I’ve been playing a ton of Neo The World Ends With You over the last month too, really fun. The battle system and pin system changes are both very good; the combat change isn’t trying to best the first title’s DS original , but still holds the philosophy of being unique within the controller architecture of the console its on.
(I’m not at all fond of the control scheme they implemented in the FINAL REMIX of the org. TWEWY and I’m glad they didn’t look back on that too much.)
Ok, but the game has some issues.
There is cool ideas to the puzzle design, but honestly they hold your hand on the A LOT. To the point you are railed so much that even when you are replaying a section (as you replayed any previous chapter to get goodies you missed at anytime), you can’t sequence break even though the game is aware that you already know the solution.
You will repeat chapters, whether for grinding (which you don’t really have to do much off) or for a pin drop from an enemy that only shows up on that day, it is baked into the typical play-through from a design standpoint. But you can’t skip the dialogue, they let you fast forward through it with a trigger hold (only on revisiting chapters), but you cannot skip the segments. So coupled with the railed puzzle solving, it can be pretty tedious when playing through a chapter once for each of the difficulties to unlock all the enemy/boss drops.
Another QoL/UI issue this game and a lot of JPRGs I’ve played this year have- inventory sorting sucks.
One example- The pin (designated attack) each character can equip is designated to a button press and traditionally no two characters can equip a pin that is needs a button that another already equipped pin is locked to. In the event you would like to have party member #1 with a pin locked to the R bumber and you want to switch them to a pin locked to the X button, if party member #2 has an X button assigned pin- all X aassigned pins will disappear from the selectable list of party member #1. This can surely be helpful at times- but it can’t be toggled on and off. It will always do this. You first have swap the pins of the two members and the new holder can now see all the available pins of the assigned button. This is made more annoying by the fact that there is no quick scroll? Paging through your selection is always down by holding down/up until you get what you are looking for. You can’t hold an additional button to make it skip pages from all that I have tried. You are constantly going to be changing equipment and pin set ups and it makes the process so much longer than what it needs to be. This is also true when looking through your compendium for enemy info and archival notes. Checking what drops from a boss will take an average of 7 secs each time as they are at the bottom of 90 slot list that only shows about 8 slots at a time while scrolling.
There are also things that shouldn’t be locked behind hrs of in-game progress as unlockables. There is no one pin set layout that will allow you to cost through every enemy you encounter (until post game)- so naturally having decks you can set and switch between when necessary is great. You don’t get until the 10 hr mark I want to say. That is something I immediately complained wasn’t there and found out it was unlocked later. One of the best changes to the pin system is that for the special evolutions, you no longer had to uses this strange hard to measure alternative experience point- you just level them up while equipped to a particular character. The caveat being- while you can tell a pin has a special evo from it’s info window- you won’t know exactly who with you just try people at random. Save scumming alleviates this- but you can unlock a ability that show you who specifically in necessary. At the end of the game. You get access to pins with special evos not even ⅕ into the game. I think they did this to avoid later characters being spoiled- but couldn’t they just gate the information behind whether or not you have the person in your party or not instead of an end game ability?? I feel like most players at that point are not going to go back and try evolve these old pins they moved on from less than 4 hrs away from completing the main story.
It also might just be my mileage with video games in general, but I think people can feel where a game is gonna end up mechanically from their mere imagination and sometimes it makes sense to just give the QoL stuff early to make the experience more enjoyable.
They made a battle avoidance ability accessible only on a post-game piece of equipment (with amazing stats), and it doesn’t work in tandem with a the only strategy you would buy it for. Battles normally start when you hit confirm after you’ve walked around and snake chained a bunch of enemies to fight. If you don’t confirm or add another enemy to your chain within around 3 secs- the battles starts automatically. The equipment state it prevents battles from starting- assumably it stops them from starting automatically so you can make huge chains no problem.
You can’t even make chains if you are wearing it. Why does it even have such good stats???? You cannot battle as long as you are wearing it. It is so expensive too.