I wrote a more detailed review at OrganizationASG and rambled about final boss strategy elsewhere so this is just some random babble. At 23:51 with all subquests cleared, that wasn’t a very long game. Nearly half that time was spent on subquests, so if you rush through the story, you could finish it in less than 20 hours. It’s also very easily broken, considering that magic is ridiculously overpowered and Time Freeze can be used without downtime and for as many times as you want in battle as long as you have Time Splinters to refill with. Also combine that with the chemistry system and you’ve got a game so easily broken you can make it so that the final boss never gets a move in on you.
While the game was really flawed and doesn’t appeal to a lot of people, I wouldn’t consider it absolute shit that no one should touch. It was miles more fun than Lunar Dragon Song. If I had to compare it to something, it’d be like the McDonalds’ of RPGs for me. There’s no way I can call it actually good, and the health benefits are low. But it is fast, edible without tasting like utter shit (alright, subjective here, but as someone whose high school cafeteria once served noodles with bits still raw and hard, McDonalds was a decent and affordable alternative), consistent, and you don’t have to put any mind into eating it. Sometimes you can enjoy the taste of a Big Mac (or in the case of poor student me, three McDoubles which will end up costing the same as the Big Mac) without thinking much about it, but it’s not something you want to eat all the time. Of course those who only enjoy the fine dining or healthy meals with carefully counted calories aren’t going to like it, but some people really do crave McDonalds’ at times (or eat it daily, but let’s watch our health at least somewhat, okay?).
Time and Eternity is just like that: a short game that flies by fast without overstaying its welcome, flawed, and has gameplay that never evolves. Enemy attack patterns and difficulty will remain constant whether it’s the first few hours or the last few hours (certain bosses not withstanding), and everything is just as expected. It was some 24 hours of shallow and mindless repetition, which isn’t a bad thing sometimes, just not what I’d pay $50 for (hooray for review copies). Of the girls I liked Enda the best (twintail loli always welcome), but you can only pick between Toki and Towa so I chose the latter (of course I reloaded later to get the former’s ending). While redheads are delicious and tempting, I like tsunderes and sword users so I chose Towa. Tsunderes with low-pitched voices are always great. Plus Towa’s magic is more useful for chemistry. There’s a true ending on NG+ that requires balancing both girls’ affection, but I don’t like the game enough to want to play it again.
Speaking of comparing food to RPGs, I’d have to compare some other games if Time and Eternity is McDonalds’.
The Atelier games are like dessert: sweet, delicious, always welcome but don’t last that long. They give that pleasant feeling, and you never feel tired after finishing.
Disgaea games feel like if you won a “cake every day for a year” prize. It’s definitely enjoyable and delicious, but somewhere down the really long line you’ll get tired of it. Of course, when the next one comes out, you’ll jump at the opportunity again.
Tales games are probably that one Hong Kong-style restaurant that serves their stuff in large plates. They’ve got lots of content compared to what you’re paying, and you can always rely on them to have something that you enjoy (for my particular tastes, anyway).Their servings are huge though, so you might have to force yourself to finish the last few bites, or get tired of what you ordered. You’ll often leave the store full, and while this stuff ain’t fine dining, it tastes good and feels comfortable.
Modern Atlus games feel like fancy five-course meals: good, but they take a long time to finish and your wallet probably took a critical hit or maybe even ate an instant-kill. You’ll probably feel satisfied at the end, but not before facing several hardships.
I have a huge bias for Falcom’s Legend of Heroes series so they are my waifu’s homemade meal specially prepared for my birthday (ignoring the fact that anyone I can call my waifu doesn’t exist in the third dimension). Always love, always want, always a lot and takes time to finish.
On another hand, Lunar Dragon Song is like this one noodle lunch I once had in high school: tasted terrible, had several pieces of hard, raw noodle that I absolutely couldn’t accept. I said “fuck this shit” partway through and threw it away.