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After a battle is won you usually get some gold, a handful of crafting crystals and some loot. Most of the game's items are randomized through a series of suffixes and prefixes, with an occasional unique item thrown in for good measure. Each item has a series of stats, like armor penetration and critical chance, associated with it. During your journey, you'll be getting plenty of loot. So, if you're someone who can muster even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for stopping every three minutes in order to decide whether you prefer to have 5% more movement speed or 2 additional points of mana regeneration on your Something Shoes of Something, then you may enjoy Tower of Time's itemization. Personally, I found it unbelievably boring.
This was further worsened by the fact that the game has a robust crafting system. If you've read any of my reviews, you may know that I absolutely can't stand crafting in video games. And in Tower of Time, crafting is king. You can create items from different materials using various presets. Then, you can also add some bonus properties to these items, and then enchant them with a wide variety of powerful effects.
It's extremely easy to craft very powerful items and more often than not, those items are better than anything you can find while exploring. So, not only is the game's loot extremely boring, you can usually craft better gear yourself, which kills any possibility of excitement when discovering new stuff.
And if you thought that maybe you can buy some cool gear while in town with the gold you get, you'll be surprised to find out that gold actually acts as Tower of Time's experience points. In order to raise your heroes' levels you will need to build and upgrade a series of class-specific buildings and then spend some gold to train your heroes.
When going up a level, you'll get some skill points, that you can freely redistribute at will, and some attribute points that make your heroes stronger, tougher, faster or better at magic. In order to respec those, you will have to spend some crafting materials, but the price is very much affordable.
Aside from skills and attributes, the game has an alignment system that reacts to your choices during certain story moments. These choices, cosmetic as they may be, give you some roleplaying opportunities and in return can grant your heroes certain combat bonuses or penalties depending on what they think about your actions.
Now, while I definitely prefer the game's story to its battles, if you enjoy Tower of Time's combat, while in town, you can also participate in a series of optional challenges and earn additional gold, items and enchantments for your gear. And if you simply can't get enough of combat, you can play the game in a couple of so-called RPG-lite modes that make things tougher while also removing some of the usual story-based restrictions.
Tower of Time's visuals are quite decent. While the models are nothing to write home about, the game's environments are rich and detailed with no shortage of impressive vistas and cluttered hallways illuminated by both magic and technological contraptions.
The game's audio, on the other hand is not quite on the level. The music is far from memorable, but I have no complaints there. The sound design, though, is quite shoddy. The sound effects lack any sort of punch and impact, audio levels seem to be oddly mixed, and there's an annoying bug where if your character shoots a gun and tries to move at the same time, you get to hear the shot even though it gets canceled by movement.
Other than that, however, I didn't encounter a single bug in the game. It didn't crash on me once and generally ran pretty well. Some of the more open areas had frame dips here and there, but they were barely noticeable.
The game saves and loads almost instantly. It has manual saves, quick saves, and autosaves, so you shouldn't have any issues there.
When playing a video game, I need something to look forward to. Some clear goal, a promise of cool gear, new levels that unlock new powerful skills, exciting fresh challenges. With its lack of mystery and interesting items, Tower of Time became old for me a little too soon. If not for the story, I would have probably struggled to even finish it.
Overall, though, I think Tower of Time is a competent game. It works. It runs well. It has an engaging story and a series of systems that are immediately familiar but still have some unique personality. If you can appreciate a decent story, or really like crafting, you will probably find something to your liking there. Otherwise, it may not be a game for you.
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