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Posts with tag iaww

It's a Wonderful cross stitch

The staff at DS Fanboy normally goes by the mantra, "Those who can't craft, blog," but apparently that's not always the case. Every week over at GamerTell, blogger Jenni Lada makes a game-related cross stitch based on images from various sprite databases. No one loves video game crafts more than we do, so you can bet we'd be all over these cute works once they came to our attention.

This week's stitch is an enemy from Square Enix's recently released game, The World Ends With You. Called Samba Pigs, these little oinkers are apparently tough to kill since they're always trying to escape. When you do nab them, though, they drop some worthwhile badges.

Since The World Ends With You is on our "do want" list, we couldn't help but admire the work and talent that went into this little craft (although it probably won't come as a surprise to you that this blogger's favorite of the bunch is Fire Emblem themed). Next week Jenni tackles two Naruto sprites from Jump Ultimate Stars (which doesn't sound like an enviable task), so if you're a fan of the orange ninja make sure to check back there.

Metareview: The World Ends With You

Square Enix's stunning new title The World Ends With You doesn't hit U.S. and European shelves until later this month, but the reviews are already rolling in, and things are looking even better than we expected. The early reviews are kicking the action RPG up into the top tier of DS titles -- and that's good company. What's propelling the game's success? The sheer originality of the concept.

Nintendo Power: 90% -- The Nintendo hub had nothing but effusive praise for Square Enix's unusual effort. "This delightfully weird action-RPG, set in modern-day Tokyo's bustling Shibuya district, is unlike anything else out there ... Kudos to Square Enix for taking a chance on something so original (and bringing it to these shores)."

Thunderbolt: 90% -- In fact, this game is starting to sound like the second coming of the RPG. "In a genre where medieval themes reign supreme, setting a game in contemporary Tokyo is a fairly fresh concept. The game captures the city scene so well: the sun-blasted streets, the pulsing J-Pop, and the bustling crowds of people who care absolutely nothing about you. Neku and his little gang of urban heroes are a far cry from the super-heroic swordsmen of most RPGs; the ultra-stylish outfits and technology they use are taken directly from what you'd see in Shibuya today. Despite this, the mysticism of the plot and the magic being wielded are definitely welcome. The combination of using both screens and the stylus make for one of the most demanding gameplay formulas yet; there hasn't been a game this Touch Screen-centric since Kirby Canvas Curse. So do yourself a favor and pick up The World Ends With You. As far as handheld RPGs go, it doesn't get much more original than this."

IGN UK: 89% -- Perhaps the pieces aren't as original as some think, but together, they create something fantastic. "The World Ends With You combines Square's hallmark character development and story with the collectability of Pokémon, and ties together innovative game design with the urban cool of Jet Set Radio. Indeed, the game's appropriation of real-world themes and issues are at the heart of its success. It's a celebration of modern life, and like modern life, it can be messy, complicated and confusing, and you might find yourself beset by minor disappointments. But you get out what you put in, and at its heart is an important message about making human connections in a world that can sometimes seem harsh and uncaring. Which, when you think about it, is pretty cool. And if you don't want to think about it, well then you can just sit back and enjoy the game design."

The World Ends With You is serious about Shibuya

We've always known that The World Ends With You is steeped in Shibuya youth culture, but we weren't aware that the game actually includes real-life landmarks from the reputably trendy Tokyo ward.

However, thanks to Siliconera's Spencer Yip, we now know that the statue to the right is a famous tribute (situated outside Shibuya station) to a real-life dog known as "Hachiko," and that it appears in Square Enix's ARPG -- here, to be precise. Yip also reveals that Shibuya's "Scramble Crossing" has made it in to the game, as well as popular department store "109" (both here -- though 109 is known as "104" in the game).

