Time and Eternity is a game that starts out very different from what you expect. Unlike most RPGs this one starts with a wedding and then even more bizarrely gets invaded by a group of assassins who are there to kill the princess, Toki. At first you play as Toki’s groom to be, who you can appropriately name whatever you like but his default name is Zack. The inevitable happens and you die trying to protect Toki. In order to save you and her wedding Toki uses her special ability to rewind time but not before she tells you that she is harbouring the soul of another person called Towa.
You travel back in time by six months and somehow along the way you turn into a blue dragon. With this extra time, Toki and Towa can work together to find out who ordered the hit at the wedding and have the happy ending she was meant to have. The game’s main characters interact with each other but their conversations feel very forced and sometimes off. Zack loves Toki and Toki loves Zack but then you add Towa to the mix and you wonder what Towa’s motive is for helping Toki by saving Zack and her wedding.
Later on it becomes clear that each one of the girls Toki and Towa has affection towards you and can increase depending on certain events and actions. This makes part of the game into a dating sim by trying to win the affection of the girl you want to get “their” ending. Some gamers they might like this idea but for others it may feel like a tacked on mechanic which loses focus of the main game. The latter is what I felt while playing the game, as it does not really matter who you choose it’s just down to your personal preference.
Other characters in the game are very flat (not just literally); they are all very standard anime characters and have no depth. Sometimes you get the odd funny joke but most of the time you will find yourself skipping their dialogue as they can get annoying and add nothing to the story. Other non-player characters have even less depth and just become one trick ponies. You talk to them, get your information and then you’re on your way, forgetting they ever existed.
The story and character development is a real shame because behind the bad characters and bizarre story you can see something unpolished and missing in the distance. Playing a heroine saving her own life is a lot more pleasing than the standard guy saves girl in tower scenario.
The two souls of Toki and Towa are one of the best parts of the game. Toki and Towa both have different personalities and are clearly shown as different people even in combat. Every time you level you tag out who your currently playing as and the other soul tags in, meaning you’re always playing as both characters rather than just one. It reinforces the idea that they are two souls sharing the one body. Both girls each have their own skills and trees to work with so players will be able to make them to fit their play style. You have options to make them play quite the same or very different but the character specific skills thrown in there make sure you continue to realise they are two different people and also adds a bit more spice to the mix.
Combat is focussed on real-time dodging and blocking; miss a couple of these and you can be in for a world of hurt. Monsters in the game can really dish out the damage and it’s a great throwback to challenging times. It also means you are focussing on those crucial moments to land a spell or a powerful hit without being interrupted by the enemy. After a while you start to get the hang of the combat and the hardest bit is timing your dodges but once you do it becomes more interesting. Time and Eternity’s combat rewards you the more you put into it.
Sound within the game has a nice musical score that adds atmosphere to the game and it features a good soundtrack from people like Yuzo Koshiro. Some background music loops rather quickly for some people this could be quite annoying as it can start to grate on you but for some it might be quite a relaxing set of music.
The 2D anime style in a 3D world sure is an interesting concept but does not work fantastically in application. It looks beautiful and the art style brings you back to the 80’s/90’s animes but the game tends to reuse a lot of its animations and this becomes noticeable very early on. It becomes very jerky and looks off when you notice the frame loop. The worst example of this is the run animation it’s pretty much two images looping. If more time was spent on the animations the game would have a very unique and refreshing look to it unlike any other game.
Some of the quests are lovely and really add to the story but a lot of the time the quests you are doing are just more of the same. You will find yourself running around areas which look like the last one and the pool of monsters is not massive. Once you see a dozen you will see them again with different colours and size. The New Game Plus option is available but you will probably feel quite exhausted after seeing similar sites the first time around.
Time and Eternity is a game I probably won’t pick up again but it’s not a game I regret playing by any means. It does not technically stand up to most RPGs now but the two main characters progression and combat are something worth mentioning and trying out for yourself. While playing the game I felt as if I could see the game it should be through the cracks and wish I could just pull it through. It has a great concept and idea behind it but it’s poorly executed. Don’t expect much from the game and do be in for some immature and unneeded moments but when you look back you seem to forget the bad and come out with an experience you can’t quite explain.