Review of [Our World Is Ended] (for Nintendo Switch)

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Red Entertainment
Release: Apr 18, 2019
Price: $60 USD

I just finished playing Our World is Ended and I would like to give my ending impressions of it.

The main members of Judgment 7 enjoying a BBQ

Plot

First off, there’s about 16 chapters and the total game takes around 20 hours to finish. The plot is sci-fi / mystery and deals with AR and VR, so it takes a lot of inspiration from The Matrix and Steins Gate. When you first start up this game, the perverted humor might turn off some. This game makes endless comparisons of breasts, breasts and more breasts. Just be aware of that. Yes it gets annoying, but if you throw that aside there’s actually a pretty interesting story behind here. The first half of the game is much more focused on this perverted humor, while the second half really picks up the pace on the plot so don’t feel discouraged about the humor. Also keep in mind that in Japan, the age of consent is 13 (not that this game has any really erotic scenes).

The main characters are game developers for a game company called Judgment 7. Pretty soon you find out that you, Reiji Gozen, are an assistant director for the company to replace a former director of the company called Reina Ichinose. The company’s next game called World End Heaven has been announced, but the main programmer Sekai Owari has developed an AR device that eventually thrusts everyone into a VR world dubbed the ‘New World Experience’. These VR adventures, along with the relationship between you and the six other characters of the company, as well as the mystery behind who Reina is and what happened to her, are central plot points.  There are a few notable plot twists in the story, and I’m going to spoil anything, but I will just say that I thought I got a ‘game over’ several times in the story but actually didn’t so make sure you keep going on no matter what.


Characters

The main characters of the game are the 7 main members of Judgment 7, and each of them fits an anime trope: the protagonist and assistant director Reiji Gozen is your typical ‘light novel’ plain everyday guy who tries too hard to be a nice guy, the airheaded Yuno who is an assistant script writer seems to be a cheerful outgoing girl (but is hiding a dark secret), her hot headed sister Asano is a tomboy and BGM composer who is inexplicably tone deaf and ‘unfortunate’ in many other ways, the dark brooding Natsumi who is the graphics designer and who is initially unfriendly and cold, Iruka is the delusional ‘man-pig’ who is an obese perverted script writer and has a tendency to yell crazy phrases, Owari is the main genius programmer of the group and an unbashed pervert, and finally the childish Tatiana who is a child prodigy and secondary programmer of the group. All of these characters, although stereotypical, have their own arcs in the plot and each of them are distinctly unique. I have to say that I am quite pleased with how the game distinctly separates them, even if they are unoriginal tropes

the Main members of Judgement 7


Gameplay

This is a visual novel so there’s minimal interaction. There’s specific points in the game where you will either have to pick an option from among several (less common), or choose a line to say to a character as it flashes by the screen (more common); if you miss a line or choose the wrong line it could affect who your character gets close with, although the only meaningful thing you get from that are different scenes and graphics for the gallery; this is also the main incentive for replay value. There’s nothing especially interactive like in Root Letter or Danganronpa. I have not come across any ‘game overs’ like I did in other visual novels – but there are several points where I thought I did – and thats why its important to keep going no matter what. This isn’t a dating sim so there’s no R rated stuff happening and besides the lewd jokes and a certain NPC at the beginning of the game, nothing too erotic. There is one particular violent scene that happens that shocked me, so watch out for that.


Presentation

The game is really colorful and makes use of lots of bright colors. Those of you who have been to Asakusa in Tokyo will see lots of familiar scenery. Some of the enemy designs are quite unique and disturbing even. The graphics are presented well here.

One of several lighthearted scenes in the game

Audio

The BGM is quite decent, and you’ll hear happy cheerful music, as well as tense music and sad music during the appropriate scenes. It’s not to dissimilar to what I heard on Steins Gate, so I’m satisfied with that. The voice acting is actually quite superb, especially Iruka and his crazy phrases.


Conclusion

Pros: Nice graphics, nice audio/voice acting, plot twists(!), characters all have their own arc and are distinct

Cons: Plot is a little derivative of Matrix/Steins Gate, characters follow typical anime tropes, perverted jokes/character traits seem very out of place sometimes and may turn off some

I’d give it a solid 7/10 – its worth checking out if you are into sci-fi visual novels, but don’t expect anything that will blow your mind

Why is Modern Korean culture so shallow?

Why is it shallow? If you mean by they care about their physical appearance more – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Our physical appearance is something that everyone always sees, and its the first thing people see about us. Whenever we buy a Macbook or an iPhone or gaze our eyes upon a stunning 4K OLED TV, or an Aston Martin, we are effectively being ‘shallow’ because we care about the appearance of other things in our life. So why not with people? We only have a limited amount of time on this Earth? Why not strive to improve our physical appearance as long as we have the youth and the time and capability to do so?

Koreans realize that there is value to be had in caring about appearance- actually all human beings subconsciously care about appearance (ask any guy who assigns ratings to girls on the scale of 1–10) – its just that Koreans realize this more than other people do. There’s value in looking good – people who look better are often treated better than ugly people – and this is true across different cultures. 
Ask anyone – How would you treat a guy who is wearing baggy shorts and a tshirt and completely bearded compared to that same person clean shaven wearing a suit? How would you treat a girl who is wearing slacks, hoodie and no makeup compared to the same girl wearing full makeup, one piece dress and high heels?
If your answer is ‘exactly the same’ then you are lying.

In any case there’s value to be had in caring about your outer beauty – (inner beauty of course is also important but it can’t be changed as easily) – and Koreans realize this. Other cultures are shallow too but in other ways. Why do Chinese people put so much value into showing off name brand items and wealth? Isn’t that a form of shallow-ness as well? Except in this case I would say there’s less benefit to be had. I would not treat someone who drove a Mercedes or carried a Louis Vuitton bag any different than someone who drove a Hyundai Accent and carried a no name wallet. And most people wouldn’t across the world. Perhaps in China there’s some value to be had but its not a transferable value. Unlike physical appearance which has transferable value anywhere in the world because EVERY CULTURE cares about physical beauty to some degree.Koreans just care about it more. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Between Korea, China, and Japan, which country has a more “intense” work culture (on average)?

I’ve only worked in Korea, not in Japan or China but I’m inclined to say Korea because:

  1. they have 눈치 culture which means you gotta respect your seniors and boss and cannot say anything back. For example you cannot leave your work until your boss does
  2. 회식 which is a type of dinner you have with your coworkers, but you cannot refuse. Your boss invites you to go drinking, you have to go because of 눈치 and sometimes your work details can be affected as a result of these dinner meetings
  3. There’s no separation of personal and work life. Your work life is your personal life. If you got pregnant, you have chance of getting fired. If you got a needy bf/gf? too bad that decreases your chances of getting hired or keeping your job.
  4. 9–6 is the common Korean work hours shift, but its not uncommon to see people working until 9pm, 10pm, midnight, or even 1–2am. Working weekends is normal too.
  5. Its frowned upon to switch companies. If you have too many companies on your resume your new employers might question your loyalty and refuse to hire you.

In my experience meeting Japanese and Chinese people, it seems Japan work culture is very similar but maybe not quite as intense as Korea (90% as intense?) after all Korea’s strict hierarchical work culture comes from Japanese work culture.

In contrast Chinese work culture seems more similar to American work culture and they seem to have little of any of these things. Sure people work overtime in China too especially in cities like Beijing or Shanghai but I think overall Chinese work culture is more flexible and loose.