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Time and Eternity |OT| RyougaSaotome's GOTY Two Years in a Row!

Absoludacrous

Member
Jun 13, 2008
3,613
0
0
Got this from Gamefly (Sorry Aeana, they probably had all of 1 copy), and yea, I don't know why I keep doing this to myself with this genre.

Thank god I bought SMTIV.
 

jdevil99

Member
Dec 8, 2008
160
0
0
I bought the collector's edition of the NISA web page and pretty much never regret those kinds of purchases.That has changed. I have played about 2 hours in and know I can't bring myself to ever touch this game again. I know having SMT IV to play at the same time makes playing this game even more unbearable, but regardless, Pallette Swap:The Game has officially been shelved for good. Now back to SMT IV until Tales of Xillia drops.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
Second stream completed.

We doubled our Tea Party count today. Also we noticed Ricardo gets mentioned like 100000x. Drake/Zack is one of the most lecherous characters I've come across in an RPG, and his characterization makes my brain hurt. In fact all of the conversations in this game feel like they repeat themselves (and sometimes they actually do), or they're the slowest conversations imaginable. And the characters are some of the most vapid... ugh. No words.

Magic spells make the game a complete joke.

A.
Complete.
Joke.

Oh my God. It's like... I don't even have to try anymore.
 

Tohsaka

Member
Apr 16, 2013
7,290
1
360
So, I got the platinum trophy earlier today. The game really isn't nearly as bad as most of the reviewers make it out to be, IMO. I don't think it's even the worst game that NISA has published (Cross Edge gets my vote). Overall, it's certainly flawed in many respects, and it's definitely not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.
 

Absoludacrous

Member
Jun 13, 2008
3,613
0
0
Second stream completed.

We doubled our Tea Party count today. Also we noticed Ricardo gets mentioned like 100000x. Drake/Zack is one of the most lecherous characters I've come across in an RPG, and his characterization makes my brain hurt. In fact all of the conversations in this game feel like they repeat themselves (and sometimes they actually do), or they're the slowest conversations imaginable. And the characters are some of the most vapid... ugh. No words.

Magic spells make the game a complete joke.

A.
Complete.
Joke.

Oh my God. It's like... I don't even have to try anymore.
I was so shocked once I opened up the first magic spells at level 3 or whatever, and started demolishing things. It was really weird that they'd give you the ability to trivialize battles within the first hour.
 

Zonic

Gives all the fucks
Mar 21, 2013
40,475
1
550
29
For those that care, 4 pieces of DLC are up, one of which is free.

- Peppers (5-pack) Item Pack (Free)
- A Touch of Love Item Pack (0.99)
- A Hint of Swimwear Bonus Quest ($2.99)
- A Hint of Fishing Bonus Quest ($2.99)
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
On that note, I've decided not to stream this game anymore, myself. I really can't take it, and every single time I try to play this game, I get a headache out of nowhere. :/

Not to mention the game's stupidly-easy, combat ends up getting boring, the script drives me crazy, and every single character outside of Towa is plain unlikable.
 

R_thanatos

Member
Apr 20, 2010
23,664
0
0
earth planet
I've just started this game and just finished playing for 2 hours .

About graphics it's not ugly but you clearly see the limits they have with this style..

I don't mind the tea parties and i don't mind the script so far ... i just wish i could speed up the dialog ( in all my rpgs the dialog is either very fast or instant in my settings)

Other than that the game is fine so far .

Assasin guild fan club ??
Wtf ?
 

R_thanatos

Member
Apr 20, 2010
23,664
0
0
earth planet
Played for 3 more hours oday , the dialog could use more work , but it's barely alright

So far i'm liking the battle system, it simple nd it works.

The quests however are total nonsense.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
The battle system is obnoxious because it's so damn easy to exploit, especially with magic. So much so that you can employ nearly the same strategy against every palette swap, and almost every other enemy to boot.

All you do is dodge out of the way whenever an enemy has a tendency to start trying melee on you, and keep dodging until they move back (and if they don't move back, use Time Rewind or whatever to go back to the point before they run up at you so you can hold the L-stick up to go for a close-up assault so the enemy isn't stuck in a loop and you're stuck with attacking with parries), then hitting them until your magic fills up appropriately to completely destroy an enemy with one or two magic spells.

