Imageepoch does not have a great track record. While several of their titles have had interesting concepts, they have never been able to pull it together in a cohesive title. Time and Eternity has this same problem. While there are moments of interest and some interesting ideas buried in it you have to tunnel through one of the most painfully boring Role Playing Games to hit the international market.
The day of Princess Toki’s wedding, to eye rollingly tedious pervert knight Zach, should be the happiest day in the kingdom’s memory. Tragically an attack stops the couple from finding their happily ever after when Zach gets a sword through his gut. While annoying this doesn’t prove to be a catastrophe because the royals are born with the ability to time travel. Even more helpful Toki shares her body with a completely separate soul, Towa. The dual souled princess travels back six months to Toki’s meeting with a fortune teller who had predicted the attack, unknowingly bringing dying Zach’s soul back with her to reside in her pet dragon.
It doesn’t take long for players to understand that Imageepoch had no intention of telling a good story. They throw everything at the wall and keep throwing the same ideas and jokes repeatedly after they fall flat the first time. Repeatedly… often… non-freaking-stop. Holding cliches and misogyny close to it’s heart Time and Eternity fails to elicit a single chuckle, unless your idea of hilarity is repeatedly hearing someone beg to take a bath with his fiance’s best friends. After every single moment like this, and they make up roughly half the spoken dialog, we’re treated to some inane gush over how much Zach LURVES Toki. It makes almost every scene awkward and frankly hurts the whole point of the game, Zach having to choose between Toki or Towa (because realizing that in order to really love her he should be able to accept both sides of her personality… since that’s really what they are… like schizophrenia but with magic changing hair.) Zach is one of the most deeply hateable protagonists to ever make a blight on the media’s landscape.
Ok, so the story isn’t anything to talk about but that’s not a deal breaker if the gameplay and graphics are worthwhile. Yeah… they aren’t. Time and Eternity’s 2D characters in a 3D world could have worked really well and made the characters pop. The animations are flat and often choppy. The main characters lack any distinctiveness. Their animation is choppy. There are only a handful of character designs and relied on resizing and color pallet swaps to cover this. You will see the same four enemies an uncountable number of times. The environments are mostly empty with only a handful of the exact same trees, bushes and standing ruins scattered around haphazardly.
Even with the pallet swaps the enemy types do not vary any any other way. They all use the same attacks and the strategy never varies. Encounters are in real time which should lead to dramatic and interesting fights. Though, like I said, the enemies never change. After the first couple encounters with a specific type you should have everything you need to know to take out every other one you see. All the attacks are telegraphed in such a way that one is never surprised by an attack and giving you ample opportunity to dodge. The battle system offers distinct special moves for both Toki and Towa but there’s no reason to even bother with most of them. Just stand back there and jam on the normal attack button dodging when the animation prompts you to. Going in close is rarely an option worth considering since it takes forever to carve them up. Ranged weapons are stronger and spells are ridiculously overpowered. It’s almost as tedious as the drooling monologues from Zach.
Side quests are just fetch quests or “destroy monster X!”. Of course all the items you’re sent to find are plentiful and the special side monsters are just more of the standard one with special names. That’s it. There’s little reason to even bother with them. The rewards for fighting and completing side quests are trivial.
Time and Eternity is one of the reasons Japanese RPGs get such a bad reputation in the west. There has to be better ones that never see international distribution so why waste the time, effort and money to port this? It’s not even going to register on most gamer’s radars and it’s too painfully pandering and poorly made to make anyone except the most hardcore Otaku even passingly entertained. I keep giving JRPG’s the benefit of doubt because of cherished childhood experiences with the classics… though if I were honest… it’s not worth it. Digging through 30+ hour piles of excrement for the rare diamond just doesn’t hold the satisfaction in this genre as it does in almost any other, be it games or movie or books or whatever. Come on importing publishers…. give us something good and let’s all forget that Time and Eternity ever fucking happened.