Time and Eternity: An Exercise In Repetition And Monotony

By Jamie Love . July 2, 2013 . 2:20pm

On the eve of a royal wedding, Time and Eternity opens with the bride, Toki, and her groom, Zack, quickly joined by three of Toki’s girlfriends to sit around a table and greet players with their first epic quest, “pre-wedding meet and greet”.

 

I found myself tasked with clicking on icons to engage the company in high-pitched anime conversations, the typical static portrait images of characters herein replaced with something stretching the term “animation” to its limits. Characters alternate poses while speaking, often crossing and uncrossing their legs frantically as if in desperate need of the nearest bathroom.

 

Somewhere during these introductions I considered climbing to the highest storey of a very tall building and jumping from a window, but then the wedding animation commenced, and the ceremony was interrupted by ninjas, and I thought maybe, just maybe, Time and Eternity had simply gotten off to a rough start and was about to improve.

 

I was very, very wrong.

 

Back to the story. The narrative suddenly erupts with ideas as Zack becomes fatally wounded defending Toki at the altar, who for her part, suddenly reveals an ability to travel back in time. Stick with me here a moment.

 

Toki travels back six months before the wedding in order to discover the reason behind the attack and prevent Zack’s death, and Zack finds himself transported with her but trapped in the body of her small floating dinosaur pet, Drake. Toki also reveals Towa, or moreover, reveals that her body possesses dual souls, with the unfolding events suddenly causing Toki and Towa to shift possession of that single body. Up until this point the two had kept this from happening, with Towa opting to allow Toki to have constant control.

 

All of these details and more become conversation fodder for the endless roundtable from the beginning of the game, with Toki/Towa continually sitting down to discuss events with her three friends while Zack initially suffers in Drake’s body without anyone around him knowing. Eventually, the chitchat reaches a conclusion, designating a quest that will actually allow players to move a character around the screen and beat down some monsters—after which you’ll often return to have another conversation about said adventure before gaining yet another destination via a world map that adds selectable icons to move Toki/Towa along a plodding course to new locations.

 

Once you reach a playable area, you’ll find the camera positioned behind Toki/Towa and Drake, appearing rather lovely and shiny overtop of bland grassy environments, the sharp character art colliding with the familiar mucky landscapes that step right out of any RPG you’ve entirely forgotten about over the years. But it’s a bewitching sight for the eyes given how damn strange it appears, as if you’re suddenly playing some lost Sega CD title Imageepoch happened to dust off and port to the PlayStation 3.

 

If I were more cynical, maybe I’d compare it to taking any modern rendered character and dropping them back onto environments from the previous generation. Normally, if a game can muster something interesting I don’t often concern myself with visual fidelity; however, the character animation is entirely subpar here. Admittedly, when I was looking at screenshots of the title (prior to having played it) throughout the year my own interest was piqued. When random battles are triggered while running around these rather unimaginative areas, that character animation continues to fascinate the hell out of me—it’s like some terrible accident I just can’t take my eyes off of.

 

And the battles are somewhat interesting, at least in theory.

 

An enemy will appear in the distance, and Toki/Towa can immediately begin issuing a ranged attack in real time, or press forward on the analog stick to jump closer, hitting the circle button to issue close attacks and pressing up on the analog stick to deal a jump kick—all while Drake attempts to aid her with attacks of his own. Enemies will visibly gear up to deal their own attacks, at which point the player can press to the side to dodge, or choose to block.

 

SP points build up as Toki/Towa deals damage to enemies, which allows for more powerful attacks assigned to the remaining face buttons of the PS3 controller. These special attacks are gained as players earn gift points from battles and spend them on separate gift skills for Toki and Towa—with active skills for battle and passive skills for benefits outside of fights.

 

Toki and Towa will initially swap control as players level up, so you may find yourself halfway through an area and level up with Toki to suddenly find yourself switching to playing as Towa—at which point you’ll also be introduced to the affection gauge which sways between the two identities as conversations with other characters continue to unfold.

 

But I really want to get back to these battles for a minute.

 

The ability to instantly smack down enemies and dodge their attacks with smooth shiny character art was a pretty big lure for me that fell apart rather quickly. Even as it collapsed I persisted in looking for some redeeming grace, and admittedly there are small charms that shine at times, particularly with some of the enemy attacks, such as a tantrum strike that has a golem swinging its fists like an angry child in the toy aisle.

 

Toki/Towa will also encounter one enemy, and after defeating it pull back to give way to a second enemy, and then often a third, which seemed a bit slick even as the routine grew quickly familiar and tedious. It might be the want for strategy, though, and the sense that the game attempts to encourage familiar swipes at that with elemental advantages—but I often found this to be a game of continually dodging until the opportunity to button mash between the central attack button and a special ability opened up.

 

I feel like I get the idea at the heart of this, though, of a game where the action flows fluidly with splendid animation that encourages players to forgive how everything else looks. But the animations are often glitchy, or splotchy, or whatever word you favor to describe an effect where it doesn’t really feel like your actions are matching up with what you’re seeing on screen. Sometimes an enemy will be striking as I dodge, and continuing to strike as Toki/Towa is finished dodging but somehow avoiding damage while at other times not—all against a very limited amount of enemies that quickly resorts to palette swaps, and by quickly I mean by the second small area of the game within the first hour of play. The flow of action is strange and fascinating, and then quickly drained of life through continual battles against a slim lineup of enemies with limited patterns of attack.

 

Exploration and secondary quests in areas do little to save face here—these areas involve little more than trotting across the same landscapes to activate warp crystals that in turn save you trotting back over said landscapes after fighting an area boss that serves as the point of each quest. There’s just nothing interesting going on outside of battles, or within them for that matter—and I say that as someone who even found a few things to like in NIS America’s 2010 release of Last Rebellion.

 

There’s a level of humor the NISA faithful might appreciate—when Toki and Zack are thinking of names for one another once they are married, the option to say “Call me daddy” becomes available as Zack sharpens a rather strange and creepy identity in a game filled with characters that are odd for the sake of being odd.

