Time and Eternity Review
Time and Eternity might have been one of the most promising titles of the year with its grand set of characters all designed by the people behind Fate/Extra and an RPG style gameplay which would have went along well with its 3D graphics. It might have gone on to present us with an experience like no other and allowed us to enjoy a completely different world but alas, it seems that we expected too much.
It turns out that the outcome wasn’t what we all wanted and, worse yet, it seems that the creative skills of its developers was tossed aside in favor of a lackluster and almost pointless plot and an equally hollow method of storytelling. All in all, it almost seems like the developers were almost too lazy to come up with something new and better appreciated by the audience.
The game’s storyline isn’t really half bad as it begins with an interrupted wedding between Zack and the demure Toki. The scene begins with solemn church bells, seemingly announcing the joyous union between the two souls but then ends brutally when the church is soon attacked by a band of assassins who immediately set their sights on Zack and butcher him. Enraged by the loss of her fiancee, Toki suddenly changes form and becomes Towa, a hotheaded and powerful warrior princess of sorts who proceeds to slaughter the assailants in revenge for the loss of her beloved. Then she decides to find a means to travel back in time and somehow prevent the tragic death of Zack.
The storytelling behind the game isn’t all that great and is probably one of the worst written so far. Now yes, the beginning does seem to hold some promise for the player but after that, everything begins rolling downhill from there. The game uses a lot of comedy to get the story going but isn’t really enough to cover up the abounding narm and monotony that the game soon assumes. The jokes it uses are used repeatedly the way you would use to drive a particularly stubborn nail into petrified wood or a plunger on a tightly stuffed toilet. Sure, it might make you smile a bit once you start playing the game but once Time and Eternity starts trying to jackhammer its humor into you, it just becomes utterly annoying.
As for the characters… Oh God, the characters. While the start of the game is somewhat endearing, the game gradually becomes more and more stale as you play on. All of them seem to be cliches of already overused character types and, unlike games like Valkyria Chronicles wherein you can help them develop into better people, the characters are all flat and fail to become anything noteworthy as the game goes on. Special mention goes to Zack who reappears with Toki and Towa in the past but is somehow trapped in the heroine’s pet drake with the bride completely unaware of this bizarre body switch. Zack, who has now become a kind of mascot for the game soon reveals himself to be quite the pervert as he makes attempts to peep on his bride.
The gameplay seems promising at least. Or, that’s the best that can be said about the game. It is both rhythmic and enjoyable. Gameplay takes place between two separate planes with one where Toki or Towa unleash their skills on their enemies with either a highly reliable firearm or a knife like Jack the Ripper to tear your enemies limb from limb. As is often the case with some RPGs, Toki or Towa can use her normal attacks to build up a gauge with which she can use to throw even more devastating attacks at her foes and it seems that you can get better and better attacks as the game progresses.
Toki and Towa, despite mostly being the same person have unique abilities that allow them to take down enemies in more creative ways. They also have a long line of skills, both active and passive in nature, which can serve as direct-damage attacks, spells and bonuses during combat. Due to both characters having largely different skills and abilities, one particular persona will have better chances at winning against one foe than another. However, due to unexplained reasons that should have been considered by the creators, neither character can change from one to the other, leaving baffled players to level grind in order to make them strong enough to deal with any kind of enemy.
While combat does seem at least acceptable at first, it gradually worsens to become more and more reliant on the player’s persistence rather than Toki or Towa’s skills and is more like that of an overly long book than an actual game. In the end, the player ends up fighting horde after horde of monsters that seem tougher than decades old pies. While the beginning seemed good, it seems that the developers decided to spam fetch quests to somehow make the rather short adventure longer than it should.
The graphics can be considered so-so as the characters seem beautiful or even outright gorgeous but then things become awkward when they start moving. A real let down since they actually got a team of professional animators to do the game. The developers were probably aiming to give the game a feel and look like an anime series but it seems they had their minds elsewhere when they finally finished the project.
The audio was probably the only thing that actually made it considering the way they succeeded in giving players some good songs and passable lyrics. You can even switch between Japanese and English vocal tracks. All in all though, the game is just a massive letdown as the characters are just too vapid along with the story and most of the flair comes from its (possibly only presentable) veneer.
Find out more Time and Eternity here