Japanese role-playing game experiences can often be bittersweet. Even the greatest JRPG titles sometimes have terrible storylines amidst great gameplay, or vice versa. Very few titles in the genre can rise to the ranks of all-time greatness, though even those with severe “bad” qualities still typically have redeeming value, particularly for rabid fans of the genre. But some sink to the depths of pure bitter worthlessness, a place reserved for games with horrid characters, juvenile storytelling, putrid dialogue, and an overall sense of “screw it, they’ll buy it anyway.” Time and Eternity, the newest RPG from NIS America, blasts through that veil of terribleness, past all others, into a new world of bottom-of-the-barrel gaming experiences.
While most battles at later stages of the game won’t take quite that long, they are still very, very long battles that reward the player with scant experience and require multiple hours of play just to gain a level or two. Toki and Towa never get all that more powerful as they level (I started level 1 doing around 60 damage and stopped at level 20 doing around 130 damage, enemies at the time had upwards of 30,000 HP) so to be powerful enough to finish these battles is to subject yourself to video game torture. There is a time magic function that lets you play with the flow of time that you learn towards the middle parts of the game, but it’s basically useless and as such there is little to say about it. It’s only function as far as I can tell is to allow you stretch a 45 minute battle you hate fighting into an hour long battle you hate fighting.
Lastly, this game is horrible for the mind of the humans who are playing it. The whole story is so sexist and anti-woman that it almost feels like Pat Robertson developed it. Every woman in the story is a weak-willed automoton who exists to be saved or to be chastised for being so stupid and useless on her own. Likewise, males in the game are shown as sex-driven ignoramuses, who are somehow able to live normal, upstanding lives while being completely inept and jokingly useless. This game appears to be designed for teenage girls, yet is rife with partial nudity and sexually suggestive poses more suited for adult males. In the end, even with a heroine who fights her way to ultimate victory, that victory is to simply be a housewife for the most petulant human being in the entire world.
This game is pathetic, and a real disappointment coming from the usually solid team at NIS America. It’s beyond unplayable. It’s offensive that something so poor could potentially cost unwitting gamers $60 that they could spend on, really anything, $60 dollars worth of toilet paper (more fun) or maybe $60 to a kid to beat the crap out of you (less humiliating.) While this game isn’t broken like a Superman 64 or a Daikatana, it is on their rare level of absolute worthlessness as a gaming experience. I implore you to avoid this game at all costs, and play just about anything else on the market with the joy in your heart that you aren’t playing Time and Eternity.