I have half a mind to go back to the game and actually beat it so I can write competent and lengthy impressions for the game (and to supplement the reasons why the game is severely lacking in the game design, script, and characterization department). And then I think about the constant headache the game gives me, and then I try to tell myself, "Don't do it!" It probably says something when I can play Sonic 06 more than once, but I just don't want to play Time and Eternity anymore (and Neptunia 1 is the only other game this gen that I just couldn't finish).

It says something when the audience I had been streaming for, who were genuinely more interested in the game's story and script than I was, just outright told me to stop playing the game because they were sick and tired of how repetitive it was. Right down to the dungeon design, dungeon aesthetic, the characters being palette swaps of each other, the enemy palette swaps (whose AI don't really differ that much outside of a few exceptions), quest repetition, and narrative premise repetition. Also I think they started complaining about the script and the conversations being poison to the ears.
 

R_thanatos

Member
Apr 20, 2010
23,664
0
0
earth planet
i do feel like there is a problem with the pacing of the game and some places are bigger than they should be.

I'm still early in the game but i hope i will have enough willpower to finish it. i did finish neptunia 1 & trinity universe so i think i'll be fine.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
i do feel like there is a problem with the pacing of the game and some places are bigger than they should be.

I'm still early in the game but i hope i will have enough willpower to finish it. i did finish neptunia 1 & trinity universe so i think i'll be fine.
I platinumed Trinity Universe once. I thought it was ok. For the time I played it anyway.

But yeah, the dungeons are way too big. They're either HUGE, EMPTY SPACES that aren't indicative of decent field dungeon design, or they're tiny narrow pathways with small branches leading to a treasure chest that aren't indicative of decent mine dungeon design. The forest dungeons have funny invisible walls in some places.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
I'm almost finished, myself.

Sigh. It's truly the repetition that's killing me. Outside of how shitty the script is, how annoying I find a lot of the characters, the dumbass skill acquisition, the sidequests being repetitive, how trivial the battle system became because the balancing is just stupid, etc.
 

djplaeskool

Member
May 5, 2011
22,071
7
0
Atlanta, GA
www.djplaeskool.com
I'm almost finished, myself.

Sigh. It's truly the repetition that's killing me. Outside of how shitty the script is, how annoying I find a lot of the characters, the dumbass skill acquisition, the sidequests being repetitive, how trivial the battle system became because the balancing is just stupid, etc.
Yeah, my issue is that EVERYTHING in the game needs work. There's definitely potential in the idea, but everything needed anywhere from a brief polish to a full on overhaul.

13h57m Game time
Fuck this game.

Here's the final video.
Almost 7 and a half hours.

I'm gonna go lie down.
http://www.twitch.tv/djplaeskool/c/2692089
 

Dragon1893

Member
Feb 20, 2013
12,388
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0
It's really weird to see people describe a game as plain torture but still finish it.
I'm assuming you guys write reviews. I hope you're getting paid lol.
 
It's really weird to see people describe a game as plain torture but still finish it.
I'm assuming you guys write reviews. I hope you're getting paid lol.
I do reviews as a hobby, and I reviewed this, so zero money involved there, lol. :D

My closing statement was;

I’ve come away disappointed with Time and Eternity. I’m happy the game was released in English and that I got to play it, but I’m sad it wasn’t as good as I was hoping. It had potential to be a great game with an outstanding visual style that hit the anime vibe spot-on. Sadly, while the game does have its fun moments here and there, the game breaks apart with monotonous and predicable combat, boring side quests and poor pacing. It’s one for the hardcore fans, but even then, I’m not sure how well they can admire this.
 

