Time and Eternity Review
The Eternal Battle
Time and Eternity was a desperate challenge for me to finish. It was a mix between the constantly repetitive storyline and the complete lack of effort put towards the animations that made this game perhaps one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played. Using the strange mix between beautiful, traditional 2D Japanese animation and the horridly rendered 3D environment, this game will keep you guessing, if the strange mix between a fighter game and a dating SIM doesn’t first.
The game takes place in Kamza, a relatively large island city in comparison to those around, in which the Monarchy of the whole game-world resides. The main character, named by the player, but generically named Zack, is a Knight of the Kingdom, who’s main hope, beyond getting inside the princess’s pants, is to gain rank in the order and serve the Kingdom until his dying breath. This proud hero is getting married to the princess of the realm, Toki, who is hiding a deep secret. She’s got two souls residing within her one body: Toki, the shy, yet kind princess that everyone knows, and Towa, this seemingly badass character who doesn’t take lip from anyone. Upon the day of their wedding, they are attacked by ninjas from the Assassin’s Guild, which triggers an event and the princess hurls both her and her beloved who is dying on the floor, 6 months back in time. And then, finally, you get to play the game.
Strangely enough, at the beginning of the game you are required to name the main character… But you never actually play as the main character of the game. Instead, throughout the game you are playing as Princesses Toki and Towa, who seemingly have an innate skill for a dagger and a rifle (even though they’ve been cooped up in Kamza for their entire lives.) You move around a 3D rendered world in which you can find special events for our little friend Drake, who is really the main character’s soul trapped within a dragon, to try to get inside of her pants. This couples along with a completely useless “Love and Sincerity” meter that does absolutely nothing for your gameplay, but shows you which of the two characters loves you (the main character) more.
The game starts out extremely easy, even on it’s “normal” difficulty (which is the highest it goes.) Suddenly, however, the game hits a gigantic difficulty spike and you start fighting things more than twice your level, which isn’t entirely a challenge until the boss fights roll around and you have to dodge their powerful attacks, or get 1-shotted. In the final 2 hours of gameplay, the game forces you to take certain paths in order to beat the bosses, otherwise you are left powerless. For example, without the lightning and the ice spells, there is absolutely no way to beat Makimona (a boss in the last hour of gameplay) either time that you fight her.
The combat itself is excessively easy to master, when all you have to do is spam O to fight, and Toki has absolutely no cooldown on her rifle. The attacks power-up your “SP” which allows you to cast spells and do special abilities for extra damage. In other words: spam O until your bar is filled, hit another button, rinse and repeat until enemy is deader than a fried chicken in Louisiana. There is almost no mechanics to the monsters that have any amount of challenge until you reach the first boss fight, which barely does any damage to you, but it’s easy to figure out.
Graphics & Sound
The developers took a large risk by making the game’s sprites entirely out of 2D Japanese art, with around 6-10 total animations for any of the characters in the game, which are repeated over and over again monotonously until you’re questioning how exactly those animations even fit those moments. Even stranger than that, the environment in which you’re running around in is 3D, which sends your depth perception into the toilet and makes you question every single thing around you. The monsters being copy and pastes of each other with a different pallet is no innovation to the JRPG world, but I still would have liked to see some creativity placed into the changes, and not a simple Photoshop change. Although I enjoyed the art of the game, they should have definitely stuck with one… or the other.
The sound, however, was completely different, and could possibly be one of the only things I actually enjoy about this game. The sound was very well done, and propelled you forwards into the battle. The music was powerful and engaging during combat, and soft and sensual during the love scenes. The voice acting, on the other hand, was often shoddy and hard to stick with. Some words were emphasized that I still do not understand why, and that causes you to question the story even more than you already have.
The game, although having several bad qualities, keeps you playing regardless of your experience. Even as I sat here in my apartment, audibly complaining about every detail of the game to the people around me, I still had the urge to keep going. Perhaps, this is because I am one of those people that never puts down a challenge, but even the story seemed engaging upon a certain level. The game had the potential of being great… I assume that the developers simply didn’t have the money to do it right.
Also… Never put this game on easy. It’s not even worth the quick battles because you still have to wait through the game’s cinematics at least once. You might as well have a challenge while you’re doing it.
Time and Eternity is not a game for everyone. If you love traditional Japanese animation and very simple game mechanics, however, this game might be for you. Among the huge market of JRPGs in the world, however, this game ranks towards mid-level mediocrity, if not below. Games such as Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star will always leave games like Time and Eternity in their dust.