 

These rare moments aside, there’s just nothing redeeming going on here. I think this might actually be one of the worst games NISA has ever attempted to bring to the West, which I suppose is impressive so long as you haven’t invested any of your own dollars into that endeavor. This is one of the most bizarre, jarring, and irritating games I have ever attempted to play.

 

If you’re thinking it has any of the odd charms of other titles NISA has gifted us with, it just doesn’t. I’ve had plenty of love for some of those efforts over the years, but I couldn’t live with myself if I said anything other than run, don’t walk, away from Time and Eternity.

 


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  • MrTyrant

    I knew that this game was bad but reading the actual reviews, not just here but other site too, all agree that this game is horrible. Even japanese people voted that this was one of the worst game.

  • Chogokin

    Hopefully nobody will be surprised when they find out that this is a bad game.

    • Tyler Beale

      Dammit, and I pre-ordered the LE, too..I kinda knew it wouldn’t be that great based on the fact that it was ONE OF THE WORST GAMES IN JAPAN. But I’m going to take the plunge anyway.

  • Ferrick

    Time and disappointment…

    • serverny

      This game would be perfect as niche B-title for $29.99 (it has some appeal and sure is unique in art and mechanics), but some retard decided that its smart to charge full AAA price of ~$50 for it…

  • Rob Hestar

    You know when people in japan hate a jrpg ITS BADDDD…

    • xXDGFXx

      Surprisingly, even bad things become worth a lot later on… like that the critically acclaimed demo disc with the crappy game…

      • Tyler Beale

        What demo with what game?

        • xXDGFXx

          Don’t recall, but it was part of an article I read way back. Someone actually bought the game for quite a sum despite it being a bad game. It was the rarity of the game that backed its value, or so it was stated by the author. I think it was for the PS1.

    • Lynx

      Using Japan as a grading point is horrible. They like Seed Destiny.

      • Rob Hestar

        People in japan love JRPGS more than people in other parts of the world.If they voted it one of the worst games it has to be bad!

      • Ace Trainer Chris

        Actually, they loved Gundam SEED as a whole. Which is still terrible. But even so, they are right in naming this game a “kusoge” (“Shit game”).

    • Manny Being Manny

      Famitsu gave it a 32/40. While not great, its not bad either. Its in the same range as Neptunia and Atelier games.

      • mirumu

        Famitsu gives almost everything really high scores. Even really bad games tend to get no less than 28/40.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

          Not to mention that they’ve been handing out 40s pretty leniently as of late. I remember back in the early 90s when Link to the Past almost became the one that pulled off a perfect 40 only to dash our hopes and be a 39. Nowadays, it’s no big deal. They don’t really have the same standards of reviewing as they once did.

  • Haku_Luvs_You

    Mine just sits in the limited edition box. A great waste of $150 import.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Worst game they have brought to the west? I didn’t play it, but is it worse than Last Rebellion?

    • Josephl64

      no…nothing can be. I somewhat liked it, it grows on you(Tokitowa)

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        Well I feel like I can play “bad” games anyway. I’ll take my chances with T&E

    • Akimitsu

      At least Time and Eternity looks to have the animation somewhat going for it. Last Rebellion was nothing but absolute trash, despite its combat system having an interesting premise.

  • CrimsonDX

    I am still going to pre-order this game.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

      It’s as those who read up have been saying in the comments for months and what other import reviews echoed.

      But hey, your money. I guess you’re fine with funding mediocre or
      less things so that mediocre or less things keep coming. I mean an example being that people would’ve bought the XBOX ONE had they remained on their horse for DRM and some other policies regardless of the backtrack. People will do the same for this or any other game if it was the worst rated game of all time.

      Thanks for that. I’d rather my ‘not paying my money’ be heard more than yours in the form of blindly giving away money because pretty art.

      • Lynx

        You realize that the major issue with this game was the lack of polish? If people supported it and didn’t automatically bash it, it would be possible to get another game down the road with the much needed polish. *coughFinalFantasycough* EDIT: Because people are going to get the wrong on the cracks about FF, I was referring to the original and how each game after that improved on the core formula.

        • Ferrick

          its not the lack of polish or anything, its just that the overall story is already too repetitive, just by beating the first villain you can already guess where it is going

          • Lynx

            And? It never openly stated that the story would be mind shattering and totally unique. There’s nothing with a cliche story now and then.

          • Ferrick

            that IS a huge problem for a story-driven RPG

            since you can’t see the big picture, here let me draw it out for you.

            A girl was jealous of the wedding, henceforth she sets out and kills the MC during the wedding, and Toki would turn back time and beat the heck out of the girl, or atleast solve her loneliness, and then she returns to the present to continue the marriage only for ANOTHER girl to do the same and toki would turn back time yet again and do the same thing again. Rinse and repeat several times

          • CrimsonDX

            *shrug* sounds fine to me.

          • Ferrick

            it may be fine for you but definitely not for me, especially if the plot is recycled many times in one game! Would’ve been okay if it was recycled into other games, but not this…

            to make things worst, there is no built up, and the climax is nothing more than just the beginning, you will see that wedding scene so many times that you would learn to loath it

          • Göran Isacson

            … Is… is that seriously the plot? Like, Zack gets killed by Tokis not!harem of jealous girlfriends? Is that ALL the plot is about?

          • Ferrick

            sadly yes…

          • Göran Isacson

            Wow. She doesn’t even wisen up and decide to be proactive and tell the prospective assassins to NOT kill her boyfriend or anything, it just keeps happening over and over again?

          • Ferrick

            that’s exactly what happens, she either beats up or solve the assassin’s angst to prevent them from killing her boyfriend and that’s it, near zero character development because the characteristic of the MC and her and her alter ego is pretty much stagnant the entire game…

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

            Why are you getting the game again? Since you’re obviously defiant of the fact that what the review mentioned isn’t a factor, I’d like to hear your take on why you’re so adamant on it.