All of which was news to us, primarily because we're paid far too little to fly to Tokyo. The World Ends With You is far from the first game to feature real-life landmarks (in terms of games on Nintendo systems, Pilotwings 64 had Mount Rushmore, Illusion of Gaia features the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat, amongst others, Super Dodgeball Brawlers has the Eiffel Tower, and feel free to name more in the comments) but it's still pretty interesting reading up on references that would have otherwise eluded us.

You have seven days to check out this world-ending footage

Okay, we lied -- you can watch these videos whenever you'd like. We just like stealing the drama of The World Ends With You's seven day timeline. We've packed the gallery below to bursting with new screens, too, just in time to get you excited for the game's April release. If you can't decide, and the videos and screens aren't enough to convince you (geez, you're tough), then you can remind yourself of all the things the game isn't.

Continue reading You have seven days to check out this world-ending footage

The World Ends With You gets PAL release date, new shots

We couldn't help but perform a double take at the press release we received this morning from Square-Enix. So uncertain were we of its contents that we showed it to our friends and faxed it to faraway colleagues, just to check we weren't seeing things.

And apparently, we're not going mad -- The World Ends With You really will be launching in PAL territories before the U.S., with April 18th the date to circle on your calendar. That's only a four-day head start, but let's say that again: before the U.S. We're baffled as can be, but also delighted! Celebrate with us by hitting the gallery below for a dozen new shots!

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- The World Ends With You

[Via press release]

The Wait Ends With this release date

Square-Enix has slapped a U.S. release date of April 22nd on The World Ends With You.

If you're not already familiar with this Jet Set Radio-esque slice of ARPG goodness, you've got catching up to do! Based on Shibuya youth culture, the game sees protagonist Neku combating Noise and accomplishing various missions to strict time limits, all in the name of not ceasing to exist. It's been put together by the folks behind the Kingdom Hearts games, so comes with a respectable pedigree.

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- The World Ends With You

2008's Biggest Blips: The World Ends With You

Developer: Square Enix/Jupiter
Publisher: Square Enix
Release: Spring 2008

We all love gaming, or we wouldn't be here ... but what if you were dumped into a week-long game with your life on the line? Welcome to the wonderful world of 15-year-old Neku Sakuraba.

The World Ends With You is something of a wonder among Square Enix's recent DS titles. It's not a remake or part of a long-running series, and while there are plenty of unusual characters in even more unusual outfits, the action RPG boasts a glittering artistic style that is both unique and yet clearly draws some influence from such sources as Viewtiful Joe, the impossible proportions of Æon Flux and the fantastic Jet Grind Radio.

Despite the bright colors and the game's dependence on the Shibuya youth culture, it's not quite as happy-go-lucky as it might seem at first glance. Yes, fashion and music play heavy roles in the title, and the game centers around a group of teenagers, but the underlying themes are much darker than one might expect. Not only is Neku's life on the line, but so is that of his new partner, the stylish Shiki, and they face the "Noise," which are physical manifestations of dark thoughts and feelings. As with many Square Enix titles, there are a lot of darker underlying themes hidden in the story. In fact, the game was adapted into a short manga that serves as a prologue to the main action, the death game that rocks the lives of the characters.

So what, exactly, is the game-within-a-game in The World Ends With You? That's complicated. We'd rather tell you what it isn't. We can pretty firmly state that this game of life and death is not:
  • THE Game of Death, as in the Bruce Lee film, unless we missed a particularly distinctive track suit somewhere.
  • a "boob of death!" (wait, we're getting off track here).
  • The Game (without the death, or at least, as much) starring Michael Douglas.
  • a barbaric ritual meant to keep the peace, as in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."
  • an episode of Sliders based on Jackson's short story.
  • an extended Mountain Dew commercial, a la The Island (at least, we hope not).
  • a more hilarious reality show lottery packed with satire, indie rock, and a dollop of New Wave.
  • Rollerball (sadly).
  • any sort of Bogus Journey.
So if it isn't any of these awesome (mostly) examples, why are we so into it? Not only does The World Ends With You boast an odd look and a freaky story, it takes a fresh approach to absolutely everything else, especially our favorite handheld's dual screens. When you control Neku in battle, you also control one of his partners on the top screen, so you've got to juggle the touchscreen and d-pad at the same time in what is termed the "Stride Cross Battle System." And what attacks do you use? It depends on the badges you've collected in your travels through Shibuya.

