Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

For as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in time travel. I don't think about it every single day, but whenever a product with time travel presents itself to me, I'm always curious to check it out.

My favourite time travel film (and my favourite overall) is the 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine by H.G Wells. I think that's what really sparked off my interest. I'd definitely recommend it over the 2002 film (I don't have a lot of good things to say about that version...). The special effects stand up even today. As the title of this blog suggests, I also like the Back to the Future series (which is a bit more of a light-hearted take to it). The Butterfly Effect and Deja-Vu are two others.

I also like games that deal with time travel. In this instance, I mean the kind of time travel where you can go back to an earlier date and change the future significantly. Stuff like going back to Ancient Rome and giving the empire some gatling guns. I expect the result of that would be most of the world still speaking in Latin to this day.

Shadow of Memories (known as Shadow of Destiny in the US, it appears) is a great example of what I mean. It's a seemingly obscure title released by Konami for the PS2 and Xbox back in 2001 (it had a North American PSP release in 2010, however). After being killed, a man called Eike is suddenly presented with the power of time travel by a demon called Homunculus. Homunculus' motives are unknown, but Eike plays along in the interest of saving his own life.

It plays out as a third-person adventure game with no combat. Throughout the game, Eike can travel back to various time periods. He goes as far back as the 16th century. If you make any changes in the past, it'll be subtly reflected in the present. However, regardless where you are, the clock is always ticking in the present. He must carry out his plans within the time limit (his time of death in the present). This means there's potentially a lot of trial and error required.

I just had to use this screenshot...

I picked it up after seeing a trailer for it (I think it was some time after its release). I personally enjoyed it. While it's not a masterpiece of a game and the visuals aren't particularly great (even for a PS2/Xbox title), I liked the ideas it had. I wish there was more games like it. If you have any way of playing it, I'd recommend giving it a shot. It's pretty cheap these days.

Chrono Trigger is probably one of the more well-known time travel games that I've played. It also fits well with my definition on the most part. Time Hollow and Ghost Trick are other examples, but they don't have the illusion of non-linearity that the other games have. As you may know already, I'm set to play Radiant Historia once I'm done with FFV. I'm cautiously optimistic about it. I hope it sates my time travel needs. If it just ends being a great JRPG, that's also fine.

I really need to get my own Epoch (or 2poch, if you prefer)

What are your thoughts on time travel games? Would you like to see more of them? I'll be interested to read your thoughts. Feel free to mention other time travel games, too. I can't imagine I've covered all of them.

#1 Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

For as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in time travel. I don't think about it every single day, but whenever a product with time travel presents itself to me, I'm always curious to check it out.

My favourite time travel film (and my favourite overall) is the 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine by H.G Wells. I think that's what really sparked off my interest. I'd definitely recommend it over the 2002 film (I don't have a lot of good things to say about that version...). The special effects stand up even today. As the title of this blog suggests, I also like the Back to the Future series (which is a bit more of a light-hearted take to it). The Butterfly Effect and Deja-Vu are two others.

I also like games that deal with time travel. In this instance, I mean the kind of time travel where you can go back to an earlier date and change the future significantly. Stuff like going back to Ancient Rome and giving the empire some gatling guns. I expect the result of that would be most of the world still speaking in Latin to this day.

Shadow of Memories (known as Shadow of Destiny in the US, it appears) is a great example of what I mean. It's a seemingly obscure title released by Konami for the PS2 and Xbox back in 2001 (it had a North American PSP release in 2010, however). After being killed, a man called Eike is suddenly presented with the power of time travel by a demon called Homunculus. Homunculus' motives are unknown, but Eike plays along in the interest of saving his own life.

It plays out as a third-person adventure game with no combat. Throughout the game, Eike can travel back to various time periods. He goes as far back as the 16th century. If you make any changes in the past, it'll be subtly reflected in the present. However, regardless where you are, the clock is always ticking in the present. He must carry out his plans within the time limit (his time of death in the present). This means there's potentially a lot of trial and error required.

I just had to use this screenshot...

I picked it up after seeing a trailer for it (I think it was some time after its release). I personally enjoyed it. While it's not a masterpiece of a game and the visuals aren't particularly great (even for a PS2/Xbox title), I liked the ideas it had. I wish there was more games like it. If you have any way of playing it, I'd recommend giving it a shot. It's pretty cheap these days.

