Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Image Epoch
Purchase here (If you must)!
What they say: 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.
What I say: Time and Eternity has a bit of an identity problem. Much like cute bubbly protagonist Toki who shares her body with another soul, the brash and feisty Towa. Both souls take turns going back in forth in the same body. In perhaps the most apt metaphor of all time this game has the exact same problem. The game cycles back and forth between being a dating sim and a standard RPG. The real problem with this is that both genres are half assed and neither works with the other to make a satisfying whole. Now I applaud NIS for bringing over such a quirky game, and if the game had been any good at all it would have been nice to support that decision. But with the games as it is, that wasn’t meant to be.
This is the story of Zack. A hapless knight soon to be wed to the lovely Toki. After the pre-wedding meet and greet (Yes, this was the real first mission of the game) with Toki’s annoying friends you’re off to the chapel and killed at your wedding. Toki, who it turns out can harness time magic (What luck!), drags both of you back to the past to see why the wedding was crashed by…ninjas. Toki also drops the bomb on you that her body has two souls and the other one is meaner than hell (What luck! Oh…wait…). Thus begins one of the most unsatisfying, repetitive, and dull romps in recent memory. In 1995 this would have felt dated.
On the upside, the character models and cutscenes are beautifully animated and rival most big budget Anime films. However, this only applies to the character models as the backgrounds are dull and repetitive. The game shamefully cycles through no more than 4 or 5 terrain types, hoping the lushly animated Toki and Towa will distract you from the obvious laziness. As for game play, it’s pretty basic. You go yap to Toki’s friends then go do a mission, rinse and repeat. Yeah. Every time you level up you change from Toki to Towa (or vice versa) and Zack is trapped in the body of Toki’s pet dragon who is completely worthless in battle.
The game consists of four scenarios, each one has you going back in time to stop another attempt on the wedding. So in other words you keep failing miserably (or causing your own murder…plot twist!). Also depending on which girl you flirt with more there is an affection meter to see who you lean more toward. Wow. About half way through the third scenario I just gave up. I couldn’t take it anymore. I usually pride myself on the fact that I completely finish any game before I write the review. But if I did that here, I would never write the review. I understand that dating sims are pretty rare here in the US and those fans that enjoy them really want to support this, but it really isn’t worth subjecting yourself to this mediocre game with bland game play and cardboard characters to do it. The nice visuals only carry it so far.
Time and Eternity is available as a retail disc and PSN digital download.