Square Enix has announced that its classic fighting-and-fashion J-RPG, The Worlds Ends With You, is coming to Switch on October 12th.
The World Ends With You originally released on Nintendo's DS handheld over a decade ago in Japan (it came west a year later), and was widely praised for its breathless sense of innovation - evident in everything from its wonderfully utilised modern-day setting, to its fascinating split-screen, touch-focussed, card-based, rhythmic real-time combat system. Which is as dizzyingly hectic - and divisive - as it sounds.
The entire game unfolds across Tokyo's fashionable Shibuya district, heavily incorporating various aspects of Japanese youth culture, fashion, and consumerism into its core systems.
You can adorn yourself with different badges (or pins) to access new powers, and the clothing you buy and wear can imbue various effects too. Deliciously though, effects are only positive if the brands you're wearing are popular in the current district - unpopular brands can have negative effects, although it's possible to increase brand appeal by winning fights in the area.
Factor in a striking visual style, an excellent soundtrack - ranging from rock to hip hop to electronica - and a cracking story with a likeable cast and compelling central mystery built around a deadly game (incidentally, I'd suggest avoiding the spoiler-filled Wikipedia page at all costs), and it's easy to see how The World Ends With You won so many fans.
It even found favour on this very website at the time of its release. "The World Ends With You, then, is the sort of game I desperately hope will leave some scratches on the unyielding grey carapace of modern games design once it's bounced off into inevitable obscurity," said Eurogamer contributor Dan Whitehead in his 8/10 review.
"It's bold, inspiring and bubbling over with dozens of ideas, any one of which would be cause for celebration in most games, but the over-reliance on a daunting sink-or-swim combat system that will leave many players gasping for breath ultimately counts against it. A truly brilliant game, it's just a shame that it couldn't ease off on the information overload and make that brilliance easier for everyone to appreciate."
The game has already been ported once, to mobile devices, and earlier this year Square Enix announced that it would be bringing The World Ends With You to Switch in a new Final Remix guise. You'll find some rapid-fire gameplay shots and (stamp-sized) dialogue scenes in the trailers above, but it's a little hard to tell whether we're dealing with a port that's been lavished with love, or if we should be bracing ourselves for another Chrono-Trigger-on-PC-style fiasco.
Hopefully it's the former, given that the Switch version is said to include a "sizeable new scenario that gets right to the heart of the story". We'll know more when The World Ends With You: Final Remix arrives on October 12th.