Chrono Trigger is probably one of the more well-known time travel games that I've played. It also fits well with my definition on the most part. Time Hollow and Ghost Trick are other examples, but they don't have the illusion of non-linearity that the other games have. As you may know already, I'm set to play Radiant Historia once I'm done with FFV. I'm cautiously optimistic about it. I hope it sates my time travel needs. If it just ends being a great JRPG, that's also fine.

I really need to get my own Epoch (or 2poch, if you prefer)

What are your thoughts on time travel games? Would you like to see more of them? I'll be interested to read your thoughts. Feel free to mention other time travel games, too. I can't imagine I've covered all of them.

#2 Posted by Murdouken (709 posts) -

I have recently been playing Star Trek Online and that has some pretty great time travel missions. There is one where a character mentions that two civilisations from the future were locked in a temporal cold war, where they kept going back in time to try and make small changes that wipe the other faction out. (One change involved telling the Klingon Empire the future) That sounds like the most bad ass idea for a game. I heard that Gettysburg: Armoured Warfare is that kind of thing but it's not so great.

#3 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

I like time travelling in my games. Especially when the twist is similar to something along the lines of you having to go back in time and replay a sequence from another perspective, in order to make yourself succeed - which means that it already happened behind the scenes when you saw it the first time. It happens from time to time and it's an interesting paradox.

#4 Posted by Dagbiker (6974 posts) -

I love time travel, but typically the way daja vu handeled it I like the best. Where there is a single timeline.

Online
#5 Posted by AndrewB (7590 posts) -

Huh. Is Shadow of Memories/Destiny worth picking up on PSP (assuming I can even find it now)?

Chrono Trigger is an obvious one, and while I don't necessarily think it handled it amazingly, it was still an amazing RPG for the SNES era.

Also thought I'd mention my own current obsession (and the reason I was drawn to this thread). The Infinity series of visual novels deals with various forms of time travel in a pretty complex theoretical physics kind of way. If that intrigues you as much as it does me, you should definitely check them out (the first and the third have fan translations from Japanese to English).

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Isn't this something would do? In fact, isn't this something has done?

#7 Posted by Zzzleepy (162 posts) -

Day of the Tentacle is my favorite time travelling game!

#8 Edited by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

@Murdouken: Ah cool. I know the various incarnations of the TV series have featured time travel at some point. I've only seen that Enterprise time travel story set in an alternate universe. I should really watch more Star Trek at some point. My dad was always more of a fan than I was, but I'd occasionally watch it.

@Galiant: Yeah, I like scenes like that. It happens in a few films, too. I also like scenes where you end up going 'Oh, so THAT explains it...'.

@Dagbiker: The icing on the cake for that film was that it made sense at the end. I really enjoyed it. It was a worthy Blu-Ray purchase.

@AndrewB: Yeah, I'd recommend finding it if you can pick it up for cheap. It's a fairly short game and a little rough around the edges (I assume it's a direct port of the original), but it's an interesting game while it lasts. I liked what they did with it.

That's the 2nd time travel visual novel that's been recommended to me lately. I may check it out at some point. I've found visual novels to be a bit on the dull side, but if time travel is involved...who knows.

@Video_Game_King: Any duplication was unintentional. How recent was it?

@Zzzleepy: Another classic point-and-click I need to play at some point. I've heard a lot about it. It's been so long since I've played a point-and-click game...

#9 Posted by AndrewB (7590 posts) -

@AdzPearson: You're right that Shadow of Memories is graphically lacking (looks almost like a PS1 era game), but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying stuff in the past as long as it's noteworthy in some other way.

And yeah, I can see how a visual novel can seem dull, but I feel like the Infinity series is an exception; specifically Remember11, which eschews the dating sim aspect and just tells a really awesome story. I'd recommend you also be at least somewhat interested in actual sciences, though. Those VNs involve science fiction, but also many ideas based in theoretical physics.

Similarly, you could check out 999. It's more of a hybrid adventure/visual novel for the DS. It's also written and directed by someone involved in the VNs I mentioned, and has a deceptively amazing story somewhat based in time travel, as well. Might be more realistic to find.

#10 Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

@AndrewB: I have an interest science overall. It was easily my favourite subject back in school. I still watch scientific TV programmes now and again (the BBC is usually great for that). Some of the theories are a bit hard to follow, but I'm interested in stuff like that.

