SunSoft has managed to keep news of the upcoming North American release of a new tactical RPG quiet until recently. Eternal Eyes is a very Japanese-looking game, with animŽ-style characters and gameplay similar to Shining Force or Final Fantasy Tactics. Though a North American release in itself is a surprise for an animŽ-style game such as Eternal Eyes, even more impressive is the care taken in the localization.
The character design of Eternal Eyes is quite possibly its biggest selling point. Fans of the artistic style will be pleased with the character artwork, and Eternal Eyes is one of the few games done in this style to find a North American release. The characters are almost reminiscent of CLAMP, with thin, long hair and huge eyes, as well as Mokona-style characters making appearances throughout the game. These characters will assist with spells and special abilities. In addition, the localization of the game gives the otherwise conventional plot more charm, something absent from many RPGs yet increasingly in demand by players.
Like Vandal Hearts and some other Tactical RPGs, very little gameplay exists outside of the battle sequences. Towns can be explored to a limited extent, but the walking speed of the characters is so slow that an option was added to warp to the important spots in the towns. The game itself is rather slow-paced due to loading times and less-than-intuitive controls. The graphics are nothing special, comprising of sprite characters and 3D backgrounds which can be rotated, and the camera is often too close to the characters, making the sprites look blocky. However, the animŽ style of the game as well as the careful localization practically guarantee Eternal Eyes at least a cult following.