djplaeskool

Member
May 5, 2011
22,071
7
0
Atlanta, GA
www.djplaeskool.com
My closing statement was;
I think this is what kills me about this game, because I remember being pretty excited about the idea, but to have it come crashing down so quickly after starting out. The dialog is an eyeroll a minute, the combat is immediately boring as you're forced to just spam attacks (and when combat finally does get some nuance, you can basically faceroll to victory because it's so poorly balanced). The music has its high points, but the repetition made the actually good battle tracks really boring. I wish the battle rendition of Rewind was used for more than just the Time world bosses. The art is a few hits and LOTS of misses. The animation needed about 3 or 4 times the frames, as they quickly began to repeat for all the characters in any given situation. There were barely double digit enemy types and within the first hour, you've already started seeing palette swaps, the dialog during boss fights only served to confuse for the most part, as it was nearly all bad comedy, the areas are palette swaps, the spell effects are pallete swaps, the 3D modelling is poor....it goes on like this.

There were two moments that actually amused me, one was the dialog during the Netherdrake fight ("NOT THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAUUUUUUU!) and the little clip of Makimona catching the bouquet at the end.

I've posited before, and I stand by this description, that this has the distinct air of a Saturn-era game. Experimental thanks to the newfound glory of CD-ROM technology, but falling short due to the restrictions of the medium. This just doesn't really hold up in 2013. You need to execute on something really well for this stuff to fly, and unfortunately, this game is hardly a Jack of any of its trades, let alone a master of any. It is somewhat admirable in its reliance on tried and true classic anime stylings, but its shortcomings give of a cheap air of Saturday morning dreck.

When it comes down to brass tacks, Time and Eternity is a BAD game.

Now the game is perfectly playable has no bugs and such ...it's that there are better jrpgs out there... much better
Only technical issue I saw was on the last boss. The frequent halts in combat caused the music to die all together, then the game would freeze.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
Haha, how'd you feel about the Netherdrake fight, btw?

I thought it was kind of poorly executed, and reminded me a lot of some of the Asura's Wrath fights where Asura's just standing on the ground shooting enemies in the sky or shooting larger enemies. Only, Time & Eternity's version was just badly-paced with little breathing room.
 

djplaeskool

Member
May 5, 2011
22,071
7
0
Atlanta, GA
www.djplaeskool.com
Haha, how'd you feel about the Netherdrake fight, btw?

I thought it was kind of poorly executed, and reminded me a lot of some of the Asura's Wrath fights where Asura's just standing on the ground shooting enemies in the sky or shooting larger enemies. Only, Time & Eternity's version was just badly-paced with little breathing room.
HAHA. It may have been alright if I didn't move so slow and the boss had more than two moves...and you had more than two moves... They were essentially not a challenge and somehow still frustrating.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
HAHA. It may have been alright if I didn't move so slow and the boss had more than two moves...and you had more than two moves... They were essentially not a challenge and somehow still frustrating.
I was wondering why the hell I was constantly moving like a sloth. And the hitbox is weird. When I was completely sure I was going to get hit, I didn't. When I didn't think I'd get hit, I did. Casting Barrier was pretty pointless since the boss itself isn't hard. Heal took too long of a charge time. And just straight up using the one move where you shot at it over and over did the job.

Stupidest bits.
 
The combat just gets dull. The most exciting thing about the combat is when you first meet a new enemy and you don't know what they are going to do.

After a few fights, you know how that enemy is going to fight and you’re back into a state of repetition again. I ended up doing rifle shots into magic attack – which does a ridiculous amount of damage early in the game – for about 75% of the game’s combat. Such a shame really, the enemy AI has no variety at all. The same enemy will do the same attacks in the same order every battle. >.<
 

cleveridea

Member
Mar 7, 2005
5,257
1
0
So overpowered magic was like that through the end of the game? Trivialized ENTIRE game?

Man, I really like the concept of this game its such a shame the end result looks so terrible. The combination of the art style, animation technique and real time battle system look like it has potential - same way something like shadow hearts combat system gave such a different feel to battles.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
0
0
The Land of Bagged Milk
Intro: Why are we doing this?

Time & Eternity was supposed to be an ambitious project for Imageepoch. The idea was to combine 3D environments with hand-drawn 2D sprites to create a cohesively-flowing RPG reminiscent of an anime. Now, innovation is excellent. It’s something that every game designer should aspire to doing. This allows us to experience many different things in video games, whether it’s ATB, Trinity Sight Systems, monster rearing, etc. However, there are certainly some cases where the game design and certain ideas may seem okay on paper, but their execution is simply heavily-flawed.