          • Lynx

            I have the Japanese version and am getting the NISA release. Also, Defiant? You realize reviews are subjective? I’m just stating my thoughts. Isn’t that what these are for?

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

          I was going to debate that but your mentions of a series that is arguably quite a bit more worth it versus the one in question docked you the time.

          I held quite a great interest with Time and Eternity, much that my initial response alludes to for looking up reviews to it in advance months ago (read: Japanator and a few other sites). They gave me the bottom line and it echoed elsewhere as well. Looking at the actual game on YouTube and a few other places led me to the same conclusion: They don’t deserve my money.

          I’ve made the blind decision of throwing money at games expecting better eventually (Neptunia, for instance). It doesn’t work that way.

          • CrimsonDX

            I love the Neptunia series. The battle system of the first one was a little repetitive, but I loved the story. The second game and third games are amazing imo.

        • Haku_Luvs_You

          Honestly this is one game I hope doesn’t get supported. I wouldn’t mind if this dies in a raging inferno. They should bring us something better like Sol Trigger.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Sol Trigger really would’ve been nice.

            It’ll be sad to see NISA not recoup their investment, but… I mean, if the game isn’t good, the game isn’t good. I should hope people aren’t so enamored with NISA that they’ll just snap up anything.

            By all means, if they really want the game, but I can’t understand the whole “It sucks but I’ll buy because NISA!” mentality.

          • mirumu

            I’d like to see NISA not get too punished for trying something different. I think they really could do with some new ideas. Unfortunately this game really doesn’t seem to have been very well thought out.

            Now The Witch and The Hundred Knights on the other hand looks more like something I can get behind.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Well, that’s the thing, NISA didn’t try anything different. They bought into a game that was supposedly trying something different, and failed at what it tried. I won’t damn them for the game’s flaws, as that’s not their fault, but I won’t let them get off Scot-free either.

            If anything, I hope this makes them more selective in what they decide to localize. Quality’s subjective, but in this case there are problems that go beyond one’s personal opinion.

            I’m with you on The Witch and The Hundred Knights. I’ve been looking forward to that since it first got announced, way back when.

          • mirumu

            True, I was forgetting NISA didn’t actually develop this.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I would have dropped my wallet in front of them for 7th Dragon 2020………

          • DesmaX

            Well, I do believe that this is a game that people will buy for the artwork, so I guess it was smart to pick up this game (Hell, they only published this because Namco didn’t want. It was their game)

            And don’t forget about Guided Fate Paradox. I think ZHP was better than any Disgaea game (And I loooove Disgaea)

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, the artwork was really why I wanted it, before I found out it was horrible lol.

            Ah, I can’t do Guided Fate Paradox. SRPGs aren’t my cup of tea. ZHP always looked interesting, but I avoided that for the same reason.

          • DesmaX

            Well, to be honest it’s not a SRPG. More like a Dungeon Crawler Rogue-Like

          • Solomon_Kano

            Hm. Rogue-like… rogue-like… can you name me another rogue-like? Because that genre doesn’t bring anything to mind for me lol.

          • DesmaX

            Final Fantasy: Chocobo Dungeon?

          • Solomon_Kano

            Never played it, but I just looked at a gameplay video. So… it plays like that?

          • DesmaX

            Yeah, I also looked at the Wii game… And, yeah, it’s like that. Pretty “exotic” gameplay, but really addicting.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Interesting. Might snag it on PSN one of these days.

            And GFP plays like that, too?

          • DesmaX

            Yeah, it’s pretty much identical as ZHP.Just fixing some gameplays problems for it, and adding a party member. Pretty much the same as Cladun x2/Legasista

          • Solomon_Kano

            Interesting. Guess I’ll give both a look, then.

          • MPHavoc

            Sol Trigger, The Last Promise and even the Last Ranker would’ve been a sweet deal. I thankfully saved myself 60$ by looking at the JP playthroughs before any reviews were written. Sorry Imageepoch, as much as I support you and your games, I can’t support this crap.

            Welp, time to go and get me a copy of Project X Zone and Killer is Dead.

          • Solomon_Kano

            The Last Promise… is that Final Promise Story?

            I really wanted that and Last Ranker! They both looked great. I dunno what Imageepoch thought they were doing with TokiTowa though…

        • Tom_Phoenix

          What about the original? The first FF was a great game, arguably moreso than its sequel. Granted, subsequent titles did improve upon it, but the original was never regarded as mediocre by any means.

          By comparison, Time and Eternity seems like a subpar game that only stands out due to its animations. As such, it seems rather unlikely that a great series could come out of it, especially since it would be easy to utilise its one unique feature in a different game.

  • Gildohma

    Just saved me $50. Ive been very strained this summer with so many titles coming like Killer is Dead, Tales of Xillia, Dragon’s Crown, SRIV and just recently purchasing a 3DS for Project X Zone and SMT4 that I just wasnt sure if I wanted to give the $50 bucks for Time and Eternity… I mean I have been looking forward to the game but deep down inside I know really only want it because of the animation lol!

    • VitaminC

      Your money is probably better spent on Dragon’s Crown if you want a game for its animation.

      • Gildohma

        Dragon’s Crown is a definite for me animation or not lol. I remember putting countless hours into Capcom’s old D&D games way back when and then again after the PSN release so I am really anticipating that one.

        • EtroAnime

          Dragon’s Crown does look awesome but man so many games that I want come out in the next few weeks.

    • KonjikinoSora

      Have you considered buying the Japanese version of Xillia online? I saw a used copy for $20 on Amazon.

      • Arrei

        I would think it likely that if he were planning on playing the Japanese version he’d have done it long ago, what with the original release being just shy of two years ago.

