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access_time June 29, 2021 at 6:00 AM in Previews by Brian Zuhl

Preview | NEO: The World Ends With You

Now that the NEO: The World Ends With You demo has been out for a few days, we’ve had a chance to gather some initial opinions of the game. The demo consists of the first two chapters of the game with progress carrying over to the full release. While some features have yet to be unlocked, the demo shows a lot of promise for the upcoming RPG.  The sequel features a similar plotline to the first, but with a new cast of characters. This time you’ll be following Rindo and his best friend Fret. Unfortunately, Rindo hasn’t shown much personality yet. Hopefully he gets his time to shine later in the game. Fret however, is a fun and energetic character, giving me hopes for future party members later in the game.

NEO has the same anime style artwork as the first game, however it has changed from 2D to 3D animation while keeping the original style. The 3D animation is beautiful during both combat and exploration. Cutscenes are a little rough however. Frame rate on the animation is low, making movements look choppy and sluggish. This may not be a big deal for some but is worth noting for those who like clean animations throughout. 

With the change from DS to console also comes drastic changes to the combat as well. With the original DS game, you controlled two characters at once using the dual screens of the DS. Now that you only have one screen available, combat is handled much differently. It still manages to feel similar however, as you now control an entire team at once. Each character is assigned to one ability and will all be controlled in real time. While this sounds overwhelming, it’s much easier than you would expect. Flashy team combos flow naturally, as if you were controlling a single character. 

The abilities themselves have a good variety. Each character in your party equips a pin, giving them an array of abilities ranging from pyrokinesis to simple melee combos. There’s only a few available in the demo, but considering each enemy type has separate pin drops, you can expect there to be many powers to choose from. The amazing soundtrack of the original is present as well, with a mixture of both new tracks, old tracks and some remixes thrown in as well. 

So far the demo has been an absolute blast, recapturing the style of the original game but still keeping up with modern gaming standards.  If you’ve played the first game, the nostalgia will hit hard. Fans of the original should definitely look forward to this sequel. Though newcomers may not understand some of what’s happening, it still looks to be a great RPG experience regardless. The full game releases July 27, 2021 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, with a PC release expected to follow shortly after. Are you looking forward to NEO: The World Ends With You? Did you play the first game? Let us know in the comments below!

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