WorldEnd Syndrome is a visual novel from Pqube Games and Arc System Works that explores a protagonist’s journey to Mihate Town. Mihate Town is a picturesque village near the coastline but all is not what it seems in this sleepy town.
Players will slowly be introduced to a colourful cast of characters designed by the Blazblue character creator, Yuki Kato. One of the main characters, Yukino Otonashi is introduced within the first few minutes of the game as you ride on a train to the aforementioned Mihate Town. She provides the background you need to know before venturing deeper into the story and immediately sets the tone of what to expect from the game.
According to what Yukino states, Mihate Town is a town that’s seemingly involved with the occult. Once every 100 years, the dead rise up and slip away into Mihate Town. The premise is incredibly creepy but it strangely draws you into the story despite being slightly cliche. Much of this can be attributed to the soundtrack used at this point in the game. World End Syndrome’s CG visuals also involve the use of both static and moving imagery and it’s surprisingly captivating.
Upon reaching Mihate Town, you soon discover your new home. It’s your uncle’s mansion but someone else will be sharing it with you. This someone else is none other than your own cousin, Maimi Kusunose. Maimi further explains some story to you and introduces the school life elements to the game. World End Syndrome ticks all the right boxes for a stereotypical romantic school drama anime but the game itself works in some massive plot twists with its exceptionally good writing. One of these involves the fact that you can end the game quite early should you choose to do something specific.
World End Syndrome makes use of multiple save points throughout the game and thankfully this helps it flesh out its story quite a bit. Being able to save and reload to explore a different route in the story is tremendously important to getting the full picture. For example, your interactions with certain characters will lead you down their romantic subplots while locking out others in the process. Being able to reload to an earlier point and then explore a different route while retaining some of the additional information gathered later in the game helps a lot.
The gameplay is pretty much standard fare for a visual novel with options to skip dialogue or conversations and there is some micro-management with regards to where you go and how you spend your time in game. The latter is important for unlocking more of the story and the town map will become very familiar to you soon enough as you visit different areas to gather more information.
World End Syndrome’s colourful cast of characters are quite likable. Some of the writing is however questionable in terms of its content. The game is very anime-trope filled and packed with some romance cliches but it never gets too overbearing. Thankfully, the horror mystery plot involving the occult assists in tying together all the various other plot points. Getting the true ending will take you quite a while and does give the game some longevity.
Overall, WorldEnd Syndrome is a great visual novel game that’s perfectly suited to the Nintendo Switch. Graphically, it is gorgeous with artistic backgrounds that feature both moving and static imagery as well as great characters each with their own enjoyable personality. World End Syndrome’s soundtrack is exceptionally good at what it does with regards to setting the tone for the story it tells and the investigative gameplay is easy enough to understand. If you’re looking for a visual novel with a satisfying range of endings and a lot of enjoyable, yet somewhat questionable anime-trope filled content, World End Syndrome will appeal to you.
WorldEnd Syndrome is a visual novel from Pqube Games and Arc System Works and is available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.