      • Gildohma

        I bought the Japanese version not too long after it launched. I was about 40something hours in when I decided to sell it because they announced the U.S version. It got a little irritating since I have a hard time reading japanese lol luckily tales games are mostly voiced so spoken I was able to understand with no problem but messing around in the menu took like 5 minutes of staring at the same word. I do the same with the Yakuza series but 5 is taking forever to know if it’ll even be localized

    • Ryumoau

      agreed. Tales of Xilia is just around the corner, so no need to settle for a low rate jrpg from Nisa when a real jrpg is coming next month.

  • Sergio Macellaro

    I gonna try my lucky, even with reviewed like shit.

  • Michael Martin

    Guess I should try to cancel my LE pre-order. I was kind of on the fence anyway, but these reviews all indicate my money is better spent elsewhere.

    • Rob Hestar

      It might be worth money one day,only reason to keep it IMO,lol

  • mirumu

    This kind of reminds me of the old Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair games in the 80s. Their amazing-for-the-time laserdisc-based visuals made them look like something from the future, but the hardware limitations and near non-existent gameplay quickly dispelled such thoughts. Ultimately they were pretty bad games overall.

    The screenshots for this give much the same vibe to me. I mean aside from the fact many don’t like the common anime art styles, there haven’t been many games that have pushed it to this level. That in itself is impressive to me, but also like those Don Bluth games, it seems to falter in every other sense.

    I could imagine myself picking this up from a clearance bin purely as a curiosity, but definitely not at it’s release price.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

      Most of it plays on pretty visuals to sell the product…and it’s becoming a staple as of late with a lot of games that offer up screenshots but very little gameplay to back it up. It must still sell, though. Gameplay be damned, as long as there’s something to…view…for reasons…people will still get the game.

    • malek86

      Mmh, dunno. At least Dragon’s Lair looked actually really impressive for its time (I mean the arcade version). If you consider that the average game looked like Super Mario Bros, something like Dragon’s Lair would look absurdly good in comparison.

      But this game? Even if the character animations were good, there would still be the generic-rendered everything else. Honestly, those screens don’t look impressive. There’s too much difference between characters and backgrounds. They look awkward, if anything.

      (I suppose this is also the reason why I can’t really get behind the Lego games, they would need to make the enviroment also Lego-based imho)

      • mirumu

        The backgrounds definitely aren’t anything special. In terms of character animation though what other games looks like this? All that’s really coming to mind for me is Ni no Kuni. Most games with anime characters are 2D, cell shared or fully 3D rendered.

        I’m not saying the art style itself isn’t generic, but characters in games aren’t normally rendered this way.

        • malek86

          Yeah, they aren’t, but the final result is not all that different from a cel-shaded game. While with Dragon’s Lair, there was absolutely nothing that looked even nearly as good.

          Mind you, I’m sure anyone would rather play the most mediocre of NES games rather than Dragon’s Lair, but that’s a different matter.

  • Manny Being Manny

    I’ve still got it preordered and looking foward to it. Most mainstream JRPG fans seem to hate it but I’ve heard good reviews of it from the people who like otaku anime and JRPGs which is the crowd I’m part of.

    • Ferrick

      they weren’t kidding when the overall game is just a repetition of plot…

      • mirumu

        Endless Eight…the game?

        • Ferrick

          Ouroboros concept… the game

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

            Aptly put. I lol’d.

          • Michael Connell

            So Hazama made this game?…That actually makes sense…

          • Ferrick

            i think you meant Trollzama made this game XD

    • raitouniverse

      I like otaku anime and JRPGs and seeing videos from this… it just looks awful… This isn’t a neptunia/atelier “they don’t get it” situation. This game is genuinely terribad. But hey, it’s up to you.

      • Manny Being Manny

        Regardless of how “Bad” it is, theres no way I’m passing up something with Kana Hana and Eri Kitamura voicing the two leads. They are two of my favorite seiyuu.

        Plus, I’m loyal to NISA since I think they are the best thing to come to gaming (a company dedicated to releasing niche otaku games). I buy all of their games by default.

        • raitouniverse

          That’s all well and good. Even if it’s bad, there’s nothing wrong with getting it and enjoying it. I myself have a lot of bad games, but I still enjoyed them. While this doesn’t really apply to you, one problem I am seeing lately is that people are passing these kinds of games off as legitimately competent.

    • AnimeRemix

      I’m honestly interested in seeing your views on this title whenever you get it. For me, I just didn’t find anything all that interesting about this game, but wouldn’t mind hearing from someone who is still looking forward to the game.

  • ReidHershel

    Just wondering, if I like visual novels and Neptunia do you think I’ll like this? Or is it overall just total shit?

  • ReidHershel
    • Manny Being Manny

      Neptunia has a 45% on Meta but I found it to be one of my favorite games of the year it released. -shrug- Different strokes for different folks.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

        It has a 45 because it was ‘attack, L2, attack, L2′. That was the game…well, if you wanted the short way around the animations.

        Not that I really want to diss what would have otherwise been a great concept for the series overall, and something I hope that the Vita port cleans up A LOT…but there were a lot of glaring problems and there really wasn’t a lot of draw after a fight or two. The gameplay was really weak and the story was more fan-service-y than anything else.

    • AnimeRemix

      That’s…not really all that surprising honestly, well at least to me. Seem like a lot of titles I seen NIS bring over just end up getting bad or mediocre ratings on Metacritic. But, everyone has different tastes, so meh.

      • DesmaX

        Well, to be honest only their internal games are actually good (They normally stay with 80 on Metacritics)

        No problem in liking questionable games, of course (I do like some). But I can see perfectly why the critics dislike them

  • https://twitter.com/BinksFrost Binks5

    wow so even at siliconera this game is hated, im beginning to think that only incredibly hardcore anime fans that think everything out of japan is a godsend, like this game. I never thought the game looked good but at least i thought it looked ambitious, guess it just looked it, though i can say the cover art is quite beautiful

    • AJ

      To be fair, the reviews out of Japan were pretty bad too.

      And the reviews from the west of import copies.

      I cancelled my pre-order after reading a few.

