Time And Eternity PS3 review – Two heads not necessarily better than one
When you say “I do”, you hope for a nice, sunny honeymoon and some kitchenware off your John Lewis wedding list. ‘Ninjas storming in and offing your new hubby before you’ve even managed to land the traditional smacker’ does not feature so highly in the expectations. But so it goes in Time And Eternity, a heroine-switching JRPG, which features the standard amount of ‘WTF?’ and little else to distinguish it from the pack.
When assassins cause more upset at innocent, pink-haired Princess Toki’s wedding than a drunken uncle telling everyone exactly what he really thinks of them, she zips back in time six months in a bid to get to the bottom of – and thus foil – the murderous plot. She’s harbouring a secret, see: she’s actually a ‘dual soul’, boasting a feisty blonde alter-ego named Towa. Oh, and her beloved has somehow ended up in the body of her tiny pet dragon, Drake. Do keep up.
The ladies’ skill sets are more distinct when it comes to special moves, with Towa most effective right up close and personal, and Toki firing off ranged attacks. That aside, the real-time combat largely consists of tapping away at e to attack, and using the left stick to dodge and move yourself between the, er, two possible battle positions. Said positions being ‘getting all aggro up in this enemy’s grille’ and ‘keeping a cagey distance’. Annoyingly, for the most part you can’t switch between Toki and Towa at will. You can do so in combat, but only through the use of certain, limited pickups – that aside, you’re simply switched involuntarily whenever you level up.
Different elemental enemies help to mix things up a little, with various weapons effective against them. It is possible to doom yourself, mind, if you inadvertently wander into a scrap with a fiery foe with only flame-based weapons equipped – which will do a whopping zero points of damage per hit. Random encounter battles come thick and fast – this is a JRPG, after all – and once you’ve nailed the requisite tactics for each area’s spread of beasties, things do start to get repetitive.
Although the story doesn’t offer much by way of compelling intrigue, it is at least told with some humour. However, the OTT voice acting eventually grates, especially the irritating Drake and his slightly creepy perving over Toki. Things do look pretty, with nicely drawn manga-esque 2D character sprites set against hazy 3D backgrounds. Sadly, said environments are merely open spaces that largely act as paths from battle to battle, with little detailing and no real sense of exploration to speak of. Overall, this could do with a great deal of polish – but still, at least you didn’t have to sit through all those endless wedding speeches while semi-sloshed on bubbly. Good-looking but with simple, repetitive combat, there’s not enough on offer here to back up the potential of its two-girls-one-game premise.