It's really happening. Fans of The World Ends With You all over the world today had their prayers answered as Square Enix finally dropped a trailer for another game in the franchise, NEO: The World Ends With You. Not only has this sequel been due for over a decade, but the trailer is filled with tiny, easily missed references and details that only a complete obsessive would notice. Since most people aren't like that, allow me to explain what's so damn exciting about this trailer and why I now have to touch up my o-pin tattoo before the summer of 2021.
NEO: The World Ends With You & the Return of the Cool Characters
The first thing that the trailer for NEO: The World Ends With You shows off are the main characters. Even at first glance, this crop of characters looks like they fit straight into the world of TWEWY completely. At the same time, it's nice to see that the clothing style has been updated a little bit. The entire premise of the original game was that trends were constantly changing and evolving; because of that, some of the tech and clothing items are now completely outdated. Seeing these elements bought forward and matched with our modern era is great to see.
That doesn't even begin to discuss the questions that erupt from my brain when the fourth main character is revealed. Minamimoto is a character who will be recognized by anyone who played through the first game. Basically, he's a super math genius who also spent a decent chunk of the previous game as one of the antagonists. I won't go into his storyline or arc just in case you haven't played the original yet (go and do it. Now), but needless to say, his appearance as a playable character here is mysterious.
Has he switched allegiances? Is there some background stuff going on that prompted his inclusion in the game this time around? More importantly, does his appearance here change the timeline of the new game? It seems like time has gone by when you take into account modern technology and the fact that another amazing character, Koki Kariya, is also present and looks a little older. If this is a true sequel to the first game, there are lots of questions posed by the trailer alone.
That Music Though
A huge part of what got the original game stuck in people's minds was the soundtrack, and it looks like NEO: The World Ends With You is going to come in strong in that area as well. The original OST was amazing but also very off-beat and kind of crazy in places. The new sound follows a very similar trend, with metal and rock riffs giving away to some hip-hop influences at times, and of course, occasional horns because, honestly, would it even be a TWEWY game if horns weren't involved somewhere along the way?
Probably the biggest point of musical excitement comes at about the one-minute mark of the trailer. It sounds like they've taken one of the most popular tracks from the original soundtrack, known as "Twister," and re-imagined it for the new game. A weak soundtrack could kill a game like this, but if this homage to the original indicates the rest of NEO: The World Ends With You's score, then it seems like the music might be in good hands after all. Hopefully, Takeharu Ishimoto is composing again.
The Little Details of NEO: The World Ends With You
There were some other little details in the NEO: The World Ends With You trailer that you may not have noticed as well. Firstly, it seems like at least some of the brands from the first game are back again. At one point towards the end of the trailer, you can see the main character, Rindo, is seen wearing a "Jupiter of Monkey" hoody underneath his jacket. It's possible that this could mark a return of the trend system from the last game that saw certain pins and clothes become more effective depending on how popular they were.
It also seems like the connection between your main characters will also be an important factor yet again. During the battle gameplay, a sync percentage can be seen at the top of the screen. In the last game, this mechanic rewarded you with a powerful attack for synchronizing your moves with your partner. With four playable characters this time around, and as far as I can tell, no need to control them simultaneously, how this sync meter is going to work is a total mystery right now.
If all of that isn't enough to hype you up, look at what we're getting here. It's a full 3D rendering of a highly stylized modern Shibuya. We're getting to see what happened to some of the most interesting characters in Square Enix history, and we'll be getting to see it on full-fledged consoles. Presumably, there also won't be any gimmicky control issues either. The Switch might be able to include that sort of thing, but the PS4 version at least will be the closest we've ever gotten to a pure RPG TWEWY experience.
You can check out the NEO: The World Ends With You trailer below. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 worldwide in summer 2021.
What do you think of NEO: The World Ends With You? Are you excited about the upcoming game? Let us know what you think in the comments below.