Yep, I have a friend who sings the praises of 999 (he also got me to play Ghost Trick). I imagine I'll play that at some point. I have to be in the right mood to start a game like that, though. It took me forever to start Ghost Trick... XD

#11 Posted by AndrewB (7590 posts) -

@AdzPearson: 999 was a grind for me early on. Some of the puzzle stuff is annoying (especially when you have to do them multiple times across different playthroughs), but the true ending makes it all worth it. Once the story hooks you, it's tough to let go.

#12 Posted by sagebirt (58 posts) -

Final fantasy VIII anyone? The orphanage stuff sticks in my mind. Not the best Final Fantasy ever, but it did have a huge impact on me. perhaps it was my "Twilight" (shudders)

#13 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

"Jiggawatts"

#14 Posted by SSully (4168 posts) -

You should play Singularity, it is a pretty damn good game and it has plenty of time traveling involved.

#15 Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

@sagebirt: I didn't get that far with FFVIII, but it was hinted at. I have a faint of idea of what it might involve. I'll find out whenever I get back to it.

@SSully: ...I seem to remember seeing bits of that game (must have been the quick look). Just had a look at the wiki page for it and I saw some familiar stuff. I think it's something I might pick up when I have a working 360. It seems to have some interesting time manipulation stuff.

#16 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

If you like that kind of stuff I would HIGHLY recommend Stephen Kings Dark Tower Series. The Dark Tower is an entity that connects all time, space, planes of existence and dimensions. It's far ahead of anything you would see in movies or games.

#17 Posted by Animasta (14675 posts) -

You might wanna try Steins;Gate, it's a visual novel that's only in japanese (there are english patches out there though) but it does deal with the butterfly effect and the science behind time travel.

#18 Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

@Phyrlord: Yeah, came across that series while I was looking around wikipedia for Stephen King novels. It sounds like my kind of thing. Unfortunately, I don't make a lot of time for books at the moment. I don't think there's anything wrong with them, mind. I've read some great books in the past. However, as much as I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (originally to me introduced via the BBC TV series), I still read haven't most of the compilation I've got. I love the style of the novels, but I end up using my time on here, gaming and working on my dissertation. I should probably give reading novels a serious shot one of these days. Reading a bit each day might be the solution...

@Animasta: I really should have mentioned that in the main text, as I've seen the anime and I think it's one of the best examples of time travel fiction out there. I was absolutely hooked to it. I've also been recommended the visual novel before. It's on my list of things to do. I'd welcome more Steins;Gate with open arms. I've seen there's an anime coming out that's set after the events of the original, although it seems to focus on robotics this time...and it has a different cast.

#19 Posted by Animasta (14675 posts) -

@AdzPearson: nah, that's just a new anime that's going to have very little to do with steins;gate beyond like, small references.

#20 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

Bayonetta has time travel and somehow it works...

#21 Posted by Mento (2512 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Whoa, hey, I got summoned.

No, no, it's all good. My blog about time stuff wasn't limited to just time travel, and it's not like I have exclusivity rights on discussing time travelling video games regardless. I think at this point, though, if you write a time travel blog and don't mention the utter insanity of Achron, you're probably breaking some sort of law. One that Timecops might enforce, perhaps.

Moderator
#22 Posted by AdzPearson (201 posts) -

@Mento: I don't know what to make of Achron. I saw the quick look of it when it came out. It looks complicated as hell, but I admire the developers for trying something like that. I dread to think about the variables they needed to cover. I'm not sure if I'll check it out myself, though. I'm not particularly hot on RTS games these days. A TNT of it, however...

#23 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

@AdzPearson said:

@Phyrlord: Yeah, came across that series while I was looking around wikipedia for Stephen King novels. It sounds like my kind of thing. Unfortunately, I don't make a lot of time for books at the moment. I don't think there's anything wrong with them, mind. I've read some great books in the past. However, as much as I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (originally to me introduced via the BBC TV series), I still read haven't most of the compilation I've got. I love the style of the novels, but I end up using my time on here, gaming and working on my dissertation. I should probably give reading novels a serious shot one of these days. Reading a bit each day might be the solution...

Yeah, I usually get the hour in during work at lunch, works well. Sometimes in the morning while the wifey finishes getting ready.

#24 Posted by EuricaeriS (10 posts) -

@AdzPearson said:

Yep, I have a friend who sings the praises of 999 (he also got me to play Ghost Trick).

I wonder who that could be...

I just remembered I need to watch Groundhog Day. Not strictly time travel, but I appreciate being reminded all the same :3