One overlooked JRPG from the PlayStation 3 era is Time and Eternity by the now-defunct developer Imageepoch. The title was heavily criticized during its initial release and subsequent localized launches for a myriad of reasons primarily stemming from the execution of its gameplay systems.
However, its unique visuals have not really been replicated to this day, and the soundtrack was quite standout. The former comprises hand-drawn 2D sprites for the characters and 3D models for the environments.
Recently, one of the composers, Yuzo Koshiro, shared his thoughts about the game’s development and finalization after a viral post showcasing the in-game presentation.
In his tweets, Koshiro explained that, from his perspective, a “strong vision” carried the project forward, making it go smoothly until about halfway through development. From then on, communication issues with the team manager arose, and delays were initiated, eventually leading to the project’s downfall.
Koshiro was quite excited about Time and Eternity’s eventual release, though all he could do was work on composing the soundtrack. Still, he emphasized that this is all just his “impression and not meant to criticize anyone.”
In a follow-up response, Koshiro explained that communication back then was more limited due to a lack of internet access, making coordination challenging. So, one can assume that to have contributed to the troubled development. This problem likely applied to the in-game animations above all else, considering the merging of 2D and 3D.
I distinctly remember playing Time and Eternity way back in the day and managing to finish it around the same time as the original Hyperdimension Neptunia. Neither game was all that enjoyable, but it is interesting to think about how the Neptunia series has thrived by comparison.
Time and Eternity follows Zack, who loses his life protecting his beloved, Toki, during an attempted assassination at their wedding. However, Toki and her alter ego, Towa, end up time traveling to prevent this tragedy, while Zack’s soul has transferred over to Toki’s pet dragon, Drake. The gameplay features real-time combat, with Toki and Towa being swappable and boasting unique specialties, such as Toki excelling at a distance and Towa performing best up-front. NIS America localized the game.
Imageepoch is known for having worked on notable JRPGs such as both PSP Fate/Extra entries, the Luminous Arc series, and Stella Glow.
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