|Pub: NIS America|
|Release: June 16, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes|
To throw salt on the wound, Time and Eternity’s story doesn’t really do much, either. Characters are all such blatant and hollow archetypes that there’s no point in sympathizing with them since it’s obvious how they’re going to interact and behave. The plot progression is completely nonsensical, and this is still a title designed with the mindset that sexual assault is okay as long as the guy is either a buffoon or suave as all hell about it. It’s one extreme or the other. Because, remember, extremes are funny, and that can make oversexed, disloyal perverts funny. (Not saying they can’t be funny, but it isn’t inherent. You have to work for it).
The game drives this home with the occasional cheesecake shot, usually tied to a “heartfelt” interaction between Toki/Towa and her fiancé. Speaking of such interactions, the relationship between Towa and Toki’s fiancé (since he didn’t know about the second “soul” beforehand) is one of the initial points of potential drama in the game. This is defused fairly quickly and anticlimactically.
I was shocked when I discovered that Kei Hirono was behind this game. His other major project, Dark Souls, is a stellar confluence of atmosphere, challenge, and tight gameplay. Time and Eternity lacks all of these, and when the novelty of its visuals wears off, it’s left with absolutely nothing. Why pour three years into putting together just the art when it constricts the game to a format that is patently unenjoyable? Why spend three years creating such a small amount of art relative to the amount necessary to carry a title of this length in a way that doesn’t look lackadaisical at best and phoned in at worst?
There are great techniques out there for giving 3D visuals the illusion of hand-drawn clarity. The upcoming Guilty Gear Xrd looks to be the pinnacle of this, allowing for full 3D camera movement around characters who look true to their classic, 2D predecessors. Maybe Imageepoch just wanted to experiment. I can’t fault them for that, and they certainly had guts in putting this game together. NIS America, too, for bringing it overseas. I’m only sorry that the concept and effort didn’t come together into a cohesive whole.
Date: July 16, 2013