  • Tyler Beale

    Screw the comments and reviews (although I do read them). I’m getting the LE anyway.

    I’m willing to put up with technical issues. So long as they’re not Compile Heart technical issues. (*ahem* Agarest….Mugen Souls…1st 2 Neptunias…)

    • RoxasTheUnknown1

      But those weren’t even that bad. This is.

    • Haku_Luvs_You

      first 2 Neptunias put this game to shame…

      • Curan_Altea

        Harsh…..

    • Saculogir

      I understand the first Neptunia, but Mk2 was perfectly fine…

      • Tyler Beale

        There were still some frame drops in some spots. In Victory, the only frame drops I saw were when you used select special moves.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    If there is any consolation to this, the artwork and screenshots are pretty nice. Its a shame when you see it in action, it just feels choppy. Combined with repetition and monotony gameplay wise, it just looks underwhelming. Looks like I might have to save my £30 for Project x Zone and give this a miss. There are other NIS titles i’m looking forward to, like Guided Fate Paradox and The Witch and the Hundred Knights.

  • Solomon_Kano

    This has to be the most universally panned game I’ve come across. Even Fami didn’t like it. Fami.

    • TiredOfMyOldUsername

      I’m still going to buy it :P

      Even though i’m almost sure i won’t like it, but who know i might like it.

      Most of the complain i heard until now don’t bother me or i just experienced enough of it that i don’t care anymore.

      Repetitive gameplay ?
      Almost all RPG are repetitive.

      Choppy animation ?
      Lot of games this gens had choppy gameplay.

      Generic and repetitive story ?

      Once again that’s something really common.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Oho? I’d be interested in hearing what you think once you get the game.

        Sure, a lot of the complaints are common, they just aren’t things I’d willingly buy into lol.

        At least, not having all 3. RPGs tend to make up for their gameplay with their story. Not here. Okay, well games with generic stories sometimes have good gameplay. Not here. Choppy animation on top of that just makes me wonder where their effort went. Like everything sounds equally poor.

        • TiredOfMyOldUsername

          Skyrim had repetitive gameplay, generic and repetitive story and choppy gameplay, also we must not forget the countless bugs and glitch and still it was voted best games on 2011.

          I’m not comparing both games here and i certainly don’t think TokiTowa is anywhere near GOTY material and like i said i probably won’t like it, but just pointing out that some games was worse and peoples loved those games.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            “[…] just pointing out that some games was worse and peoples loved those games.”

            Which leads back to what I’ve said now and then about preferences not really meaning anything in terms of technical factors or quality.

          • Solomon_Kano

            But did we really expect anything to stop Skyrim from getting awards? No matter the issues, The Elder Scrolls is a critical darling and fan favorite series.

            Of course people looked past its technical flaws, that’s become something of an accepted trade-off for Bethesda games, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. People certainly gave the game hell for all the bugs, just as they did with Fallout: New Vegas, but they praised what the game was in spite of those technical flaws.

            Oh the other hand, from what pretty much every review around is saying, this game doesn’t succeed on any level. Technical or otherwise.

          • mirumu

            I don’t think Skyrim’s story was repetitive. Certainly not in the way Time and Eternity’s seems to be. The gameplay certainly wasn’t choppy on my PC either. On the consoles I could believe it though.

            I would agree the story of the main game was generic, and while it was one of Bethesda’s least buggy efforts in recent years, there were still far more bugs than there should have been.

          • TiredOfMyOldUsername

            I was talking about consoles games, so yeah i meant consoles version.

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          When they skimped out on the animation in what they themselves termed as “HD Animation RPG”, it really begs the question…

          • Ferrick

            2D cutouts in 3D environment with preset limited movements isn’t exactly HD animation..

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            True, but if at least the sprites were animated well, that at least might have been closer to the keywords.

          • https://twitter.com/RaiohV Raioh

            They expected too much of themselves, actual anime studios have problems making decent to good animations most of the time and here some ultra niche game studio thinks they can pull high quality anime animation for the whole game, at that point I already knew this is going to fail.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I’m not against a studio wanting to go for a shot at something like this, but… they should have realized that this was going to be a costly project. Not to mention that, even if it wasn’t visually impressive, they still could have reinforced the other factors like the writing or the mechanics. It’s even more disappointing because, niche as they may be, Imageepoch at least has a certain degree of capability, as seen in a number of their previous projects.

            I know that the “niche company” defense tends to get thrown around quite often, but really, can they expect people to pay for something even they didn’t bother investing enough resources (time, money, effort, etc.) into?

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, that really cracks me up. Okay, fine, everything else sucks, but you couldn’t even deliver what it says on the tin.

          • Lynx

            People buying into hype when it was the studio’s first attempt at such a thing? Wonder who’s at fault more, the studio or the audience.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            That’s not really a viable argument after all the information easily available on the net – even more so for regions with later localized release dates. You don’t wanna read newssite reviews? There are reader reviews. Not down with that either? Screenshots; videos; streams. There’s nothing stopping people from finding out about the game beforehand – if they aren’t already dead-set on getting it.

            Not to mention that buying into novelty alone – actually, not even that, but just the promise of novelty – isn’t a smart move.

          • Lynx

            was actually a serious question. The audience should’ve known better as it was a first attempt but the studio shouldn’t have overhyped.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I can agree on that, yes.

      • Göran Isacson

        But if a game has all those common features, isn’t that a… you know… BAD thing? Reading your comment is kinda like hearing someone say “stepping on a landmine will blow my legs off? PPFFFF, tons of things will do that!” and then merrily skip out into a minefield.

      • Masa

        your stupid.

        • School Idol Addict

          Yeah maybe, but it take someone stupid to recognise another.

  • RoxasTheUnknown1

    Why, Imageepoch why? Sol Trigger, 7th Dragon 2020 dualology, BRS. You’ve done better!

  • Vesperion

    I’ll still give it a shot. I rather play this then COD anyday

    • Solomon_Kano

      Alright, let’s not turn this into one of those discussions.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      I see what you did there….

