Saturday, November 19, 2011

Design Analysis: The World Ends WIth You

There is ALOT of reasons why The World Ends With You (TWEWY) is amazing, but I'll cover them all later. Right now, I want to look at the design of the world.

The game takes place in Modern Times,  in the area called Shibuya.  And, yes, Shibuya is a real place.
As a result, the game is defined by a modern aesthetic, much different from a typical Square Enix game.  The clothing looks like something that could be bought (well, mostly anyway)  And, in accordance to Shibuya fashions, most people dress according to certain styles.  There are shops that cater to styles (and some shops that sell a hodgepodge of clothes), fast food restaurants can be found almost anywhere, and the music is performed by local Shibuya bands. 

Finally, the areas you go to are all local places in Shibuya (though some have been slightly altered for copyright reasons.)  Hachiko statue, Tower records (Towa ingame) and Miyashita park are all locations in game (I'm sure there are more, but the map I used doesn't list them)

As a result, the game world feels much more real.  While we Americans might not know the real world locations as well, they certainly look much more real then other SE buildings.  the streets look like streets, with cars and people and buses riding by.  We can read people's thoughts (Analogous to a real world overheard conversation)  and pick up pieces of people's lives.  The characters shop, the clothes look real, and other then one very big thing, the characters wouldn't be too different from people we could know in our own lives.  The world feels real, and it gives us something to fight for mentally.

Shibuya feels like a real city.  While it is infused with a Japanese style, with some tweaking it could be any big city.  It takes alot to turn a real city that people live in, into a city just like it run by sprites and programming.  But I believe Square Enix succeeded.  One of the reasons why the game is so amazing is because we can feel the thrum of Shibuya's life. 

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