Enter Time & Eternity. One of the most flawed games I have had the misfortune of playing. The promise that Imageepoch had put forth of creating a game that felt like a player-controlled anime with hand-drawn characters roaming a 3D world never became fully-realized, and in essence, the idea is incredibly limiting for players in execution. There are a lot of good ideas in the game, but all of the potential it has is subsequently squandered due to its shortcomings, insipid narrative, unlikeable cast, and unbalanced performance.

Imageepoch’s initial idea is interesting, and in the hands of a better developer, it probably would have been neat. Even with that said, the hand-drawn animation aspect of it looks interesting for a few seconds until you realize how poorly-flowing the animations are, how jarring they look in the context of gameplay, and how limited the animations are. These small numbers of animations are repeated constantly, and they have short loops. The running animations also have short loops, and they’re simply awkward to look at in motion because they look incredibly unpolished. The defining idea for this game is pretty half-baked in execution. Satelight (Macross Frontier) did the animation for this game, with designs by VOfan (Bakemonogatari) being completely squandered in favour of looking like something incredibly low-budget. It looks awkward overall, and even though it’s one of the game’s selling-points, it certainly doesn’t achieve what it has set out to do. Those wishing to play something reminiscent of an anime in terms of aesthetics should really think of playing the plethora of other games that essentially do the same thing.​

Repetitive Narrative and Annoying Characters

In terms of a narrative, Time & Eternity follows Zack, a young man who has not even had his first kiss yet. At the beginning of the game, he is to be wed to Toki, the Princess of Kamza. As you can suspect, things go wrong, Zack dies, and Toki attempts to travel back in time to discover why these things are happening. Zack somehow follows her through time and occupies the body of her pet dragon Drake. He also discovers that Toki has another personality dwelling inside of her in the form of Towa, who’s far more aggressive and physically stronger than Toki. Thus, all three characters attempt to figure out who ordered the attack on their wedding, and try to live happily ever after in the end. The story’s pretty by the numbers. The key word for this game, though, is repetition. The wedding repeating time and time again is one of the draws for this game. Every time Toki/Towa and Drake/Zack fix the issue with their wedding, whether it’s assassins, the undead, etc., another problem arises. While this is an interesting idea, it’s rather awfully-managed, especially when taken in conjunction with other aspects of the game that can also be considered as repetitive. The game uses tired tropes, clichés and jokes over and over, hoping that players and spectators would eventually find them funny. Whenever the game tries to be serious, some jokes are scattered throughout the scene, but those jokes are simply awkward and ill-timed. Truly, there is something awkward about the story planning and scenario planning (and I was astounded to see that the story planner was Shoji Masuda (Emerald Dragon, Over My Dead Body PSP)). Nothing about the narrative seems cohesive at all, outside of—oddly enough—the repetition.

In terms of characterization, I think I have to say that this is one of the most unlikeable casts I have come across in any RPG, ever. Some of these characters are character tropes dialled up to 100, with the voice acting following suit. I’ve heard many of these voice actors before, and these are certainly not their best performances by any means. Regardless, every single character is vapid. They consist of one-note personalities with very little depth. Whenever the narrative tries to recognize some sort of depth for the character, a joke or a trope is recycled in order to maintain the one-dimensional personality that the character has. For instance, the main character Zack/Drake is a complete sex-raving lunatic. The only thing that seems to come out of his mouth is sexual innuendo, or a desire to make it with either Toki, Towa, or one of their friends. I certainly don’t mind my share of innuendo, but when it’s just constantly being brought up in conversation, there’s only so much I can take. It gets really annoying and obnoxious, to the point where I just want to strangle the character to make him shut up.

Most of the men in this game, to be honest, are pretty much like Zack to a degree. Ricardo endlessly flirts with Toki/Towa, and he’s basically a creepy stalker. One of the characters who you meet later on puts you through a trial where the best answers to the questions are the most perverse ones. The list can go on and on, really.

