I’m just going to start strong: This game is fucking incredible. I don’t know what’s more shocking: How good this game is or how long it took for me to play this! As I mentioned in my RPG article this would be one of the first Role Playing Games I would play in a long time, and I’m not even a fan of the genre. The screen-shots, short, clips and few songs I noticed had my interest. Low and behold, last Christmas present I get is Chrono Trigger on the Nintendo DS.
“But Tony” You shout. “Most of us have played this and loved it”
I hear this a lot, BUT what makes this article so good is it’s a positive RPG review by a non RPG player. So I’m pointing out the obvious to you all, but there are a few that have never seen, hell, never heard of this title. This is my impression on the game, and of course, my word is law.
The first thought was platform. As far as I knew Chrono Trigger was only released on the SNES. I’m not a big fan of emulators, and I’m sure I could find a copy on some bidding site. But after some research (and by research I mean Wikipedia) I discovered it also came out on the PlayStation, the Nintendo DS and iPhone/Android. All platforms I own. My PlayStation 2 is packed away somewhere so that was out. Love my iPhone, but I usually play the ‘pick up n’ play’ games on it unless I’m at home. But since I’m home I just play console games instead. So I ended up with the DS version.
The plot revolves around a silent hero named Crono (yes, you can change the names and no, that’s not a spelling mistake) who meets a girl called Marle at a fair. The two find Bulma, I mean Lucca, Crono’s smart childhood friend there working on a machine transporter machine with her Father. Marle volunteers and somehow her pendant creates a new portal, sending her back in time. The two go after her, meeting new friends and enemies along the way as they go from a Mad Max type future, to the prehistoric days.
Now I had NO idea about the plot. Who the hero was, where it took place, nothing. I’m kind of shocked I didn’t hear anything besides Robo’s Theme. Or like I said before I chose to be ignorant to it. The premise had me hooked, mainly because the whole portal part kicks in within the first 10 minutes. The dialogue is all done by text and translated very well (the SNES version may differ, the DS version had anime cut scenes). The characters have an excellent response to each other, keeping me reading the dialogue even if some of the things that are said are not plot related and just put in for amusement.
Speaking of characters, the playable ones in Chrono Trigger are interesting. I already mentioned Crono, Marle and Lucca. 3 other characters you can use are Frog, a human sized frog who wields a sword and speaks with an awesome accent. Robo is a robot from the future, left to rust if not for Lucca bringing him back to life. And then there’s Ayla, a strong cave-woman from the year 65,000,000 BC. It’s funny to watch them interact with each other because of the timeline differences they share (like Ayla not knowing what a robot is).
The graphics look great. I went online to see footage of the SNES version compared to PSX/DS version and there are differences like how objects look sharper, or have more colour/shading to them. Everything is clear when you see them….except some paths. I’m sorry, as great as the game is one problem I kept having was finding routes. Because the game is set at an angle I ran into walls on occasion, thinking they were paths. It’s a small problem that can easily be overlooked.
Every song in the game was amazing to listen to. I know Mitch is the music buff, but I still love soundtracks to games. The main composer was Yasunori Mitsuda, who helped make this game so big he created his own legacy as a video game composer. It’s almost like the soundtrack to a movie rather than a game soundtrack. From the over world to general talking to battles the music team really does deserve any award it has.
The battle system is generic for an RPG with you making your move (attacking, healing, etc.) then waiting for your bar to fill so you can move again. For someone who doesn’t play RPGs I did get frustrated at waiting to go. But like I said, that’s RPGs in general.
Go out and get it.
I’m serious. Odds are you have a platform it runs on and it doesn’t disappoint. Then again odds are you have already played it. I know some people won’t play games unless it’s in 3D or on a ‘newer’ console but this game has so much to offer. It will NOT let you down.