July 17, 2013
It's a rather harsh, but interesting start to Time and Eternity as it gives Toki the motive she needs. Fortunately, she as a time traveling ability, which she puts to good use. Travelling back in time six months to the day, Toki goes back to met the fortune teller and with the help of Towa, her alter ego, she looks to try and prevent the disaster. It's also worth noting that Zack is now residing in the body of her pet dragon Drake.
Usually a plot like this in a video game can be very exciting, one that involves and diverse cast of characters to play as. Unfortunately, Time and Eternity has none of those things and lacks in many aspects of gameplay too.
When the player is transferred to the past in order to gather information on the attack, the game tosses a bunch of bland quests at you such instead of giving you something engaging. You have to defeat a monster or buy items for people in town.
Unlike many other JRPGs, these quests aren't very exciting at all. For the first few quests you do not even receive a reward. This felt like a bit of a waste of time. Each quest should offer some kind of reward no matter how small. And for that matter, many of the quests involve you talking to Toki's friends around the table. This should have been called an objective and not a quest. Overall, many of the quests are just a waste of time and aren't enjoyable.
Regarding the characters we have Enda, an innocent young girl who goes to the same school as Toki. Reijo, a girl who likes to let the player know that she is indeed from a wealthy family on many occasions, and Weidy, the wedding planner who has a fairy friend whom she can only see. They all are very one-dimensional characters with all most non-existent back stories.
While making your way though the game you have a world map that lets you visit different parts of the town or go out to different places such as small islands. The game provides little to no exploration in town as you mostly just select a place to go a meet a quest character, shop, or find an area to a do a small amount of exploring. When in an area such as an island, there is a mini map with different icons for things such as quests and items.
The battle system plays out like an anime as you stand on one side of the screen and the enemy on the other. You have the option to attack an opponent from a distance with a projectile attack from your rifle, or run up close and attack with a dagger. Moving the control stick to the right and left to sidestep can help Toki/Towa avoid attacks. Equipping different spells or attacks to the buttons can be used when a meter fills up to their designated cost. If you are knocked down, this meter will restart. If this happens, you need to wait for your special attacks to be available again. While this battle system may seem unique, it isn't very fun to play and at times your attacks can seem too strong providing no challenge.
On an interesting note, Towa, Toki's alter ago can only be switched out when Toki levels up and thus the two take turns in battle though this feature. Both have their own equipment and skills. It adds a bit of fun to the battle system but it still doesn't redeem it much. A problem with Towa is that in battle she feels more like she is a mere pallet swap of Toki despite the fact that she has a more serious attitude as opposed to otherwise cheery Toki. We see this during the story but it seems as though the fact that Towa is a different person is forgotten when it comes to her battle animations. The switching mechanic is well done but this aspect really kills it.
While in battle Drake (again note that Zack is in his body) joins Toki/Towa and provides back up, healing and attacking. He can help you in some tough spots, but it would have been nice to have to option to control him considering that he is one of the main characters.
It feels like the animation tried to be close to an anime, but it feels very awkward when characters move and then talk. When moving on the field the camera will stay fixed behind your character and you only back up slowly when you press down on the control stick. This can feel rather head ache inducing at the start of the game. The lip-syncing is off at times and this can be very draining to look at. Thankfully there is dual audio included for those who do not wish to deal with this and the English voice acting that ranges from decent to down right annoying.
Time and Eternity has some features that were interesting from the start but aren't executed properly. From shallow characters to a battle system that lacks in the fun department there is much that is flawed and lacking in this JRPG. Do yourself a favor and skip out on this title.