Saturday 28 August 2021

Neo TWEWY review (3): artwork and music

*Spoilers alert!

The third part of my review, on artwork designs.

OG TWEWY stresses heavily how special is Shibuya as a place where mind collides that is observed by the wide range of artistic expressions around the city including brand products, music and so on.

As story progresses, NEO no longer focus just in Shibuya. Although Rindo and his team still embraces the Shibuya value this is much less obvious for the rest of the characters. 

But that shouldn't stop the producers from making good designs, right?

It's too hard for me to talk whether this pin is well-designed or that song is technically nice, so I tend to mention my favourite here. 

There were so many weird threads that can be accessed via secret reports in OG, unfortunately we do not get those in NEO. This is the funny set that I have for Fret.


The pins are well-designed and their style align with the brand impressions. With the game now being 3D, the producers also put effort on pin effects to align with the brands. 

It's easy enough to find online for a complete analysis on the brands (like this - thegamer: all brands, ranked). Instead of the 12 brands corresponding to the 12 zodiacs, there are now 15 brands in NEO. Most of them are well-made except for the brand "Black Honey Chili Cookie" that looks half-done with very few pins and threads.

My favourite is for sure Monocrow because this is what I personally like to wear: a black and white themed, simple, cool and mildly sporty wearings. Now if I have to choose another brand it's probably Cony Cony because I like Gothic rock...? Although it's likely that I do not fit to wear those fancy butler suits.

As mentioned the significance of brands is really compressed in NEO. This is bad in terms of storytelling because brand is a major sign of clashing signs in Shibuya, as glorified by the everywhere seen brand logos. In OG the shopkeepers had a stronger personality (reaction against different VIP level); the popularity boost is gone, and the brand set boosting is minimal. Why would you abolish something that important?

Of course one mystery left unsolved -- where were all the brands three years ago? All except natural puppy and Neku's favourite Jupiter of the Monkey had been "erased" from Shibuya. Yeah I know fashion is extremely competitive but a mass extinction even in 3 years? Quite unlikely.

Character designs

No complaints in the new characters. The bottom-line is that they fit the taste of 2021. 

It's clear that OG players like me would care more about how OG characters look like in three years of time. Let's say that most of them looked as expected except Josh. He looked a lot closer to a mature adult like Haz then a grown adolescent. Granted he is definitely not 15 or 18 years but like 3000 years old, but that simply violates the "3 years later" impression.

Beat, Sho and Rhyme looked as expected. Shiki's quite interesting: we know her change as in OG, but she really looked so pure in contrast to what her products under the brand of Gatto Nero.

The new outfit of Neku looked nice and it fits the mental change he underwent in OG, although I am not fully convinced that mental change could also lead to such a big change in trendy taste. It's also clear that his costume is designed by Gatto Nero...which is from Shiki, but it looks different from the rest of the clothes from the same brand.

Oh for Kariya and Uzuki I can't tell what were they wearing in OG, but they now look nice.

Character with the most significant change from OG to NEO imo.


This is the hardest part for me to comment on. It's almost impossible for one to appreciate the songs ingame while keeping full pace clearing the game, so let's say I can't give a full review on the matter.

I like how the music amplifies with extra beats when you surf around the city and it's a nice way to enjoy the music, but most of the time you just want to get through the city faster...

They certainly did a great job producing music of all kinds. Hip hop, J-pop, EDMs, raps and many more already in OG with extra genres introduced: nu-metal for the postgame final boss fight. Granted I am not a big fans of that, but it fits a boss that would drive you crazy and any mistake would kill you in an instant. Another instance where I like the use of music is the BGMs for the dives. They made a few different songs that come in rounds during the chained fights to fit the 'emotion' of the noises and that's a fresh experience to me.

But are there any (new) songs that strikes my soul that I fell into love the first time I hear? Probably not. My all time favourites still lie in the OG tracks like Calling and Someday. 

To be fair when I first played OG I played the game muted, so my first impression on the OG tracks did not come when I first played the game. Instead I got them from the blooming Youtube community as well as from Osu -- TWEWY is my first Osu skin used. 

The good ol' days.

So my comment may change in the future. But as it stands the NEO (new) soundtracks are less attractive unfortunately.

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