37 people found this review helpful
3
2
1
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 15.7 hrs on record (9.6 hrs at review time)
Posted: Aug 16, 2020 @ 6:19pm
Updated: Aug 16, 2020 @ 6:19pm
Product received for free

Early Access Review
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Edge of Eternity is quite a tribute to the old-school JRPG with a modern look and feel, while introducing some additional mechanics that seem rather unique. There's a good amount of complexity and currently it finally reached its beta stage after being out in early access for about 20 months, with 5 of the planned 8 chapters available. There's certainly a decent amount of gameplay available already in what's there, with the developers estimating around 30 hours of gameplay. I have spent a little under 10 hours so far, doing a lot of running around and side quests, so I feel like I am still barely scratching at the surface of the game.

In as far as indie games go, this is an impressive project from a small team. The game is currently on a last 30% sale with base price of $19.99 before an increase because of finally heading into beta recently. Worth the price.

The story unfolds in a fantasy world where a previously friendly alien race had turned violent, Daryon is a young protagonist trying to save his mother from a mysterious illness. With the aid of his sister and some obscure leads, the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. The story unfolds in a meaningful way and the character development is pretty decent too. I am rather happy with the story progression so far. The voice-acting is not outstanding but also not bad, almost all of the plot-furthering lines are voice-acted.

You will explore a vast fantasy world filled with plenty of beautiful scenery that is dramatically altered by weather, in turn affecting the heroes and the enemies alike as the days and nights roll by. Take on quests major and minor to achieve your goals of becoming more powerful, obtaining more money and stuff, so that you can craft more stuff, and ultimately face the big and bad guys who are the antagonists. Face all kinds of creatures and unnatural enemies along your path, because they just will always get in your way.

Mechanics of Interest
This game tries to do so much that thinking about it all at once is a bit overwhelming. There's a really unique weapon-leveling up system that unlocks branching pathways with further upgrades that you can unlock by slotting in crystals. The crystals will give stat boosts and also some spells/skills that once they are in your weapon, you can use in battle. This kind of feels like a mashup of the Materia and the Guardian Force Junctioning systems found in Final Fantasy 7 & 8. There are only so many skill slots that you can use, so taking on any particular battle you already have a plan in mind. You can see the enemies you are engaging and you know exactly what skills/abilities you have equipped.

In-combat interaction with the terrain is fun. Various objects give you power/defense buffs passively, while other items you can use to wreck havoc on the enemies. The battlefield is divided up in a hex grid and you can move to any hex unoccupied by the enemy units and take advantage of any preexisting objects there to your advantage.

The game throws plenty of interesting little challenges your way as optional objectives for almost every combat session. These range from enduring a certain amount of damage to your characters, to taking out enemies in certain ways or doing certain combat maneuvers. All in all, even though there's not too much going on during the individual fights, you can use these little objectives as ways to increase the dynamic nature of your game. You will see the the type of reward from doing them, so you can choose to pursue them or not.

Useful items in the environment will respawn over time, just as the enemies do. You can craft after learning recipes. The crafting system is not extensive, but it's almost preferable in this way. Each of your playable characters have various armor/gear slots and then there are the crystal slots associated with each individual weapon. Then there are various rarities that you can get for each craftable item, plus you can play around with gem upgrading that can become painful/expensive before too long.

Even though the game has the traditional save points that you can access, you can also use them to teleport/fast-travel to any other previously-visited save point, so make sure that you hop on and use them at least once to activate the teleport ability. I say this specifically because there's a save-anywhere option in the difficulty settings that allow you to completely skip all save points should you wish. You can walk up and be staring at a boss in the face but still outside of the trigger zone, save, and then head into the fight. I am taking full advantage of this option. There are also difficulty settings from 0 to 10, and so you can fiddle with it to find a setting that's suitable for yourself to have a challenge but still have an enjoyable game.

Optimization
Playing Early Access build Beta 1.23 at the moment, I can say that the game is still showing plenty of rough edges. But just the updates I have seen in the last few days have dramatically improved loading times and made significant improvements. It's still not great, but I am running the game more or less stutter-less at 60 FPS at max settings on FHD and 2K settings. My frames vary between 20-45 for the most part on moderate 4K settings. Also trying to press the screenshot key sometimes will freeze the game for 2-3 seconds before a capture. I would be super cautious if your hardware is actually closer to the minimum requirements though.

