Time and Eternity opens the day before the wedding of Zack and Toki. Toki is a pink-haired princess of Kamza and Zack is a Knight is the service of the kingdom. There is a tutorial quest right off the start to introduce you to the cast of supporting characters and to set up the game. During the wedding, assassins appear and Zack is mortally wounded and this is when we find out that Toki has two souls living within her, Toki and Towa. Not only does she have an alter ego but she controls the power of time travel and she jumps back in time six months to stop the assassination. It is at this point we find out that Zack has been reborn as her blue skin dragon pet Drake.
The graphics of the game really make it stand out. Time and Eternity is the first game to have each frame of animation completely hand drawn for every character. The art really has the feel of a 1980 Japanese anime. This makes the game stand out with hand drawn characters on CG backgrounds. Sometimes the backgrounds would look bad and generic. When the hand drawn characters is put up against these backgrounds the game looks strange or like a PS2 game, other times the two meshed well and looked great.
The combat of the game is simple one-on-one duals where extra enemies wait their turn rather than having two or three at a time. You pretty much have two attacks, ranged with a rifle or close with a knife. Attacking charges up your SP and once the bar is full you can unleash a close combo that will do more damage. You can block attacks with a push of a button and you can dodge attacks with a flick of the stick left or right. Sounds easy but it’s all about timing and getting the pattern of the enemy’s attack down. If you slow down and take your time you could get through an encounter without taking a single hit.
With two personalities in one body you can choose different skill progression for each when leveling up. When you level up you swap out personalities so you can level up the other. I would rather be able to choose which one to attack with at the start of the encounter because some quests and events can only be triggered by Towa and if I was playing as Toki I would have to grind out a level before it would change back to Towa and I could continue with the story.
I had very high hopes for Time and Eternity, maybe too high. When I hear about a company bringing over a game from Japan that may not normally be released in the west I get excited. This is a game hard core JRPG’ers may like, but your average everyday RPG’er will be completely turned off by it. With Disgaea D2 and The Guided Fate Paradox coming this fall there is hope for some great JRPG’s to scratch my itch for that game I can’t get in the west.
I give Time and Eternity a 2.75 out of 5.
Time and Eternity is rated T for Teen and will be available only on PS3 July 16th on PSN and on Blu-ray.
Look for the video review coming soon at http://www.youtube.com/GoozerNationPodcast
Thanks to NIS America for the review copy download.