Imageepoch / Satelight
Japanese Role-Playing Game
Official Site: http://nisamerica.com/games/
It's taken me awhile to be able to produce review to this game because I have such conflicted feeling towards it. I've read countless of other reviews to just get a vague idea of the general consensus of the critics, and it is unfortunate that the game just isn't cutting it. I have pondered this long and hard and I finally think I am ready to give my verdict. There are a few things I would like to bring to your attention before hand, though: Time and Eternity was pretty much my first real step into the world of the Japanese Role-playing game... so my sentiments are with it. I have had a blast doing a "Let's Play" of Time and Eternity on our YouTube channel, but that's mostly because of the "what the..." moments in dialogue and story
. If you are still wondering what the hell this game is about, the trailer below pretty much sums it up.
Time and Eternity screams J-RPG from beginning to end with its over-the-top narrative. You play as Zack, the soon to be husband of Princess Toki. The wedding is ruined by an invasion of ninjas and Zack gets himself killed for trying to be a hero. This ultimately leads to Toki revealing that she has something called a dual-soul (basically two souls in one body--more commonly, and scientifically, known as schizophrenia) and her tougher alter-ego, Towa, then suggests that they travel back 6 months in time to prevent the ninja invasion and save Zack; oh yeah, I forget to mention that some princesses have the ability to go back in time.
Though the story seems a little whack, the way it is told makes the experience worth while. Toki, Towa, Zack, and their close friends Wedi and Enda are interesting enough to keep you tuned in. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Reijo (the Sailor Moon wannabe), she is just annoying. The characters and story are this only games saving grace.
The game-play is really dull; especially the combat. The game uses your standard, cut and paste, turn based J-RPG combat system, but it's flawed by being only allowing 1 on 1 combat. It doesn't help that the enemies are repetitive and the combat system is just tedious. If it wasn't for me desperately wanted to make it to the next story element I would have just dropped the controller and said, "enough is enough".
Fortunately, a little bit of depth is added by the rewards and leveling system. Depending on who you use (Toki or Towa) in combat, you earn Affection points. The Affection Balance determines who you will marry at the end of the game and, if you play your cards right, you could end up marrying both of them. Affection points are also earned in meaningful dialogs you have with either Toki or Towa when you return to your home at the end of each quest.
The games presentation is a little over the shop. While the title music is very pretty, the music you hear whilst either in your home or on a quest is very circus-like and gets really annoying really quick. The voice acting, on the other hand, is top-notch by the English cast; they do a stellar job at creating convincingly real characters. The hand drawn animations are also beautiful, but seem very recycled through-out the game--so, although you cannot argue that the hand-drawn graphics are bad, you can argue that there is very little work put into animation and this is evident when you are free-roaming the poorly rendered world and fighting the repetitive monster sprites.
Time and Eternity is a game that could have been so much more. It's a game that had a lot of promise and ambition but was ruined by poor execution. As I mentioned early, despite the awful game mechanics, this game will always have a sentimental value to me because the story is what ignited my interest in Japanese Role-Playing Games. But after playing great games like Persona 4 Golden and Ni No Kuni it's hard to justify just how poorly this game is designed. If you've got the patience for endless amounts of repetitive grinding to proceed through a decent story, then by all means try this game... but at least wait until it hits the bargain bin.
We liked Interesting and Amusing Story, Abundance of Animé upskirts and Sexual Inuendo.
We disliked Tedious and Repetitive Combat, Recycled Animations, and Undefined Game Egine.