Time & Eternity is a unique experience filled with some innovations and common ground. You play as Toki, a princess that is marrying a knight, but tragically, your wedding is interrupted and you are tasked with traveling to the past to fix matters so that your wedding can occur without any trouble. Toki isn’t just the average princess as she is host to two souls; there are in fact two different girls inside one body. Her counter-part, Towa, is a rather forward girl, a far cry from the gentle spirit of Toki. As well as having two souls, she has the ability to travel back in time; something that is used throughout the game.
Graphically, this game isn’t the most outstanding, but there is reason for this. Time & Eternity doesn’t use polygons, but instead, has beautifully hand drawn characters. The environments are the only thing computer generated, but upon looking at them, they are bland in comparison to other Playstation 3 JRPG’s. Not only that, but environments were sometimes recycled for different locations throughout the game; this kind of hurt the immersion slightly.
My first initial reaction when I turned this game on was how it looked like an interactive anime. The characters are beautiful and move around fluently. One of the things however that was a disappointment was how the NPC’s that offered you side-quests all looked identical, with color changes being the only thing to offer uniqueness. This made the experience less engaging since it seemed this world was filled with twins and triplets.
The battle system in this game is largely based on your reactions; if you don’t react fast enough, you will be pummeled. I appreciate the innovation that Time & Eternity is trying to bring to the table with this system, however, it wasn’t executed well. During those long battles with bosses, it became a simple game of spamming the attack button until you gathered enough points to execute special moves. When you did dodge, it felt redundant because some bosses had quick combos, meaning that while your dodge would suffice for a strike or two, you’d walk into another strike or two. I found myself healing a lot as a result. As I mentioned; Toki/Towa can control time, and this ability can be used during battle. For example, she has one spell that allows you to reverse time, making all damage received during a certain time frame void. This allowed you to rewind time to resurrect yourself if you are killed; useful for those times when you get distracted or when your strategy goes wrong.
The dialogue in this game is for the most part, fun. However, I did find it annoying at times at how naive characters could be. But that is quickly over-shadowed by good humor, even though a lot of it is perverted. This is a classic niche JRPG game and if you go into Time & Eternity expecting a fantastic story, with superb graphical environments, you will be disappointed. But what this game lacks in triple A gold, it makes up with it’s quirky charm and humorous dialogue; a NIS America staple. The character interactions for the most part were fun and hilarious, with the laugh-out loud moments usually being Drake and Ricardo. I do however have to point out the awful decision of adding dialogue during battle. For the most part, it was very difficult to listen to what was being said over the gunshots and attacks. Thankfully, the dialogue doesn’t harm the progress of the game, as it is fairly linear.
Despite the downfalls of Time & Eternity, there is a good time to be had. Towa/Toki is a fun character(s) to control and the game does offer a numerous amount of side-quests. I have easily clocked in over 40 hours of Game-Play, but that is taking into account that you take part in all the side quests. Granted, a lot of these quests require you to fetch items or kill certain enemies, but some have a heartfelt story attached to them. My most memorable one being one man mourning the loss of his true love; it kind of touched me. The unique approach to walking around the field is different, and surprisingly works just as well as the standard over-the-top view of most JPG’s, if not better. There is an interesting mechanic – what I like to call the “affection” mechanic – that gives you the opprotunity to get to know the Princess more. However, while it was sometimes perverted humor, or heartfelt dialogue, the actual mechanic itself felt useless, giving no affect that I could see.
This review was based on a PSN code provided by NIS America