Additionally, Toki is supposed to be demure, quiet, impressionable, and submissive. She isn’t very worldly and simply wants to be an obedient housewife for Zack, and thus she seems like the perfect yin to Zack’s yang, like every other clichéd anime. Towa, by contrast, is the complete opposite, preferring to take the initiative. She’s more dominant, and she tends to get shit done. She’s also a tsundere, which goes without saying. Out of the cast, she’s perhaps the most likeable one, but the bar isn’t exactly high for that.

Toki/Towa’s friends don’t fare better either. Enda’s the loli girl who’s very loud and obnoxious at times, Reijo’s the uptight rich girl with a sad little past, and Wedi’s the busty glasses-wearing girl who trips a lot. And all these people do for most of the game is sit at Toki/Towa and Zack/Drake’s house and have a tea party while periodically sending you on fetch quests or talking about how Toki/Towa should have a shower and Zack/Drake gets the idea to sneak in and try to watch her (while failing until the end of the game where you do a sidequest to get the shower scene you’ve always wanted). They also involve themselves in the story a little bit, too, with each arc corresponding to one friend, but even if these arcs try to give these characters some depth, they end up being rather forgettable and you’re still stuck thinking that these characters are simply one-dimensional.​


Someone Please Hire a Better Cartographer

Okay. The story’s a bit of a bust. But what about the gameplay? Well! The rest of the game… is… not that great. This game is developed by a studio who purport themselves as the Saviours of the JRPG. As such, I assume that their perspective is to go back to traditional RPG game design while trying to attempt new things and build on those traditional game designs. However, everything that the developers have tried to include in this game is incredibly half-baked.

The world map is point-and-click again. The towns, are also point and click. The areas in the town is point and click. So essentially, city traversal is done via a menu. Most of the time, you’ll go through areas looking for people who want to give you subquests. Additionally, you can go to shops, which are run by the most soulless-looking NPC ever, who says the same voice clip repeatedly.

But never fear! There are dungeons to explore! And fields! But these have their share of problems too. The issue with many of the field and dungeons is that it’s plainly bad dungeon design. Now, then, the field HUD is composed of the minimap, and a little gauge on top of the minimap indicating when you’ll have an enemy encounter. This is almost reminiscent of that mechanic in The Legend of Dragoon, except this gauge fills rather quickly, and you’ll find yourself using items that slow down this gauge rather often. This is because the dungeon/field design is too big for its own good. Pathways are very large. The dungeon designs tend to be rather linear with the exception of field environments. The problem is that while most of these areas are too big, they have absolutely nothing of interest for the player. They’re large fields with literally nothing in them except little treasures sprinkled around here and there.

The map designers presumably tried to remedy this by introducing green crystals around the dungeons in order for players to quickly teleport themselves to the areas that they need to return to for a sidequest. However, this doesn’t exactly solve the issue that there is absolutely nothing of note or value in the fields to begin with, and thus it doesn’t warrant any of these dungeons to be as large as they are designed. I almost want to compare it with some of the dungeon designs in older RPGs, where certain maps are large and that provides the illusion that the dungeon is too big, or that enemy encounters are too frequent. Now, Imageepoch probably missed that point entirely, and designed a system where enemy encounters are naturally frequent with fields that are too big simply for the sake of being too big and looking like a spectacle. This, in turn, creates dungeon/fields that simply feel like a major slog, and too lengthy to boot. This is simply bad dungeon design and there is no other way to describe that. None of these dungeons do anything remotely interesting.

The minimap tells you everything you need to know about the dungeon, as does the game’s dungeon map. It marks where every crystal (save, warp, exit, teleport) is, where every treasure chest is, where every sidequest NPC/boss is, and the zones where you can go to for certain enemy encounters for sidequests. This means that there is little to no exploration involved on the player’s part.

