The Grind: “Time And Eternity”.


Welcome to The Grind, a recurring feature in which we take an upcoming role-playing game and let you know why you should have this game on your radar. Today we will be spotlighting Time and Eternity, an upcoming PS3 Exclusive RPG that was developed by Imageepoch (Arc Rise Fantasia, Sands of Destruction) and published by NIS America in Europe and North America. And with that said, let’s get down to business!

One of the first things that you notice when you watch Time and Eternity in action is just how unique it looks. The game was even advertised as an “HD Animation RPG” in Japan due to its visual style. What sets it apart is the fact that the game uses a mixture of hand-drawn 2D sprites for all of the characters (including enemies) and 3D models for all of the backgrounds/worlds. Although this blend of animation styles causes some strange visual issues, such as the main character “sliding” across the ground when traveling through the world, it still looks very impressive. It also looks like it is probably one of the closest experiences to actually feeling like you are playing an anime.

The game opens up with the wedding between the Princess of Kamza, Toki and her fiancee Zach. Everything seems to be going fine until the festivities are interrupted by a group of assassins. During the attack, Toki’s fiancee Zach is murdered and due to these events her dual-soul named Towa emerges (think something along the lines of a split personality). While Toki is the more “ladylike” of the two, Towa is the meaner, more “tomboyish” character. The story then goes into high gear when the girls find out that together, they can control the power of time. So of course, they head off into the past to try and prevent the attack and save the man they both love (love triangle anyone?).

One interesting aspect to the storytelling is that everything is being narrated by Zach. It seems that during the time traveling sequence his recently departed soul was also whisked away and somehow ends up in the body of a baby pet dragon. Zach’s thoughts are actually the only ones the player will hear during the game and you will even have a few decisions on how to interact with Toki and her alter-ego Towa. Although it might sound silly at first, I think it also has the potential to give us a well developed cast of characters since we will witness things from his perspective. Which as we all know, is definitely important when it comes to Role-playing games.

Which leads me to another important part of an RPG, the combat. I mean, you can have the most interesting story in the world but if your battle mechanics are lackluster then you pretty much shot yourself in the foot. Thankfully it looks like Time and Eternity has a very interesting and enjoyable real-time battle system. At first glance the combat seems to be a mix of attacking, blocking and learning enemy attack patterns. There is no waiting whatsoever and you need to be quick in order to take advantage of openings as well as block enemy attacks. This is also interesting since it will force you to always have 100% of your attention focused on the action since it is all in real-time (grinding will require your full attention! Yay!).

The gameplay also switches things up allowing you to switch between Toki or Towa during the battle sequences. While Toki is better suited for long-range attacks, her alter-ego Towa, specializes in close combat. Although the game allows you to switch between the heroines during battle by using specific items, it also automatically switches you every time you level-up. How this will affect the story or gameplay is anyone’s guess. Another solid point is that each character also has a specific set of magic skills that can be customized to the players liking. So you can focus on the skills that matter most to your play style.

So far I have to say that I am very intrigued by Time and Eternity. I think the unique visual style and battle system help definitely help the game stand out when compared to other more traditional role-playing games. Everything that I have read and seen in trailers so far has given me the impression that this will be a very fun game to play.

So if you have been looking a new RPG to sink some time into definitely keep Time and Eternity on your radar. Especially since the game is right around the corner and will be released this Summer on July 16th only on the PS3. You can also snag the gorgeous limited edition directly from NIS America.

Until next time, keep grinding folks.