The Return of Old Friends - The World Ends With You: Solo Remix - iOS -
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The World Ends With You: Solo Remix

The Return of Old Friends

When it came out in 2007 in Japan, Square Enix's The World Ends With You used the Nintendo DS's dual screens and that system's lower touchscreen to great effect. It's no surprise then, that the company has re-released the game for iOS systems with their touchscreens. The game's iOS version, dubbed Solo Remix, does what a good port should – it retains all the flavor of the original while adapting itself to its new home.

Solo Remix is essentially the same game that garnered critical acclaim back when The World Ends With You originally released here in the States in 2008. Set in modern-day Tokyo, Neku and the friends he begrudgingly adopts must overcome an invasion of the Reapers (chuckle) and their minions known as Noise. I wasn't enraptured with the game's story or its annoyingly Japanese characters, but with the depth of the game itself.

Players collect and level up pins that enable specific attacks, upgrades, and other benefits. These are dropped in battles, but can also be bought in stores around Tokyo. The game not only has different areas of Shibuya you travel to, but a whole running economy based on which pins are most popular from certain stores in the area. The more popular a pin is at that moment, the more effective it becomes and vice versa. This also goes for clothes and other items you can equip on your character for boosts.

The fact that Solo Remix retains this infrastructure goes a long way towards making this a full-fledged iOS title and not just another slight distraction on the platform. The original game's dual-screen combat system was a big selling point, and Solo Remix does its best to adapt it to the single screen of iOS devices. I prefer the one on the DS, but this one has its advantages, and does not hamper my recommendation of this game regardless of where you play it.

Instead of you and your in-game friends simultaneously fighting foes on both DS screens, the action is relegated to a single screen. Your friends' attacks are enabled with your finger touches, and you alternate their attacks with your own to build up a synch percentage. Get a 100 percent or greater and you can unleash a Fusion attack. This replaces the Fusion/stars system from the original.

Although I miss the dual-screen battles of the DS game (and its ESP cards), iOS offers its own solution. You unleash a devastating Fusion attack by going to a separate screen and performing a quick minigame (which changes depending on which friend main character Neku is paired with at the time). Overall, iOS handles the different pin attacks well (performed by actions like poking, sweeping, etc. the screen), although it's a good idea to vary your pin loadout so you don't overlap similar, and possibly confusing, combat situations. Not doing so could even negate potential combo opportunities with your in-game friends because their attacks and yours might require similar touch commands.

Solo Remix also includes exclusive Twitter support. If you enable it you can populate the in-game world with the tweets and the game's Friend Cards from you real-life friends (and their tweets, too). It's a cool addition as you wander Shibuya and scan people's thoughts to see your friends' tweets populate the game. You can also fill it with tweets pertaining to any hashtag or topic you choose.

Solo Remix is available now for iPad 2 and iPhone 4 (and onwards) for $19.99 and $17.99, respectively. Each is sold separately and the game is not a universal app. Naturally, iPad 2's Retina display makes things beautiful, and performing the touchscreen battle actions and navigating the world are more comfortable on the tablet. However, the iPhone version is not hampered by its smaller screen. No matter which way you go, I definitely recommend checking this game out.

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  • I would have bought this day one if it wasn't $18. The World Ends With You is one of my favorite games of all time, and has one of the best game stories ever. Never saw the twist coming.
  • I just wish they put a form of this on's entirely possible...wouldn't have made me mad about the whole countdown thing...
  • For anyone who can, please do buy the superior DS version.
  • "Neku and the friends he begrudgingly adopts must overcome an invasion of the Reapers" Way to lie about the plot. The Reapers don't invade Shibuya, they run it. The game is about Neku surviving the mysterious Reaper's game, there is no invasion at all.
  • Glad to hear that this is a good port. I was initially worried that the combat wouldn't work very well on iOS devices, but it sounds like Square came up with a good solution. I already have the DS game but I'll probably check out this version once I get a new iPod.

  • Stranger talks highly of this game so I may get it soon. It looks interesting.

  • While, like most people, I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that the countdown was only for an iOS release, however after giving it some thought I'm glad it came out. For one thing, it allows even more people to experience the story and all that- maybe people who didn't hear of the game when it came out or don't own a DS, so it's good to see that it still holds up on the iPad. I would get it myself, but I have an iPad 1 lol

  • It was a better Idea of copying Kingdom Hearts and putting a new game on a different console first before going back. But instead, the chose a port...remake, before a Sequel. Now the question is what system will the next game will be on. Hopefully 3DS.

    Well both versions are worth the time, and worth a look. But since I only have android I'll just keep the DS version myself.

  • Sounds like a pretty nice title. I never played the original, but maybe I'll download it later.

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  • I'm a bit less disappointed now after  watching the solo remix's ending... still got some hope left.

    Then again, I feel as if TWEWY is one of those games that doesn't need a sequel, but wouldn't mind seeing more of in the future. Well, at least if it's done right.

  • At that price? That's really dumb, you could get the original, better version for the same, if not less, than that online. Realistically, only get this if you do not have a DS or 3DS that you can use.

  • You know what would be better? If they made a sequel..

  • I love the DS version. I sadly don't have a ipad/ipod touch. C'mon, Squeenix! Bring to the VITA!

  • "...annoyingly Japanese characters..." That's a...really nice way to describe the characters, even if you think they're annoying. Not like it takes places in Japan or anything.

    ...Oh wait.
  • the original is literally my favorite game of all time, largely for the story. Not sure what game you're playing.. Also, the lack of true dual-screen combat means I'm not gonna buy this.
  • well one amazing thing that came from this port...the picture in the secret ending....who...who is she? ;l

  • Love this game this is one of square enix's best and most original games

  • I saw this game but then I look at it and think "pass". Maybe one day I'll play it but that day isn't today.

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