Plus, we'd really like to see the adorable preorder bonus make it over.

Insecticide Back Curiouser and curiouser

Release schedule announced for Ring of Fates, The World Ends With You

Square Enix unveiled its release strategy for early 2008 today, keeping its games on our minds and reminding us to plan our spring budgets accordingly. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, the four-player co-op ARPG, ships out to North American stores on March 11, 2008, almost seven months since its debut in Japan. With that long of a delay, we're hoping for some added content with the US release (e.g. online features with more depth than moogle-trading).

As for The World Ends With You (a.k.a. It's a Wonderful World, Subarashiki Kono Sekai), Square Enix plans to bring the stylized romp through Tokyo's Shibuya district stateside around "spring 2008." You can check out screenshots and artwork for both games in the galleries we've dropped below. Still missing from Square Enix's schedule: Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, Dragon Quest IV, and Dragon Quest IX.

[Via Press Release]

It's a Wonderful World (outside of Japan)

The game we've had our eye on for quite some time, Square Enix's It's a Wonderful World, is going to be releasing outside of Japan. Titled The World Ends with You, the game will supposedly be released in the spring of 2008 to North America and Europe. As you already know, it was developed by the team behind the Kingdom Hearts series of games.

In case you missed our previous coverage of the game in action, it's pretty busy regarding gameplay, but in a good way. We wonder if Square will decide to release any special edition DS Lite with the game like they did in Japan?

Square Enix release dates: RoF due next spring?!

Square Enix spent the morning revealing its lineup of "fresh new faces and timeless classics" that the company plans to exhibit this week at E3, attaching US release dates to its upcoming titles:
We're jumping on our beds with glee over the fact that we'll be receiving Front Mission so early after the localization was announced, but several disappointing details failed to escape our attention -- Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Sealed Grimoire, It's a Wonderful World, FFIV DS, and Dragon Quest IX's absence; and Ring of Fates' distant date. The multiplayer ARPG and its DS Lite bundle are scheduled to hit Japan this August 23rd.

[Via NeoGAF]

And I think to myself, what a wonderful preorder bonus

Fans anticipating the release of It's a Wonderful World won't have just a limited edition DS Lite bundle to look forward to; Square Enix announced today that preordering the Shibuya-district RPG in advance of its July 27th release will also net gamers a miniature kitten to hitch onto your handheld.

The feline charm mimics Pochi, a stuffed cat that plays into Shiki Misaki's (IAWW's female lead) special attacks, and also doubles as a wipe to keep your DS screens free of dust and kitty litter. Pounce past the post break for some in-game screenshots of Pochi.

See also:

Continue reading And I think to myself, what a wonderful preorder bonus

It's a Wonderful DS Lite

Square Enix's Wonderful World edition DS Lite marks the first of what we're sure will be many Gloss Silver bundles to grace Japan, but will never -- absolutely never -- see an official release in the states. Set for release along with the game this June 27th, the limited edition handheld shows of the "It's a Wonderful World" logo and Tetsuya Nomura's skull badge design. Pricing for the set hasn't been announced yet, but expect to pay a king's ransom if you plan on importing.

It's A Wonderful World (of scans)

Coming from the latest issue of Famitsu, 4 pages worth of coverage for It's A Wonderful World is the prize for those willing to traverse the dangerous landscapes of the real world in order to acquire it. For those unfamiliar, It's A Wonderful World is the next project from those responsible for the Kingdom Hearts series and will feature both rythm-based gameplay, along with RPG influences.

The game stars Neku, a boy who can read peoples' hearts. When he meets a young girl by the name of Tsuki, the two stumble upon Japan's Shibuya district and must play a mysterious game where they have a time limit of 7 days to win.

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