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E3 2013: Time and Eternity

Posted on June 11, 2013 AT 07:00am

Publisher NIS America
Developer Imageepoch
Platform PS3
Release Date 07.16.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Life seemed perfect for princess Toki and her fiancee Zack the day before their wedding. However, twenty-four hours later, Toki’s wedding dress is stained with blood, and her beloved Zack lies dying in her arms from a fatal blow brought by the hand of an assassin cloaked in black. Toki—and her dual-soul alter-ego Towa—swear to find an answer to who would do such a thing, and use their power over time control to travel six months into the past to unravel the mystery.

The Verdict

Right away, I want to point out something: I’ve heard very mixed opinions from those who have played the Japanese version of Time and Eternity. Some have enjoyed the game despite its faults, while others have talked as if this game was a plague upon the world.

Here’s the thing though: while I can see where Time and Eternity might come crashing down into a mess once you’re far enough into it, I’m also totally in awe of what I’ve played at this point. It’s just…I cannot begin to tell you the last time I’ve played something like this.

Not in terms of genre, mind you. So far, Time and Eternity seems like your typical JRPG, complete with ridiculously stereotypical characters, humor, and situation. But then there’s that art style! Imageepoch collaborated with Japanese anime studio Satelight, and the result is a game where every character and monster looks like they’ve hopped out of a Japanese afternoon cartoon.

Having hand-drawn character art directly in a game isn’t anything new, but the way it’s been done here is simply mesmerizing. While background and world graphics are fully rendered in polygons—giving away the fact that this is, indeed, a game—characters look, move, and act like those in anime at all times.

When you see screenshots of this game, you can’t full understand or appreciate the effect—I know I certainly couldn’t until I actually played it for myself. The technique that’s been used for Time and Eternity can make gameplay somewhat awkward at times, but it also presents you with an experience that is unlike anything else out there today.

And, you know, I appreciate that. Even if it doesn’t end up being the best game in the world, if Time and Eternity is at least good enough to provide me with a constant level of enjoyment throughout its length, then that’ll be good enough for me—because, sometimes, getting something that really tries to be different can be more appealing than something that simply tries to be perfect.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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