World End Heroes first released on November 13th, 2018 and was made by Square Enix who is now infamous in my books for making the most dull and boring mobile games catered to females. It was first announced on 26th of July, just about a week after the release of Square Enix’s other female oriented game “Idol Fantasy“, with a “teaser” video though I wouldn’t call it a teaser video, as Square Enix puts it it’s a “voice and sound video” because that’s how they want to advertise it.
Instead of revealing information of what kind of game this will be, Square Enix focused mainly on announcing the voice actors with the teaser video as well as the official website having a list of very popular and iconic voice actors–and this website would stay unchanged for a couple more months, with nothing much to let on what kind of game it is beside the voice actors that will appear in it. Clearly, Square Enix only wanted to focus on gaining hype through casting famous voice actors as well as popular stage actors rather than the content of game itself, but clearly it worked getting the public interested in it as 250,000+ people pre-registered for the game without knowing much about the gameplay. Hell, they didn’t even release a video of what the gameplay is like until 1 whole day before the game would release and even then that video remained vague and short. It really shows you how confident Square Enix was with their upcoming game’s gameplay.
If you would like to read my thoughts on Square Enix’s other female oriented titles check my review on Idol Fantasy and my twitter moment on Kimi to Kiri no Labyrinth (with the latter being a glorious dumpster fire.
It’s not required reading but it would help with reading my review as I’ve left out some stuff in this review as I’ve touched upon them in my live tweets while playing World End Heroes, you can check out a compilation of those tweets in my Twitter Moment:
Otherwise please enjoy my (probably short and definitely biased) review.
I’m not gonna lie, I don’t have a single clue what the story is about. Feel free to call me a bad reviewer, but honestly the story didn’t really stood out to me nor did it capture my attention. It didn’t help the fact that the main story isn’t even fully voiced despite the game heavily advertising these great voice actors. You’d think a big company like Square Enix would afford it, but I guess the rate of releasing a mobile game every fortnight really takes it’s toll.
I’m gonna take a stab in the dark and say that the story is about aliens/monsters trying to take over the earth after riding a meteriote into the planet, which then caused a breakout of humans being born with “special blood” to fight against these monsters and become “heroes”. According to the website the alien invasion happened about a century ago which makes me wonder how the heck haven’t they got rid of them a century later in modern day Japan?
Anyway, you play the role as the ‘commander’ of ALIVE (an organisation to keep these ‘heroes’ in check) and it’s your job to lead and keep the ‘conflicting heroes’ in check–because apparently these young adolescent boyos just can’t get along because they’re all from rival schools. Either way, your player character has very little presence in the main story (or at least in the 9 or so chapter I’ve read). Sometimes it catches me off guard when the guys suddenly address to the player character because I had no idea that they were in the scene because no one ever acknowledged them until then. Hell, you could just have the story without ever having the player character considering how redundant they are compared to Discount Store Eren Jaeger:
This kid is pretty much the main character, we follow him when he was a dweeb and keep following his progress into becoming a hero. Without the player character you could pretty much get a better experience reading the story through this kid’s eyes because he’s pretty much a blank slate that gets character development. Heck, he’s even teasingly called “mob character” aka “NPC” because of how blank he is.
My main positive is that this game has one of most crispest image quality I’ve seen in a while when playing on my iPad. Sometimes when companies upscale their games to be played on the iPad there will be some image quality loss such as noise/artefacting as well as squashed looking images. With World End Heroes it looks crisp as heck, the image resolution for the 2D graphics is pleasing to my eyeballs and the 3D models during mission mode are very HD (no pixelation on the edges), but this is just my experience on the iPad, I have no idea what it looks like on other screens so mileage may vary. Character sprites are static 2D images, no animation whatsoever, though there’s different poses and facial expressions.
UI/GUI/Menus looks ok, nothing really offensive to the eyes. I like how your AP and TP gauges are shown below the mission tabs so when your eyeball wanders onto the mission tab to do some gameplay you can see at the same time whether or not if you have enough AP to do it.
Big downside is the character designs, as well as enemy designs. As I mentioned before with the Walmart Eren Jaeger, some of these character designs are a bit too similar to existing character designs in other well-known media. Hell, this dude looks exactly the same as Square Enix’s other mobile game for girls, Idol Fantasy:
You would think they’re the same person….
AKIRA, known for character designing Doudanuki Masakuni from Touken Ranbu, was in charge of the character design draft (though it was a bit hard to find who did character design considering it’s not on the website or the bio of the twitter account). AKIRA’s character designs are pretty simple but they make it up for their interesting style of being a bit rough/harsh and not clean with interesting line work to make characters pop, but because it loses most if not all personality when they translate it to a much cleaner version as shown in the above image. One gripe for me is that they didn’t use AKIRA’s key visual for the title screen, instead you are greeted with this:
What a waste of a striking key visual by AKIRA when you do something so basic for a title screen like above.