  • Flandre Scarlet

    I refuse to believe it’s worse than Mugen Souls simply on the account that nothing is worse than Mugen Souls.

    • RoxasTheUnknown1

      I liked Mugen Souls. xD You want worse. Go play Mimana Iyar Chronicle.

    • Haku_Luvs_You

      I want to actually test this. I know Mugen Souls is supposed to be awful, but I find it hard to believe it can be worse then this…. Maybe I should pick it up this weekend :3

    • Sim

      Disgaea >Neptunia > Mugen souls > Last Rebellion > Tokitowa

      • Ferrick

        everything on your list > E.T. the game

      • Flandre Scarlet

        I have never played last rebellion so I’ve no idea where that stands

        • Vesperion

          If Tokitowa is as bad as people say it is then Last Rebellion is the twin brother

      • DesmaX

        Are you really putting Disgaea on the same level?

        • Solomon_Kano

          shotsfired.gif

        • Sim

          no anythings better the shetty tokitowa

          • Ferrick

            even E.T ?

          • personablaze

            People don’t know the pure terror that is the E.T game

            I am happy that not many people played that..that…Abomination to video games

          • Lynx

            Devil May Cry 2. What do I win? XD

    • Sentsuizan_93

      >Nothing is worse than Mugen Souls
      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
      Sorry, no. At least Mugen Souls was playable. Love and hate situation with the Moe Kill system, sure, and a few other issues, like the frame rate of the game, but even with these glaring flaws, it’s definitely better than Last Rebellion gameplay wise, and arguably better than T+E. Trust me, there is far worse than Mugen Souls.

    • CirnoTheStrongest

      Except everything is worse than Mugen Souls : D

      No but seriously, I loved Mugen Souls~

  • Gustavo

    Don’t care, already pre-ordered the limited edition months ago. This game reminds me of Thousand Arms, don’t know why…

    • Vesperion

      I feel the same.

      Pretty much the only reason i wanna give the game a shot despite the bad reception

    • Zak Ledward

      Same, pre-ordered it the day it was announced.

      IDK, people said that HDN 1 was a terrible game and I loved it so I’m going to go out on my own and find the answer to the quality of this game myself. Find myself to be a better critic then the rest of the world at times…

      • Gustavo

        I also loved HDN 1, but I have to admit that the gameplay is terrible. At least the Vita remake is coming to fix that.

        • Zak Ledward

          The gameplay was…mild to me. IDK if a game has adorable female characters, it’s an auto-amazing game to me. Plus I thought the healing system was innovative, completely nulled using turns to heal (though enabling that would’ve helped a lot).

          Looking forward to that Vita remake, yes. updated models and extra scenes/battles/items and possible new DLC? Yes plz

  • l777l

    Hm.

  • DesmaX

    Well, save me a US$50…

  • ChiffonCake

    Well, this is sad. I was mildly interested in this game, but I guess I don’t need to bother anymore.

    Anyway, now I’m left wondering what happens if you choose “I don’t” in that first screen.

    Also, unrelated, but I always read “Imageepoch” as “Imagepooch”… :E

  • Suriel Cruz

    Since I saw it, I didn’t get interested in it.

    The idea is good, but it felt short.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    The sprites are the only good thing about this game.

  • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

    I just don’t think it’s worth my USD 60.00. Didn’t get the JP release, won’t change my mind for the Western release.

  • Triplicity

    Thanks for writing this up.

    The soundtrack is stellar, though! Yuzo Koshiro: Same guy who does Etrian Odyssey’s music, among others.

    dat brass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyvDau-o8UY

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    Interesting. Mine is still on pre-order so I will just have to play it for myself and see.

  • Michael Connell

    Has me glad I didn’t bother to renew my preorder after I cancelled it months ago to adjust my budget in preparation for the devastation SMT4, Tales of Xilla, Dragon’s Crown, Sweet Fuse, Harukoi Otome, and an import will bring upon my wallet.

    One question though, does this beat Aliens: Colonial Marines as contender for worst game of the year?

    • Ferrick

      no… aliens was worse

  • Warboss Aohd

    While it’s a shame due to the idea of animating the entire game with a impressive art style (with the exception of perhaps the characters), i feel like it’s also a demand to go back and look at older JRPGs to try and see why they worked.

  • Zoozbuh

    I totally understand this game is pretty mediocre, and personally I’ve been greatly put off buying it. But some people in the comments section need to CHILL the hell out- people have different opinions and it’s their choice what they want to spend their money on, despite what you might think.

  • piichan

    1st time they released screens for this game and claiming that it would be like playing an anime , I was pretty excited. It had nice visuals and by NIS and Imageepoch too. But as soon as they released gameplay videos, it…just looked bad. Yea, the characters look pretty but pair it with generic landscape and tv-game/cdi/ or whatever-those-point-and-click-games-during-the-80s-were-called animation and you know it’s going to fail. So it’s not surprising that it’s getting low reviews now and commend the reviewers who mustered up enough courage to play this and warn us to stay far far away from this game.

  • kool_cid414

    Can’t wait to play this game. I read the review but I’d rather try it myself before I just let it go. I might love it or hate it but to me this could be a start of a new genre of rpg with improved mechanics as time goes on.

  • Guest

    I’m looking forward to this, 14 days to go before my Time and Eternity Collectors Edition ships out

  • FetusZero

    As with every single game out there that catches my eye, I’ll judge whether I like it or not by playing it. I often found generally disliked games to be excellent, or critically acclaimed titles to be extremely boring.

    Sometimes you end up buying a game you wish you didn’t (though I’m not that picky, so it doesn’t happen all that often), but it’s a risk I’ve always been willing to take even if it costs me money.

    Though it DOES make July pretty expensive.. mostly thanks to Ketsui.

  • LDM

    Good thing I pre-ordered Shin Megami Tensei IV over this. I am going to get this game when it’s cheap and used. Too bad though, the artwork is really pretty.

