World’s End Club review – a deliciously insane journey through Japan • Eurogamer.net
It’s time to stop making excuses for myself – I care a lot about the storytelling rules, until I obviously don’t. Otherwise, there is no way to explain my fascination with the World’s End Club and the many practical excuses it offers. Although this was the first Too Kyo game, Zero Escape director Kotaro Uchikoshi and Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka worked together, Uchikoshi crafted the script, and the story at least seems to carry his writing. World’s End Club is reminiscent of Uchokoshi’s approach to storytelling – he acknowledged that he wanted to tell a story that people remember, whether it was good or not.
Meet the Go-Getters Club, an elementary school class of 11 children who are en route to Kamakura near Tokyo for a school trip when a meteor hits nearby. When they arrive, the kids leave pods (!) And end up in a theme park (!!!) underwater (!!!!) where a flying mascot called Pielope tells them they have to play a game of death to make it out alive.
It’s an important spoiler to note that the Game of Death, once the driving force behind the game’s marketing, includes the first half hour of almost 20, so if you’re expecting another Danganronpa, this is probably from deliberate misdirection. Instead, after their successful escape, everyone wakes up in Kagoshima on the other side of Japan to discover that everything seems eerily calm and unkempt, and monsters roam the land. Not wanting to admit that this means what it usually means in video games, the Go-Getters Club decides to cross the country on foot back to Tokyo. When a game starts out with elementary school students facing off in a battle royale, you can guess the rest won’t be a nice hike through the Japanese countryside, either. Ghosts, killer robots, aliens, and cultists are just a few of what you can expect at World’s End Club, as the Go-Getters Club slowly learns what exactly happened while they were gone.
To top it off, kids start developing superpowers one by one, powers you’ll use during the sporadic 2D platforming sequences of the World’s End Club. The platform is so straightforward that it has led gamers of the previously released Apple Arcade version to assume World’s End Club must be a kid’s game. I reject this and instead invite you to consider the following: Creating gameplay is difficult. This is a game from a storytelling company. The ideas for each superpower and the engaging ways to use them are interesting, I just think they are simple because they are neither the focus of the game nor its developers. Personally, I think it would have been nice to cut those pieces and just commit to World’s End Club as a visual novel, but that’s mainly because the platform teaches you through trial and error. Take a hit and the game is over, so just like in games with those maddening stealth sequences where being spotted means immediate surrender, you’ll die, hear a weird game squeaking and following you into your dreams try again, because the solution is probably less complicated than you initially thought. Or because a hole suddenly appeared in front of you to trip you up. Grr!
“Uchikoshi admitted to wanting to tell a story that people remember, whether it was good or not.”
Like many games of this type that attempt to create a mystery, you’ll uncover most of the plot via an exhibit dump. In the whole story, someone will always come and spill the beans – unveil the evil plan, explain what is going on. This in itself is a bit of a tedious method of storytelling, but while something like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim drops its clues well in advance, World’s End Club will just have a macguffin in there – “oh by the way, this mystery is explained by this thing you have never heard of before that works suspiciously in all the ways we need to solve our problem. “World’s End Club has often made me laugh at the way it leaned over the most absurd explanation with his whole body, just so he could actively resist the predictability. As Uchikoshi said, it’s memorable at all costs, but this approach is certainly not a cohesive world-building. There are times when the story diverges depending on your choices, but you’ll play these alternate paths later. The narrative device that makes this possible seems a bit worn out to me.
Turns out these points didn’t bother me at all, as World’s End Club season everything with a generous helping of concentrated anime. The Go-Getters Club is so incredibly cute that I fell in love with each of them. Some of these are your standard anime tropes, like Mowchan, the fat kid who thinks only about food, or Aniki (“ big brother ”), the cool but distant guy. Their design is super cute, and I want them like cuddly toys and nendroids, but they’re also just the kind of friends that I think many of us dream of, the kind that sticks through thick and thin. They have their own song! And their own Go-Getters song! As usual with anime type stories, the emotions run high. There are a lot of exclamations of crying and surprise, and usually a lot of interaction between all the Go-Getters. World’s End Club has “camp” sequences, a rest period where you can talk to each character and take stock of what you’ve learned. I challenge you to dislike every character after these. It’s mostly sympathetic for reasons similar to Persona 5 Strikers – a group of friends go on a trip across Japan to fight the supernatural.
Plus, the layout is fantastic – the relatively simple yet vibrant backgrounds represent every destination you’ll visit on your way, and the user interface conveys a real sense of energy. As each character gains a super power, each character has a nice little transformation sequence, and although the whole game is sparsely animated, a lot of work has gone into making these animations fun enough, you won’t mind seeing them a lot. . I also really enjoyed the Japanese dub (the game also comes with an English dub), which features a lot of women voicing boys, which fascinates me endlessly, among which Megumi Ogata, alum from Dangaronpa, who you may also know as Shinji. Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. In essence, even though the beats of the story were a bit too over the top for my taste, you really won’t see a thing coming, and I really enjoyed the trip thanks to the lovely cast of World’s End Club.