Additionally, many of the landscapes are recycled. Many of the assets are, at least. Half of the time when I was streaming, people had to ask whether or not I was on a new map. This is because while most of the maps are different, they use the same backgrounds and assets, only with a filter applied. For the casual viewer or player who doesn’t really pay attention, they could swear that they consistently go through the same areas repeatedly, despite the areas being “new”. So basically, it boils down to feeling like the game has 4 main dungeons, when the reality is that there are more dungeons than that, but they’re all palette swaps of each other. This makes the game feel even more repetitive than it should.​


Character Duality Done Inadequately

Within the dungeons and field areas, you control either Toki or Towa depending on which level you’re at. On odd levels, you can control Toki. On even levels, you can control Towa. There is an item that you can use to switch characters whenever you want in the event that you need one over the other for a boss fight or a Memory Site, but these items are in limited supply. They have different dialogue reflecting of their personalities in story scenes. There was another game that did something similar to this “dual souls residing in one body” thing, and that was Last Rebellion… which was also pretty bad. I liked how Last Rebellion handled this aspect better. Switching characters was something the player could do on the fly, and each character had their own advantages and disadvantages.

Similarly, both Toki and Towa have their share of differences. For instance, Toki is more adept at fire/earth spells, and she is more proficient at firing her rifle. Towa, by contrast, is more adept at lightning/ice spells, and she’s more skilled with a knife. These two have different animations and animation times for certain things (ie: Toki will take longer to cast spells she’s not adept at casting, and her knife combos aren’t as fluid as Towa’s are). In the end, though, these differences don’t even matter. Both characters end up learning the same spellset (outside of the higher-level elemental spells which they have affinities for), and you learn the same Time Spells to alleviate the different animation times for the weapons for which the girls aren’t proficient with.​


Like Punch-Out!! But Not Really

The battle system is something reminiscent of Punch-Out!!. Basically, twitch responses are required in order to dodge enemy attacks, guard against attack, parry attacks, and time your own attacks. There is little change to the battle system over the course of the game in order to make it more difficult or more complex, even when you finally acquire Time Spells. Almost every single enemy you encounter is a palette swap. Even in some dungeons, where an enemy may be introduced for the first time, or a new palette swap is introduced for the first time, you might get another palette swap of that enemy later on in the same dungeon. These palette swaps tend to have the same AI, or the same attack patterns, where it’s easy to predict their next move or their initial attack. They might have been maybe 10-15 enemies in total throughout the whole game, and the rest of them were probably palette swaps. You’re essentially fighting the same enemies ad nauseam, mashing the O button in order to get enough SP to cast a OHKO spell. It’s very monotonous and it doesn’t make for an interesting experience at all.

Now, the battle system could have been interesting, if only it had not gotten trivialized at 2-3 hours in, where you acquire spells. The game has a skill tree, which looks a lot like a job tree, because of how everything is named. Every sidequest, main quest, and every battle will give you a certain amount of GP (gift points) to unlock new “jobs” on the job tree. Jobs aren’t equippable; they simply give you new skills to use. To be honest, I don’t really like this. Every new job basically unlocks one or two new skills for you to use, and you’re not really switching jobs or anything. You’re just combining the assorted skills you’ve unlocked into a deck and using them willy-nilly. Additionally, in order to learn some skills you’ve unlocked by unlocking the job on the job tree, you need to be at a specified level. Most of the time, you’re going to be at that specified level when you unlock the skill. But you have to wait until you level up next time in order to finally learn that skill. It’s pretty silly that instead of unlocking the skill right when you unlock the job, you have to wait until you level up the next time to actually be able to use it as opposed to unlocking it right on the menu as you unlock the job. It’s strange skill progression.

So, when you learn spells, it ends up trivializing the entire battle system. Spells are incredibly overpowered in this game, and typically, they can one-hit kill enemies. Later on, sometimes you’ll need two casts to get rid of enemies quickly, but this can be easily resolved by a split-second buff cast, and casting a higher-order spell. The game further trivializes the battle system by allowing the player to cast Time Spells. There are three major ones: one that speed up time for you, one that rewinds time, and one that freezes time. All of these spells can allow the player to get even more of an advantage that they don’t need. You can easily cheese the final boss with these spells if you really wanted to. The spell that freezes time can grant the player the time they need to cast spells that require a longer charge time. The spell that speeds up time can grant the player the time they need to cast more spells in succession. Finally, the spell that rewinds time can be used to fire two spells in succession as well. Because of how the spells trivialize the twitch-based Punch-Out!!-esque battle system design of the game, it renders the game incredibly easy, even on Normal Mode. Additionally, there is a mechanic called “Chemistry”, where you can combine two spells in order to cast status effects on enemies. For instance, if you cast Stone, and then Flare, you can burn the enemy. Or if you cast Lightning and then Ice, you can cast Silence on the enemy. This renders the game even easier than it already is.

