As someone who was (and still is) a huge fan of the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series, it was really exciting to read that both of the directors, Kotaro Uchikoshi and Kazutaka Kodaka, teamed together to deliver a new game in World’s End Club. There is definitely a void to be filled after the departure of Danganronpa and Zero Escape.
But does World’s End Club live up to these directors’ pedigrees and what they are known for? Short answer — no. The constant predictable anime cliches, cookie-cutter anime personalities, boring platforming sections, and tedious prolonged story sections make this game more of a slog than an enjoyable experience. World’s End Club made me feel more bored than “on the edge of my seat,” and that’s a shame since it came from two beloved directors.
A Bland and Uninspiring Story
To begin the core story, a group of young students gets wrapped up in an apocalypse during a normal field trip. Unsurprisingly, the apocalyptic world is filled with emptiness and mystery. Now, the gang needs to travel the world and figure out what’s going on.
Despite the “mysterious” nature the game portrays itself as having, I felt like World’s End Club didn’t know what it wanted to be. There were so many tedious and unnecessary slice-of-life conversations that I slowly lost interest in the game. At one point forgot I was even playing a mystery story. It’s a shame too because the beginning of the story really reeled me in with the characters playing something called the “Game of Fate” in an underwater facility. Unfortunately, after that, the constantly changing narrative and tedious slice-of-life sections don’t help hold the player’s attention for long.
The characters are so cliched that there is no point in listening to their conversations. The cast has a loud and obnoxious character, a silent protagonist, an edgy and quiet character that keeps to himself, and more. Not only that, but the predictable and cliched plot really doesn’t help. If you have watched enough anime and read some visual novels, you will understand what I am talking about. These sorts of things are dealbreakers and really drag down the story, making it uninteresting to continue through.
A Case of Formulaic and Boring Gameplay
The story isn’t the only thing though that encompasses World’s End Club. The game has pretty formulaic gameplay which goes like this – story section, platforming segments, boss, and repeat. Unfortunately, the game also drags on in this department. The janky controls, boring uninspired platforming, and repetitive segments really make World’s End Club a drag to play. The boring and redundant platforming sections didn’t have any depth – it was just move forward, solve a puzzle, and next. Not only that but the controls feel “floaty” and are a pain. This doesn’t help when playing on normal difficulty since you lose if you take one hit.
My thoughts were more “not again,” than “I can’t wait to see what’s next!” I feel the developers wanted to achieve a more personal feeling by letting the player control the characters to give a sense of “adventure with the crew”. But that doesn’t work when the janky controls and boring platforming segments get in the way. The gameplay loop was so boring that I wanted to be done with it.
Design Oozing with Style
This isn’t to say that everything in World’s End Club is entirely bad. There were some things that stuck out to me that are worth highlighting.
Honestly, the character design and art are phenomenal. The blooming and colorful art style really gives the game its own unique flair. The gorgeous design and character models are really unique, and that’s something I loved about World’s End Club. Additionally, the graphics and levels look really great on the Switch. The detailed scenery and pop-ish level design are something I need to give the game credit for. The cover art is also beautiful.
There’s not much to say about World’s End Club aside from that players need to know what they are getting themselves into. While I feel players are most likely to pick this up due to the directors’ previous works, it’s probably not what they are looking for. If you are someone who loves slice-of-life with a hint of mystery, then I would recommend World’s End Club. But if you are expecting something in the style of Danganronpa and Zero Escape, then I’d say to skip it entirely. Unfortunately, I don’t feel this game lives up to Kotaro Uchikoshi and Kazutaka Kodaka’s previous works and might be quickly forgotten.
WAIT FOR SALE ON WORLD’S END CLUB
Many thanks go to NIS America for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.
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Ryan only has one goal in mind — to spread the joy of video games. He also loves a variety of games, especially those that have major plot twists. Ryan loves rice and can cook a killer scrambled egg.
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