Your time is better spent elsewhere. TWEWY fans should just watch the cutscenes on Youtube.
Reseñado en los Estados Unidos el 13 de marzo de 2022
This game consists of running back and forth over the same bunch of small areas and fighting enemies in order to read the next dialogue box to find out the next excuse to run across the map somewhere else and fight more enemies. It takes about 40 hours, but there's so little actual story content holding it together that it felt like it should've been 18 - and that's being generous. It is a 40 hour gauntlet of battles strung together with filler.
That may just sound like most games, but the plot that's driving you to run back and forth is painfully mundane for 70% of the game, so there's little motivation to do it to continue the story. Furthermore, there's very little to do outside of battle apart from navigating menus to equip collectible and level-able attack pins, buy and equip clothing for stat boosts, and buy and eat food for permanent stat increases.
The battle system is fairly enjoyable (not enjoyable enough to make a 40 hour game out of only this, mind you, but it's not bad). You'll mash, hold, or otherwise press buttons corresponding to the pin each character has equipped to activate their attacks until they need to recharge with a cooldown. The collectible pins come in a pretty good variety of move types (long-distance projectiles, melee attacks, hazards), elemental affinity, and damage outputs, and they level up as they're used up to a max level, which gives you an incentive to try other pins to max them all out or possibly have them evolve into something new. Fortunately, new enemy types and variations with new moves appear throughout the game, as well as (very) minor new gameplay mechanics, so that just barely keeps it from becoming a total bore over the course of the game.
Some things are unlocked through a relationship link system. If you meet a new character, complete a side-quest, or build affinity with a store or restaurant, you can spend FP to unlock an item, new restaurant foods, or general upgrades to your abilities and in-game options. In fact, I pity anyone who plays this thinking that sidequests are merely "side" quests, because there are some all-but-essential quality-of-life features and upgrades that are locked as sidequest rewards that really should just be available by default (such as being able to save multiple pin sets or being able to sell duplicate pins all at once).
The story, as I've said, takes its time doing very little for the vast majority of the game. Unlike the first game's interesting and developing characters, NEO: TWEWY's cast feels very one-dimensional and uninteresting, with their only depth being contained to a couple scenes just to check the box for having given them some attention. Even when the plot picks up - finally - in the final 5 or so hours of the game, you'll really have to do some mental gymnastics to convince yourself that any of it makes sense. In the end, everything just goes all anime with ill-explained "because magic powers" solutions to having backed the characters into an impossible corner, throwing out most of the world's logic in the process.
On the other hand, the soundtrack is, like the original, pretty great. If you're into that sort of thing.
The graphic style is nifty cell-shaded / anime style, but the lack of animations and the quality of the few fully-animated (3d, not anime) cutscenes make NEO: TWEWY feel a bit low budget. Not a big deal though, really.
For people who enjoy grinding, collecting, and leveling things up for its own sake, there's a lot to collect and do in this game. The gameplay to do it with isn't all that compelling though, and you're better off spending your time on one of the many other, better, games that have been made since the game industry has existed. There are achievements that'll require you to replay previous chapters to find hidden unique enemies ("Pig Noise"), finish challenges faster, or do sidequests you missed. There's also a bonus chapter, if you somehow still want to play the game by that point.
The only actual gameplay is a battle system that's just okay, and it's stretched across a full-length game with a plot that's either boring, filler, or nonsense. It's a slog, and there are better games that are a better use of your time.
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