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 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.