The World Ends With You Final Remix released on Switch earlier this month, and the other day I just finished my trip through its brand-new scenario “A New Day”. Being the first real addition to TWEWY, it’s kind of a big deal, so I wanted to share my thoughts on it. Naturally this post is full of spoilers—you’ve been warned!
For starters, the marketing was very misleading. Saying the new scenario “gets to the heart of the story” when it’s tangential at best is a flat-out lie, and focusing the teaser around a Hype-chan scene and Coco reviving Sho really give you the wrong idea about what to expect. Also, the latter is basically the last scene, and using that in the very first teaser is…odd. There was also that new art that showed basically every major character facing off, and it might’ve just been me, but that combined with the shot of Sho made me think all those characters were going to be in it—though to be honest, it might be for the best they didn’t go that way. A New Day isn’t quite what the marketing would have you believe it is.
So what is it, then? Well, it’s sequel bait. And…pretty much only that. While the fact that it’s been added onto TWEWY as a bonus scenario makes it seem to be some kind of epilogue, playing through it, it feels more like a rather bloated prologue to a new story. Very little actually happens over the course of A New Day, and while I think that would have been alright if it had stayed a self-contained bonus chapter, the ending gives the impression that you did all that largely pointless stuff just to get to this exact point…which just so happens to be a cliffhanger. If you want to tease a new game, you make a secret movie! Don’t have us slog through a long bonus chapter where we don’t learn anything or see anyone change just to throw that at us! Now it feels like this whole event was meant to be an important plot development, and in that light it just doesn’t hold up. The only scene that made me genuinely feel glad to be watching it was at the end when Neku gets a call from Shiki (seeing him be so casual about the fact that he’s got friends now is beautiful) and then Beat immediately calls Rhyme to make sure she’s okay (he’s a good brother). Other than that…well, I enjoyed seeing Coco freak out when Hanekoma blew her cover, but I wouldn’t say that endeared her to me or anything. Even Another Day gives us more insight by revealing that the reason Neku is the way he is at the start of the game was because he previously had a friend who died and he blamed himself. I don’t think anything in A New Day is comparable to that.
Anyway, if they’re hyping up a sequel then that’s good news, right? Well…yes and no. True, I’ve always wanted more from this IP and a sequel would certainly give me that. But there are two big causes of concern for me, the first being that this is not the first time a sequel has been teased. The whole reason we call Hype-chan that is because when she appeared for a split-second we were all sure it meant a sequel was coming. That was in 2012. Heck, in Another Day Hanekoma mentions a Noise visible from the RG which I’m fairly certain is whatever messed up Shinjuku, and that was as far back as the original DS version in 07/08! Following this trend, they’ll announce a sequel out of nowhere in five years if we’re lucky. Point being, it’s hard to get super excited about supposed new developments in this IP when previous such teases have gone nowhere fast. Secondly, on a more personal level…I’m officially sick of Kingdom Hearts’ garbage. As a result of this I’ve come to realize that Nomura was nowhere near as involved in TWEWY as I once thought, and can’t help but think that that’s why it’s actually a good game, but the thing is…we don’t know what the team for a sequel would look like. And A New Day is more or less an empty rehash, brings a character from a mobile game into official cannon, and revives fan-favorite Minamimoto for no apparent reason. All of which is Kingdom Hearts garbage. I’m worried that Nomura is going to take the reigns on a sequel and screw TWEWY up, and I really, really don’t want to see that happen.
A lot of this is harsh, but I don’t actually hate A New Day. Even if it’s not stellar, it is new TWEWY content—for the very first time! A lot of the new pins are really sweet, and while the tweaks on the gameplay can get frustrating (screw the Raven Ball) they can also be fun in short bursts, and serve as innovation on the basic game that really does keep things fresh for even us longsuffering players. I’m glad Final Remix was made and I’m glad I bought it. Plus, maybe we’ll get news on a sequel soon, and maybe it’ll be good! Those outcomes are still possible. I’m definitely going to be cautious as we wait to hear more from Square, but I haven’t given up all hope entirely or anything like that. The chances of getting a good TWEWY sequel are stronger now than they’ve been in years at least, maybe the strongest ever. And I definitely appreciate that.
(Side theory: Coco is either the Composer or Conductor of the Shinjuku UG, and her initial plan was to “feed” Neku and Beat to the Dissonance Tapir to drastically increase its power and fight whatever messed up her city. Now that the Tapir’s gone, she’s pulling Neku and Minamimoto into her Reaper’s Game to fight on her behalf. It would explain how she’s so powerful; plus, Hanekoma has some knowledge of this type of Noise and implies someone else may have taught Coco about it, which could mean that Shinjuku’s Producer is the one who taught her. Hype-chan isn’t a part of her plan (yet), she’s just someone like Neku with a unique Soul composition, and perhaps the visions Neku received were the result of some special Pact he and she made unconsciously—Pacts protect Players from Noise, and that might be why she’s the only one left in Shinjuku. Also, the CD for the track that plays when you fight the Dissonance Tapir implies time travel might be involved somehow? (More Kingdom Hearts garbage!) Hopefully not…)