So where was I—ah yes, I was writing a huge post about combat in The World End With You and then Tumblr ate it.
Combat is ingenious. The ability to change difficulty and level on the fly means that it’s very easy to succeed and very difficult to succeed well, in the sense of good scores and drops. It challenges the player to play better without ever forcing them to bang their head against the brick wall which is an unbeatable boss. It’s the sort of balance that a game like Inazuma Eleven wants: both have complex, touch-screen based controls; TWEWY lets you customize them to your ability of the moment, but Inazuma Eleven is so hard that if you aren’t on top of your game you might as well not play.
The pins system is almost successful: expansive, flexible, buggy beyond belief. It’s the ability to customize your loadout that saves it, because you can weed out the pins which are a pain in the ass to trigger (I’d bitch about how hard it is to draw a line across WHAT empty space seriously have you seen these battlefields, but the truth is that vertical slashes are my true bane)—and it’s always impressive how quickly a new loadout becomes natural to use.
Which it needs to be. Splitting combat over two screens, making you attack in general directions with the stylus down below while pulling up combos up top and keeping your eyes trained somewhere in the approximate middle, is ambitious and taxing and near to evil. Changing partners and combo types on you is evil. It only works because you can adjust the difficulty, and it makes me paranoid about playing in public (the tapping sounds of me attacking my touch screen with a stylus must be annoying), but on the whole I admire it for being inventive and bold and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. In so many ways the game is one vast experiment of concept and style and execution, and in large part it’s a successful one.
(Pin evolution is broken, it must be. It’s certainly too complex for the tutorials provided—and I’ve only ever had one pin evolve, and it evolved days after mastery on the basis of a PP type which it never received, so. The system is, we shall say, in want of refinement.)