  • mockturtle

    Kotaku liked the niche JRPG and Siliconera didn’t. Hell has frozen over.

    Anyway, I’ve had it preordered since early May, so I’m not going to cancel. I’ll hope to like it more than others have, but if not, then oh well. Can’t win ‘em all. If nothing else, it’ll be an oddity in my collection (in many ways).

    • Tyler Beale

      And I will join you.

  • Nightmare637

    I love your name mr/mrs reviewer. :) I have no Idea why but I love it!

    anyway Iwas never going to pick this up and this has and may other reviews have shattered any chance of getting used in the future.

  • CirnoTheStrongest

    The kicker is if the “prince” was a princess then i’d probably have gotten the game xD

    The gameplay might be repetitive, but I’m a huge fan of Dynasty Warriors games. The story seems not super strong, but Atelier Rorona was one of my favorite games and the story wasn’t anything special.

    My point is that: Characters and their interactions are all that are needed for me to enjoy a game. I’d play through even Motorbike if it allowed some great character interactions like in Ayesha or Vesperia.

    Heck, I mgiht end up getting this later on after I’ve seen some youtubes of the various cutscenes that aren’t TokixPrince sclusive.
    EDIT
    DW is an exception, because it really has nothing but repetitive gameplay, yet for some reason I always find myself having a grand time with it xD

    • fayt255

      I think me and my sister share your point of view on DW so repetitive yet really addicting and keep coming back to DW games lol.

  • http://vindictushots.tumblr.com/ Okuni-chan

    Maybe it’s part of the downside of being experimental. Sometimes it works and glitters like gold. Sometimes… well sputters and pass out.

  • psycho_bandaid

    I might have given this game a buy anyway if there wasn’t already so much coming out for the rest of this year. Don’t have the money to wager on the off chance I might like this game in spite of it’s critical reception

  • Anonymous

    Still, Even if it is bad, If it’s price is $30 or less it seems to me like a good experience at least, I’m getting it when it is cheaper

  • Göran Isacson

    My word. I almost want to test this game JUSt to figure out if it is as heinous as people say it is. Though I would like to comment that I don’t really think the review does a good job of explaining why the battle system is no good- the description of it sounds nice, but then it just says that you quckly get bored with it… but why? Does it get repetetitive? Is it buggy? Do you quickly figure out how to break it open?

    • Ladius

      High encounter rate, you must fight each enemy separately (and you can meet parties with up to 8 enemies, even if they’re mostly 2-4), you must wait for the right enemy pattern to attack (which means losing even more time) and magic is so overpowered you will use your normal attacks only to charge the SP meter. Add the lack of any meaningful skill, the time spells being mostly useless and the enemies being palette swaps of palette swaps and you end up with a depressing situation.

      • Göran Isacson

        Aah, THAT’S a pretty succinct and damning summation. Looks like it makes for a very slow, long, monotonous and tedious grind for the priviledge of progressing in a game that’s… preeetty much not worth it, all in all.

  • http://crono-trigger.tumblr.com/ SilverCrono

    Is this better or worse than Black Rock Shooter for PSP? Both have the same developers, and the battle systems sound strikingly similar. Also, many critics didn’t like BRS (much like T&E), yet I enjoyed it immensely – what do I do for this one?

    • Mister_Nep

      I’ve played both games. I can tell you without a doubt that Black Rock Shooter is a better, more polished game. That one was made with care. I love that game. It’s a lot of fun to play.

      I can’t say the same for Toki Towa. The game is really ambitious with what it was trying to do, but they clearly didn’t have the budget to put money on….you know…stuff like towns, enemy variety, dungeons, a main hero that is worth a flip, ability to control Drake in battle, enemies that aren’t pure BS (looking straight at the stupid wood monster, and semi-immune-to-attacks stingray), competent NPCs, and competent side quests.

      I don’t think the battle systems should be too heavily compared, because BRS had all the gauge management in battle, and strategy with skills/regular attacks. Meanwhile Toki Towa is just….Attack, Dodge. Can I attack? No. Dodge. Can I attack? Yes. Attack. Can I attack? No. Dodge. Can I attack? Yes. Can I use a spell? No. Attack. Can I attack? No. Dodge. Can I attack? Yes. Can I use a spell? Yes. FIREBALL! Enemy finally dies.

      Almost all the regular fights end in magic. That was practically the only good strategy in any of the regular enemy fights. The game has a block button, but it was mostly useful for bosses, or if you wanted to counter. And counter is mostly useless, because you still take damage even if you counter an enemy’s attack and their stun period is too short to make much use of it.

      • http://crono-trigger.tumblr.com/ SilverCrono

        Thanks.

  • Masa

    game is really pretty………..shame everything else about it is bad.

  • Spekio

    It’s really sad when the thing you enjoy most about a game is the
    beautiful loading screens. I got this game back when it came out in
    Japan. The idea of animated RPG is cool and had promise, but they
    completely failed to pull it off.

  • MrTyrant

    I used my money on Last of us, Project x Zone and SMT IV, probably Im going to get Rune Factory 4 while wating for Tales of Xillia, Dragon’s Crown, Armored Core, Disgaea D2 and Paradox.

    I think I’m doing good investments here.

    • Bigabu Beaze

      You are!

    • Ladius

      Definitely so, I would only add Dragon’s Crown to that list :)

      • MrTyrant

        FORGOT ABOUT THAT!! (I’ll add it)

    • Crimson_Cloud

      Agreed with Ladius, add Dragon’s Crown and you’re perfect. Special thumbs up for Tales of Xillia. ^^

  • DemonKingAsura

    hmmm…

    It seems like Asura’s Wrath Pulled off the Interactive Anime thing better.

    Oh well..