Even without spells, the game’s battles aren’t very difficult to get through. Most of the time, you’ll find yourself dodging every attack, and coming out of battles barely scathed. With that said, it was irritating not being able to cancel an attack into a guard because the animated portrait just didn’t work that way.

There are a few boss battles that allow free movement, but even then, it feels like the character is moving as slow as molasses, and cast times tend to be incredibly slow. The hitboxes in these battles also seem to be inconsistent, where sometimes you think you’re going to be hit, but you aren’t… and others where you don’t think you’ll be hit, but you are.​


Even the Sidequests Are Like Palette Swaps

In terms of sidequests, they are nothing more than mere fetch quests, and even they are repetitive. Most of the time, you’ll be doing fetch quests for the same NPCs throughout the game. And most of the time, they’ll be asking for the same thing. Find 7 of these hamsters (three sidequests like this), find food for my baby/wife (multiple times), take this cake to people, talk to this person, take these writing utensils to this person in the dungeon, bring my son back home because he’s a vampire now, etc. They’re pretty one-note, and they’re all incredibly repetitive, because you’ll probably be doing the same sidequests per chapter. Sometimes you’ll feel the need to do them because they grant more GP than regular battles do. To be honest, because they’re repetitive, it’s probably not best to do them.

In terms of the Affection system, it’s incredibly shallow. If you order Drake to use buffs in-battle, you’ll increase Toki or Towa’s love stat. This affects the Affection meter for both girls. This doesn’t really mean much in the first playthrough, but in the second playthrough, it will affect whether or not you can get the true ending. You can also increase the love stat by talking to Toki/Towa at home during the tea parties, or by going to Memory Sites in dungeons and selecting the proper options (which will usually net you a picture for your gallery). This is also linked to getting lunches from Toki/Towa which you can use in battle to restore HP. Overall, this mechanic is pretty half-baked, too, since there isn’t much you have to do in order to make both girls affectionate towards Drake/Zack.​


Soundtrack Snoozer

Finally, the music. Yuzo Koshiro is my favourite composer of all time, and he contributed to the soundtrack for this game. Some of his compositions are rather decent, such as Garden Field Theme, Toki Battle Theme, Towa Battle Theme, and Archipelago Field Theme. Some of the compositions are rather bombastic, and the battle themes are good at trying to make combat more bearable. But all the other tracks on the soundtrack are either forgettable, or downright terrible. It’s honestly a complete surprise to me, considering Koshiro can do so much better than this. There’s not much else to say here other than to say that I’m incredibly disappointed with the soundtrack overall. There aren’t a lot of tracks to begin with, and because everything in this game tends to be repeated, you’re going to hear the same tracks over and over to the point of just getting sick and tired of them.​


Stay Away

Palette Swap: The Tea Party Game is one of the most repetitive games I’ve played in recent memory. Everything is repetitive, from the sidequests, to the enemy design, to the enemy AI/attack patterns, to the music, to the story arcs, to the dungeon design… everything. Essentially, it feels like you do the same thing ad nauseam until the game decides to end. I feel as though if this game were in the hands of a better development studio, it certainly wouldn’t feel as repetitive or as though it were in the alpha stages of development. I legitimately felt nothing after completing this game, and I still feel absolutely nothing. It’s a broken affair of a game, and I would implore that people spend their money on something worth playing.​


Verdict: Stay the hell away. Don’t even touch. Don’t even look. Run.