Flaws
-When changing equipment all you see is a comparative stat change. Side-by-side comparison is preferred.
-Longer fights could get a bit tedious due limited options for moves.
-Cannot dictate orientation/facing direction of the characters after moving.
-There's a really strange limitation on max number of times you can use potions/ether/etc. in any battle. So you could carry 30 potions but use up your limit of 3, and die while staring into your backpack at all of those glittery bottles because there's an invisible force field stopping you from dipping into your inventory.
-The footfall sounds too loud/much, IMHO.
-Already improved, but some of the facial expressions in the cut scenes could use some better attention. Disdain comes through pretty well. Lots of flat expressions though.
-A photo mode would be most welcome.
-Various bugs that are not game-breaking.

Controls
Controls well with a controller, and seems to be designed for it. I played a little bit with a KB+M, but I think the controller is the way to go.

Graphics
The artwork is great, screenshots here:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2197909271

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2198453589

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2198452321

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2199962489

Music & Sounds
The music is absolutely fantastic. I am just finding out right now that the OST is composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. Some sound effects (footfall) can be dampened.

Audience
For fans of the JRPG genre, this is a fun title. It's nice having modifiable settings that make it more suitable for players looking for alternative difficulties.

Conclusion
Edge of Eternity is an indie JRPG that could use some polish and improved optimization, but is overall impressive, fun, and worth playing through.

Score: 8.5/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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8 Comments
YQMaoski Aug 17, 2020 @ 7:21am 
You are welcome, I am glad to be of help. :D
Tasi Aug 17, 2020 @ 7:15am 
Thanks a lot! If you would not replay and explain it to me, I would buy the game and I would be at the end disappointed. It seems like a cool game but not for me.
YQMaoski Aug 17, 2020 @ 5:44am 
...post 3...
To be totally honest, the combat and writing elements are weaker than the design and musical elements in this game, especially if you are looking for a tactical combat system or a deep well-written story.
YQMaoski Aug 17, 2020 @ 5:43am 
...post 2...
Recommendation for Tactical TBS fans: Not straight up from a tactical battle stand point, it's not very tactical at all. There are some small interesting elements in the game mechanics that makes it a bit more exciting than traditional JRPGs, but the combat will be fairly bland from a tactical standpoint.
Writing: I think most JRPG have a lot of ridiculous and over the top dialogue and writing. The writing is not particularly deep, but there are a good amount of funny/absurd situations that make it amusing to me. Slapstick humor is closer to it than deep. I think this has a good amount of the JRPG charm without going too over the top. I mean, is it a FRPG because it's made by a French team? It's overall got the very standard JRPG feel, that's why I put it into that genre. The story is definitely linear, you play quest to quest, and only the main quest lines will move the story along. You are less making decisions than being in for the ride.
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YQMaoski Aug 17, 2020 @ 5:43am 
@Tasi, here are my opinions on those particular parts:
Combat: The nature of limiting your playing characters' combat abilities/spells in only what crystals are attached to their weapons means that there's not much variability from one combat encounter to the next. For smaller enemies and their optional objectives, it is a bit more varied. If you are dealing with a boss enemy with more health, you are basically trying to avoid damage by moving, and trying your best at staying in a good formation against them. Limitations on healing/mana restoration means that you have to plan out accordingly, but it is not too tactical overall. The tedium stems from the repetition of the same battle elements until the fight's over.
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Tasi Aug 17, 2020 @ 12:38am 
Thru the "Share your review" I sometimes get an interesting tip like this time. Reading your review and also several other reviews and watching for a while the current online stream I am still puzzled about some parts:
combat: some reviews say goes tedious later/more difficult enemies
writing: seeing some reviews and a few minutes of gameplay it seems either as some jRPG specific (which I have no experience with) or to be really bad ("dramatic" or theatrical)
Would you recommend the game for a turn-based-tactics fan? And what about someone who prefers good and deep writing (does not need to be "choices matters", it can be linear)? Thanks
YQMaoski Aug 16, 2020 @ 7:12pm 
LOL!
FruitNDoggie Aug 16, 2020 @ 6:50pm 
Come on Selene! I mean, really.