The World Ends with You (which is also known as It’s a Wonderful World in Japan) is a role playing game made for the Nintendo DS handheld system and was developed by Square Enix, the same team who had created another Square Enix title known as Kingdom Hearts, and Jupiter. The team had hoped to create a new game that was different from the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchises.
The setting of the game takes place in a fictional version of Tokyo’s Shibuya shopping district. As life goes on in the Realground (RG), those who are the chosen dead are taken to an alternate plane known as the Underground (UG) where the Reapers’ Game takes place. Dead players get the chance to obtain the prize: they can either be brought back to life or choose to transcend and become Reapers. The Composer is a god-like entity that maintains Shibuya while the Conductor tasks other Reapers to obstruct the players. Those who fail to complete a mission will have their existence erased.
The story revolves around a boy named Neku who at first has no recollection about how he died and learns the rules of the Game from his partners Shiki, Joshua, and Beat. It’s later revealed that Joshua had shot Neku and Joshua is actually the composer. Neku is given one last challenge: to shoot Joshua and determine Shibuya’s fate.
The soundtrack for the game was both composed and produced by Takeharu Ishimoto, a Japanese synthesizer programmer and video game at Square Enix. Much of the music in the game uses elements of different genres such as rock, electronic, and hip-hop. Since the beginning, the creators had wished to use a large variety of genres to compose the game’s soundtrack. The different genres would serve to fit the different moods that the different events and areas would give its players. The pre rendered movies were purposely removed and flash styled sequences were put in their place so there would be room to include over thirty songs in the game. In total, approximately ¼ of the game’s ROM is filled up by music.
The music definitely adds a lot to the feel of the game so making room for more music was a good call in my opinion. Much of the music in the game really adds to the atmosphere of the game’s battles and many of the songs are upbeat, fast paced, and catchy which really helps keeping players pumped and sucked into the game. The music also helps add to the emotional impact of the game’s storyline. The game’s soundtrack does an amazing job in combining the elements of different genres to create a distinctive soundtrack that helps to make the game what it is. If for anything, the game is definitely worth checking out for its music.
Written by Joey Vongpanya