'Time and Eternity'
Sony PlayStation 3
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 2.0 stars
Ever since the majority of game development moved from Japan to the U.S., action role-playing games have taken over and Japanese role-playing games have fallen to the wayside. Some developers have chosen to bring back the nostalgia of Japanese role-playing games with great success, but disappointing titles like "Time and Eternity" showcase why most gamers choose to ignore them.
The story begins with a joyous royal wedding scene that transforms into a bloodbath before the bride and groom finish the ceremony. Princess Toki easily dispatches the assassins, but soon discovers that her wounded groom cannot be saved. She decides to travel back in time to thwart the attack before it begins, but numerous juvenile comedy scenes make me wonder if the lecherous groom is worth saving.
Apparently, the cute and cuddly Princess Toki has an alternate personality named Towa that has an opposite personality. Players take control of one character during each battle and, unfortunately, cannot change characters or even choose which one enters each battle. It is possible to purchase new skills and magic, but this system is overly complicated. As a result, the cool idea of controlling two characters is squandered.
It also doesn't help that enemies have so many hit points that each battle turns into a tedious, drawn-out affair. The fact that many button presses aren't immediate appears to be a bug at first, but the reality is that new actions cannot be performed during current attack or dodge animations. This is just another poor design decision that takes away from the game play.
Even the cool anime-style visuals suffer from jagged and unrealistic animations. I appreciate the idea of hand-drawn visuals, but putting 2-D sprites onto 3-D backgrounds doesn't work so well. In addition, using the exact same characters and enemies over and over with their colors changed is just lazy.
Sadly, "Time and Eternity" is a more accurate description of the boring game play than it is an interesting storyline.