Another gripe is that the “transformation” version of the boys is very, very bland and simple and it’s the same design for every boy (aside from the colors) which makes it really boring to look at. But hey, it saves Square Enix from modeling different models so it saves time guys!
The enemy variety is very unremarkable in the sense they’re all floating long things like floating worms, floating shrimp looking things, floating rectangular sharks. The boss enemies are just a larger version of the common enemies but with maybe a few more tendrils/tentacles. There are other games with a bigger variety of enemies but keeping it simple and its more interesting to look at than seeing these floating worm on a string enemies.
(This might not be a big deal but…) Some of the background models from the mission gameplay looks like they’re from google earth when you go into 3D mode back in 2009. But honestly you don’t really notice until you pause during gameplay and it does save a bit of space with making it low poly.
This is where Square Enix dropped the ball. Gameplay is easily boring and it just pretty much plays itself. They avoided showing too much of the gameplay for a reason. Considering Square Enix’s video didn’t show what the gameplay looks like, then I’ll have to show it for them:
This is what the main gameplay looks like and it is abysmal. You watch these guys run through different locations swatting some small fry enemies like it’s nothing (they don’t even have to transform to one hit kill them) and at the end of their brisk jog they encounter a boss every time. Your only input is selecting the formation of your team (which gives you some bonuses and is the formation/position of when your heroes pose but not during battle mode) and then selecting a team member to attack first–however Square Enix doesn’t trust you to choose so you have an invisible limited amount of time to choose who’s going to attack before the game defaults to choosing the guy in the middle (the team’s leader). The early mission stages are fairly easy, even with a team full of R cards with levels ranging from 1 to 5 can kill the boss in one hit and the leader will finish it off with a finishing move. Even if the boss is at 1 HP the leader will always do an unskippable finishing move to the boss as an overkill. For tougher missions, you’re given only 2 turns to hit the boss until you’re forced to do a finishing move by your leader. Depending on how low the boss’s HP you will either succeed the finishing move or the boss will bounce back your finishing move, damaging your leader severley each time and causing a lose state.
Sounds like fun gameplay, doesn’t it? You have no choices, only choose who to fight, you have no strategic actions to do, you have nothing. Icing on the cake is that you can make the guys run faster pre-boss fight by continuously tapping the screen, if you stop tapping they’ll go back to a slow brisk jog. You can’t skip this section for god knows why but you can skip to the result screen when you hit the boss section 😆 These priorities 😆
The choices Square Enix made for the gameplay is just questionable. The dumbed it down to hell and it’s hardly even fun, more or less it’s just a very boring movie that loops itself but with different locations and similar but different looking enemies. If anyone finds this fun then I don’t know what to think. Either Square Enix really thinks people (particularly females) are too dumb to play games or they’re taking the “lowest effort, biggest cash grab” route with the gameplay and gacha that takes a while to farm diamonds for your second 10 roll gacha when starting the game seeing they give 15 diamonds per clearing stories or missions while 10 rolls is 3,480 diamonds.
They even have a special gacha going on where you can do a 10 roll for 1,740 paid diamonds, so they’re hoping people are desperate enough to roll for an SSR to pay real money to get diamonds and play that gacha instead. It’s all about getting those FGO 10 Figure income.
Music is all right, a lot of happy go lucky tracks but overall it’s nice to hear (though I think one track got on my nerves bc it kept playing over and over). One of the tracks reminded me of Final Fantasy XV’s camping music and made me feel a little calm but too bad it’s used for a screen/feature I won’t be visiting much.
I couldn’t stand playing another minute of this game. I don’t know why but it just offended me to my core at how boring and patronising this game is. Even if the main story is the only saving grace (which I wouldn’t know because it didn’t catch my attention) it still isn’t worth all the time and effort to play the game. I’m sure there are people out there that like playing this game, more power to you but god… I’d really like to know why they would keep playing it (besides the voice actors and maybe characters that interest them). Seems like a waste of voice actors when your main story isn’t fully voiced and the only voiced lines is home screen lines that repeat often and some battle grunts and phrases that will get real boring real quick.
Honestly I was secretly hoping this game would be “so bad it’s good”, hell I was excited for the release after I found out it has a release date a week before it released. In the end this game is disappointing, possibly more boring than Idol Fantasy. I’ll never understand the reasoning behind the 5 star reviews on the app store (most of them could be considered spam/useless considering their reviews were like “I’ve been waiting for this game!”, that’s not a review, chief).
I’ll be happy to uninstall this game. Though my love for that one beefy dude will go on…
Eat shit and collapse into ruin, Square Enix.