1.21 Gigawatts?!! - Time Travel in Games

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.

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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 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)
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.

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