“50% of marriages end in divorce.” This oft-quoted statement is an urban legend, but it’s still worth mentioning because Time & Eternity is like a marriage gone sour. Everything seemed promising at first. Your new spouse is good looking, quirky, and charming. But the honeymoon phase ends abruptly, and you realize that they’re shallow, boring, messy, and a waste of your time.
The Story: Kamza, a vibrant kingdom located on a lush ocean island, is in the midst of a national event celebrating the upcoming marriage of their princess to a valiant knight. But when a group of assassins appears during the ceremony, this dream come true transforms into their worst nightmare. As the knight lays mortally wounded, the princess reveals her long-hidden secret—there is a second soul living within her, and together they control the power to travel through time. But can they act quickly enough to reverse the course of history and find out what happened that fateful day? Only time will tell…
Title: Time and Eternity
Release Date: July 16, 2013
T&E’s graphical style makes it stand out instantly. Cell-shading is often used to make games look like an interactive anime, but T&E takes things a step further. It combines 3D environments with 2D characters and it gives the game a unique look. Don’t confuse this with 2.5D — this isn’t a side scroller with 3D backgrounds. You can move up, down, left, and right while exploring most areas.
The graphics are cool, but they’re held back by the game’s super-repetitive animations. Toki and Towa’s movements are basically identical, and you’ll see most of them in the first two hours.
The same can be said about their moves. This makes the swapping mechanic feel unnecessary. Sure, each heroin has a few unique perks, but this doesn’t stop them from feeling completely interchangeable.
This would be okay if the combat system was enjoyable, but it’s shallow and repetitive. Dodge, move forward, attack, dodge, jump backwards, attack, attack, dodge, etc. You quickly fall into a rhythm, and the game becomes too easy. You’ll start rushing through battles just to get to the next “semi-amusing” conversation.
The characters, dialogue, and story aren’t worthy of much praise, though. The narrative is okay on paper, but it falls apart after an hour or two. Strong characters would’ve counterbalanced this problem, but T&E‘s cast members fall into four categories — annoying, vapid, uninteresting, cliched, and insufferable.
Okay, this is a niche JRPG. It’s not supposed to appeal to everyone. I get that, and I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional quirky JRPG. So before writing this review off — know this — I’m not just another mainstream gamer who hates anything that isn’t a first person shooter.
Time & Eternity is a cool experiment, but it fails in the gameplay department. A gimmick will only take you so far. Sadly, its gimmick runs out of gas before it even makes it out of the gate, and we’re left with a mediocre game.
Average - There’s nothing wrong with being average, but it’s hard to recommend this game when there are “much” better ones on the market.