The World Ends with You: Solo Remix; Madden NFL 13; Kirby’s Star Stacker – Review shorts

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A quick-fire review summary of some of the titles we've been playing over the last couple of weeks.

The World Ends with You: Solo Remix

Already a cult classic on Nintendo DS, The World Ends with You now makes its way on to iOS in this beautifully realised conversion. Set in a virtual Shibuya, Japan, the game opens with typically angst-ridden teen, Neku Sakuraba, waking up to discover he’s lost his memory; from there on in it only gets weirder as he finds he’s the player of a game within a game, as mysterious beings known as ‘Reapers’ set daily challenges which he and his partner must solve or else face erasure – from both artificial world, and real one.

Thankfully the Reapers do at least give you a fighting chance by handing over pins which bestow players with psycho and telekinetic powers, perfect for fighting Noise, the term by which the monsters lurking within Shibuya are known. As befitting the eccentric plot, TWEWY features an equally daring control system, with movement and powers carried out via varied swipes across the touchscreen. It’s a system which takes some getting used to – expect to be randomly stabbing away at the screen at first – but experience leads to precision, and a good job too with the game getting ever darker as day seven – the day the Reapers’ game concludes – approaches.

Throw in a genuinely quirky interface that even sees you planting thoughts into the throngs of humanity, in-game fashion trends that award good taste with more damaging attacks, brash visuals and one of the best soundtracks to grace a videogame and you have a game which more than justifies its underground following.

Score: 5/5

Price: £12.99
Format: iPad, iPhone
Developer: Jupiter/Hand
Publisher: Square Enix

Madden NFL 13

Another year, another entry into the EA’s Madden series, which largely does to NFL what FIFA does to football; albeit with an extra side of statistics. This year however EA has really upped its game, the introduction of the Infinity Engine physics system – which sees players rebounding from in each other in a much more realistic manner – creating an altogether more believable experience. Perhaps not enough to convince non-believers, but for devotees the fact that plays now have a randomness to them, where before they were more predictable, adds further value to a game bursting with tactics, chances to tinker and explosive moments.

Score: 4/5

Price: £49.99
Format: PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: EA
Publisher: EA

Kirby’s Star Stacker

Reaching back fifteen years to the original Gameboy title, this week Nintendo port Kirby’s Star Stacker to the 3DS. A falling-block puzzler similar to the more well-known Dr. Mario, players must stack blocks in pairs, sandwiching the titular star blocks, thus removing them and allowing progress to the next level. The monochromatic graphics inspire a faint twinge of nostalgia, but perhaps Nintendo could have bundled the SNES version in as well for a little colour in the visuals, and the story mode which, while thin, was better than nothing. With four game modes, there’s a fair amount of variation, but it’s a much less refined title than Tetris and probably for hardened Kirby fans only.

Score: 2/5

Price: £2.70
Format: 3DS via eShop
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

By Sam Gill

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