possession when I was still very new to being a gamer! 🙂 I can’t say I had a lot to complain about the first game either. I enjoyed spending time in trendy Shibuya and it made me reminisce on the time I actually visited that area of Tokyo a long time ago. Gameplay was really fun and the characters were amazing. I definitely enjoyed Neku’s development the most from detached kid who didn’t really care about anyone to someone who will fight hard for the friends he gained over the course of the story. I was also very obsessed with collecting as many new pins as I could get my hands on. I wanted the best ones, but I also really liked gaining some of them for the look of it. It almost made me wish I could find some of these pins in real life!
I agree with everything you outlined for a potential sequel. A new area and protagonist is very doable based on how the world is set up. Though I’ll admit, I don’t really mind if a sequel never sees the light of day. I was so satisfied with the first game that I’m completely okay with leaving that world the way it is. But if a sequel were to surface somewhere in the future, I’m definitely going be all over it in a heartbeat. 😀
Yeah I remember finding this game by accident and then scouring the GameStops in Phoenix to find it! It wasn’t easy hah hah, but boy was it worth the search because it’s definitely one of my favorite games. It’s awesome that you visited Tokyo before! I would love to visit Japan someday, it would be awesome to see all of the real world inspirations for this game! 😀
Neku is definitely a great character too because of how much he grows – I recommended the game to a friend and at one point he was like “Neku’s a jerk!” and I was like, “I know, that’s the point, and don’t worry cause that won’t last!” I wanna say that I thought they released some of the pins as merchandise? But who knows if that merchandise made it over here to the states. I would wear them either way!! Especially Rhyme. So cute. Please someone make that real.
Yeah, you know, sequels are always a struggle. Because some games (like KH), hugely benefit from their sequels while games like Tales of Xillia 2 are arguably awful and sort of ruin the charm of the original. On one hand, I think a sequel to this game would do really well, so I do hope it happens someday, just cause I would totally play one. Any excuse to be sucked into a fun, creative universe like this one is fine by me! 😀
I feel that this game is one of those underrated games when it came out at the time. At least over here. It’s a shame too because it’s so good! I don’t think it got the recognition it deserved. Yeah, Tokyo is great and I definitely encourage you to make a trip during your life time for sure! Akihabara is especially a can’t miss for any anime fan or passionate gamer. 🙂 Shibuya really looks exactly how you see it in the game with the crazy crisscrossing pedestrian crosswalks. The city is a wonderful mix of the modern and sacred with its quiet nooks housing the most beautiful Japanese shrines and temples.
Did your friend end up liking the game though? I agree, the whole point was to see Neku start off as this bratty selfish kid who’s really disconnected from everyone and life in general. His character evolution is one of the finest piece of writing I’ve seen in a video game. Watching him grow and mature as you continue playing the game makes your investment in finishing the game really rewarding. You see Neku become the best version of himself. He really does learn the value of friendship and to not take life for granted. These are universal themes anyone can relate to.
Sequels are really a huge gamble no matter what medium they are. They either hit or miss. I guess we won’t really know if a sequel for The World Ends With You will be just as good as the first game, but I think if you have good writers and developers on board who understand what makes the first game as good as it is, a sequel may turn out just fine. 🙂
Yeah, I agree about how underrated it was at the time it came out. I’d like to think that improved as time went on, but yeah, I was sort of lucky to even hear about it at the time it came out. All of your descriptions about Japan sound so beautiful! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit there someday.
I don’t know if my friend ended up finishing it, but I recommended it to another friend and let him borrow my game so hopefully he will like it. But I have to agree that Neku’s character development is fantastic. There’s something really rewarding about seeing a character grow from being selfish to someone you can really look up to and appreciate. It’s definitely all about the journey and the end result, rather than how the character starts out. It’s even more compelling because of the death motif throughout the game, and it’s also great that all of the characters have their own moments to shine and grow and become different from how they were before they died.
I guess time will tell if Square Enix will end up making a sequel or not. I think as long as they get the original writers and developers, it should go well. We can only hope right? 🙂
All this talk about the game made me remember I wrote a post about the music a long time ago for Geek Force Network when it was still around!
Still one of my favorite soundtracks to listen to and if only I had the time to go back and play the game again! 🙂
Those were great selections of tracks simpleek! Thank you for sharing them with me, the Calling and Title Theme songs are my favorites! 🙂
I fully agree with your choices, especially the need for improved touch screen controls. Performing certain motions and either getting no reaction from the character or triggering an attack I did not intend to execute was always rather frustrating.
Yeah when I first started writing this, I was thinking about the controls, and at first I thought “Oh they weren’t so bad” but then I thought about it more and remembered that there SO many times that I would use the wrong pin (or just stand there and get duffed in the face because it didn’t work) and how problematic it could be, hah hah. I wonder if the game played more smoothly on the IoS? The screenshots made it look really cluttered, but I do wonder if the touch screen controls worked better or about the same?
Hopefully they improved on that on the IoS. I remember getting awfully frustrated with losing tight boss battles because of control screw ups.
Can’t agree more! If nothing else, playing the IoS version would be worth it just to see the art and character models in HD. 🙂