Summary:

Pros:
+ Like, 3-4 tracks on the soundtrack were good.
+ Maybe you want to see how much of a trainwreck it is?​

Cons:
-The battle system is half-baked; everything is too easy, especially when using elemental or time spells
-Every enemy, NPC, and even the main characters are palette swaps
-The characters are shallow and insipid
-The narrative’s basic premise is to repeat itself until the end, and it doesn’t allow the player to sympathize with the characters at all
-Repetitive to a fault
-Bad dungeon/field design
-The rest of the soundtrack is poor
-The affection system is incredibly shallow
-Sidequests are nothing but fetch quests, and they’re essentially the same fetch quests throughout the entire game
-The Job/Skill tree isn’t a decent way of doling out new skills as you must learn them on a level up despite being at or past the level specified to learn skill
-Toki/Towa’s differences in battle don’t even matter in the long run
-Just stay away from this game.​
 

R_thanatos

Member
Apr 20, 2010
23,664
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0
earth planet
Yes... there is...
i must admit that i understand totally the complains about this game ..

The one who designed the wicked forest and the hatefull forest should lose his job.

Yet .... there is this thing that make me go back for more.

I think i managed to tolerate the story because it's obvious it's not meant to be taken seriously.

and i don't see what is the problem with the tea parties , really.
 

Jucksalbe

Banned
Oct 31, 2007
10,664
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980
Another NISA apology incoming? I swear NISA has a knack for picking up the worst games. They published at least three of the worst RPGs of this generation.

I liked how Last Rebellion handled this aspect better.
That's a sentence I thought I'd never see.
 

Dark Schala

Eloquent Princess
Mar 2, 2010
20,614
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0
The Land of Bagged Milk
This is simply so you didn't have to suffer alone.

As djplaeskool said, there's enough of us who've beaten it to start a support group.

Another NISA apology incoming? I swear NISA has a knack for picking up the worst games. They published at least three of the worst RPGs of this generation.

That's a sentence I thought I'd never see.
I never thought I'd ever say that Last Rebellion was better at some game mechanic either. But being able to swap on the fly without any need to level up or use some item is far better than the way Time & Eternity does it.

And what's the third game NISA published. This, Last Rebellion, and...?

and i don't see what is the problem with the tea parties , really.
They're incredibly repetitive and the dialogue enforces the one-dimensional aspect for every single character. We get the point. Wedi's boring, Reijo's overprotective and she can be kind of mean, and Enda's overenthusiastic about everything to the point of being incredibly annoying. And they use the same animations throughout the entire tea party discussion. There's nothing new that's covered here, and you can probably construct a Mad Lib for every conversation they have at the round table by filling in whatever's important to the arc at the time. Add in the fact that it's supplemented by Drake trying to get his grubby little self into the shower to watch Toki/Towa bathe but getting sick every time, or trying to get the girls into wet shirts (for the gallery art), and it--again--feeds the consistent idea that Zack has a one-track mind and it's unbearable.

When I streamed, my chat was keeping count of how many tea parties they saw until I decided to play the game without streaming and suffer in silence until the ending. If there's a case that something akin to a drinking game is developing for something you've seen four times within the first 1-1.5 hours, then you've got a case of serious repetition on your hands that brings little value to the game. I think some people tried to rationalize the tea parties as being something that was designed to allow you to get to know the characters a little more, but how can you? How can you know the characters a little more when they reveal even more facets to the tropes that they have already established for themselves?

You can say that the tea parties are good for getting sidequests, but I've went into the reason why the sidequests are inherently bad. The personal converations between Drake and Toki/Towa could have been nice if they didn't enforce the one-dimensional characteristics that I knew the characters had. Some evolution would've been nice, but nope.

And the music is grating. Oh lord. Koshiro, why?

Oh, and once, I was talking to everyone during the tea party, and they ended up repeating the story dialogue I'd just been through after saying something that was a little new, which was kind of weird.
 

RyougaSaotome

Member
Mar 25, 2010
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It's nice to know that I wasn't just losing my mind in regards to Koshiro's work here. He's a legend and the OSTs he's worked on are almost all uniformly amazing, but even his best work in T&E is simply ok.

The rest of it is just bad and feels like he phoned it in for a quick paycheck.