  • Tiredman

    I am getting this game, and the collector’s edition too. Surprisingly I enjoyed Last Rebellion and if this article uses it as a measure of how to like Time and Eternity, I think the game will be right up my alley. For me its all about interesting and unique ideas. I loved a game called Thousand arms even though the fights took too long and happened too often. The animation in combat was awesome. This game made me think of Thousand Arms and if it embodies just a sliver of the goodness that was Thousand Arms, I will be happy with my purchase.

    There is more to games like this than simply people reviewing. You have to enjoy “bad” games that have a unique premise, which I do.

    • PoweredByHentai

      Woohoo! Someone else who has played Thousand Arms! The instrumental version of the theme song is still awesome to this day.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCkz67MLnPU

      • Tiredman

        Everybody should play Thousand Arms. I wish there were more games like it. I am sure there are in Japan, but it is pretty much one of a kind out West.

  • Lester Paredes

    Ouch.

  • ZekeFreek

    This honestly shouldn’t be surprising anybody. It’s gotten nothing but shit reviews since it’s JP launch. Save your money for Guided Fate Paradox.

  • Anime10121

    I bought for the art book, that is all! I’m sure the art will at least be worth the 50 I’m spending on it. I’m doing the same for the MGS collection, as I already own the games, I’m just buying for the art, as the books alone will fetch for close to a bill the following weeks after their release.

  • artemisthemp

    I still looking forward to my Limited Edition arrive :)

    Do not mock Last Rebellion, that is a nice game.

  • Follower_of_Pram

    As nice as it looks, I was wary of how the character stands out from the background far too much. It is sad to see a game, which looked to be an interesting one, fail, but I can applaud them for going outside the box of normalcy.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Does imageepoch even make good games? They seem like an overblown Hit Maker (Last Rebellion developer, not Sega studio) to me.

    • Kawashima

      They do make some good games like the 7th dragon and Luminous arc series, BRS was an ok title but I liked it. But this was the worst game they ever made. They are still better than Hit Maker.

  • Pichi

    Its so bad that I have to try this.

  • Ryumoau

    i’m not spending more than $15 on this. The combination of poor reivews
    and unimpressive gameplay videos have convinced me this low budget rpg
    isn’t worth more than that.

    But it comes out the same day as DW8, so i
    still probably wouldn’t get it even at that price.

  • koksuckaahh

    this game is gonna bomb so bad…

  • Masa

    so disappointed in this game, it looked so amazing from the trailers and screenshots. :(

  • Letiumtide

    The only reason why I want this is because of Yuzo Koshiro, I wish the composer could be the reason why I play a butt of a game, but it just isn’t going to happen. Sorry Yuzo Koshiro.

    • British_Otaku

      From what I’ve heard, it seems to be one of his weaker soundtracks, but you can probably listen to them through buying the soundtrack or listening the tracks online.

  • raulrain

    For me, I`ll buy it but for the sake to have something better, it`s a good concept, but poorly executed, but maybe there can be a new one, in the end it was their first effort, and now they know what went wrong with it, I`ll support it but I expect a better effort in the future, if not, well it`s just one game anyways.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Toki To Kusoge

  • fireemblembeast

    I wanted this at the beginning, but after hearing about it, I decided to save the money. The storyline sounds fair enough; I’d watch it if it were an anime….but I’m not buying it. It’s really too bad it didn’t turn out better, because the animation idea was nice and could have made the game great.

  • Yan Zhao

    A lot of people who pre-ordered the Limited Edition (me included) already know the game is bad. Some of us just like the collectibles, some like to support NISA, others like to play bad games with an open mind and still be able to find enjoyment in it.

    I’m personally still impressed by this new artstyle and would love to see similar usage in future, better games.

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      I’ve played bad games. I’m probably gonna be let down by how “bad” this game is.
      I have had fun times with bad games too. Can’t wait for this game! lol

  • Alos88

    I was thinking of renting it, but it sounds so bad that even that would be not worthwhile- a shame, since the artstyle was an interesting concept.

  • davidvinc

    I’ll buy it in a few months when it hits $10 – just to be sure that I have all the JRPGs released for the PS3.

  • KH1989b

    this game is awesome man these reviews it’s getting are harsh

  • Rafael Martines

    Thanks to say that now that I pre-ordered the game XD

  • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

    No shame to sticky this two weeks old opinion on the day the game comes out.

  • Lynx

    Do I need to explain the joke?

  • brian

    Gundam Seed Destiny?

  • Ferrick

    and the trailer music was nice too… sad that the same can’t be said for most of the game’s sound track

  • Solomon_Kano

    I want a poster of that cover, yo. Dat Vofan.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Poster too

  • Haku_Luvs_You

    Did you get the Famitsu DX pack? I know that came with the wall scroll… Or did you just buy a wall scroll?

  • Solomon_Kano

    You should totes share your scroll with me lol.

  • Haku_Luvs_You

    That’s cool. I kind of wanted the scroll, but the DX was sold out when I imported my LE. I think I would have been happy if I could just have gotten the scroll and the art book and not the game.

  • RoxasTheUnknown1

    True but it’s not terrible. Really imo 7th Dragon 2020-II is still their best work.

  • Lynx

    Batman Forever was worse.

  • Flandre Scarlet

    Such things are better left forgotten

  • Solomon_Kano

    lololol

  • CirnoTheStrongest

    Motorbike

  • Ferrick

    ET…

  • Vesperion

    Batman Forever was pretty awful

  • Solomon_Kano

    Ugh.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I still have nightmares. ;_;

  • Ferrick

    which walking dead game?

  • Solomon_Kano
  • Ferrick

    MY EYESSSSSS
    *looks at related vid* Honey boo boo…
    MY EYES AND BRAINSSSSS

  • Solomon_Kano

    You said brains, are you trying to bring the game back!?

  • Ferrick
  • Solomon_Kano

    *sees title*

    NOPE.

  • Ferrick

    exactly

  • andref

    Nah i understood but I can’t say I truly hated the show despite much hate for it from my club. I gave it a C just for the 2nd half

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Hey, it had an awesome OST, if nothing else. ^^

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