Published on July 16th, 2013 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Time and Eternity
Release date: 16 July 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3
Summary: A colourful, third-person, JRPG put together with beautiful, hand-drawn anime characters against a vibrant 3D world.
Concept: When assassin’s crash a wedding, the bride and groom go back in time to prevent it from happening. The quaint story takes place from the viewpoint of Zack, the ill-fated groom, but gameplay battles through kick-ass babes, Toki and Towa, same girl, two personalities and hair colours! You switch between personalities each time you level up. Sounds weird, but it works a charm.
Graphics: Simple and lush, bright and vibrant, this game is a beautiful kaleidoscope of strong colours. The animations are hand-drawn, and while this makes the motion slightly rigid, it’s perfectly playable. The moment the hand-drawn, 2D characters start exploring the 3D world, it’s quite a cool, unique sight.
Gameplay: I’m not a fan of strict JRPG combat, because I find it too restrictive, but there’s few limitations here. Battles are time-based, live action, incorporating a mix of ranged, melee, magic and skills, which are all upgradable as you go up levels. Enemies require a pattern to defeat, meshing dodging, guarding and striking on cue, and you learn their attacks through trial and error. I found this far more engaging than any other JRPG combat system played to date.
Sound: Voices on some characters are particularly irritating on a matter of cutesy, high-pitched squealing commonly found in Japanese anime. Fortunately the main characters are fine. The music ranges from highs to lows, peaking with tearjerking piano solo’s and catchy exploration beats, but plummeting with jazzy jamboree tunes in combat.
Awesomeness: Unlike most JRPGs, the areas are broken up well with good room for exploring and warps to get you out quickly. Mission objectives are explained clearly and there’s enough skill, magic and equipment upgrades to keep you wanting more. Some conversations and side missions get tedious, but the main adventure is both engaging and endearing. While some fights get repetitious, the moves make you feel like a bad-ass, particularly when you stand victor unscathed.
Final Word: Quite frankly, this was the first JRPG I’ve ever enjoyed playing. The characters, battles and presentation had me willingly come back for more, so I’d recommend this to anyone who has struggled with JRPG’s as I have in the past. But as much as I enjoyed it, I can’t praise it as much as I’d like because it has flaws, namely; stiff animations, repetition and some pointlessly-lengthy chatter. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing