Chrono Trigger- Retroview
Time Travel and You
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
65 000 000 years or so
Now here's a strange distinction. Final Fantasy VI
is my favourite game of all time, and certainly my favourite game for
SNES. However, it is my opinion that Chrono Trigger is the best
game made for the SNES. It is sound in every critical area, and leaves
nothing to disappoint. However, purely on the basis that this was a game
I did not own for a very long time, and thus did not play to excess, I
like Final Fantasy VI better. That said, Chrono Trigger is without a doubt
one of the best games I have ever played.
In Chrono Trigger, you take the role of the young
boy Crono, who lives in the year 1000 AD. One thing leads to another and
before he knows it, he's bouncing around in time like some sort of quantum
ping pong ball. Geordie Laforge would probably have a field day coming
up with terminology for the proceedings that take place, but that aside,
over the course of 6 distinct epochs, Crono assembles a group of friends
who work to try and stop the evil Lavos from doing evil things(what is
the attraction there? Evil has to get pretty boring after 65 000 000 years..
you think it'd take up soccer or something). At any rate, fighting in
this game is similar, but not identical, to the Final Fantasy series.
Different is the use of tech points, which are essentially magic points,
which allow the characters to execute a variety of unique tactics in battle.
There are also double and triple Techs, which allow characters to act
in tandem to produce more powerful results. There is also the concept
of damage done over an area in some cases, so in addition to universal
and single enemy effects, several(but not all) can be affected by an
attack. Very well conceived of, this system lacks any noticeable flaws
and is the core of an excellent game.
Non-combat gameplay is also solidly constructed. The menu system
is very compact, and this is the first game by Squaresoft where characters
could be equipped while still purchasing weapons and armour(and unfortunately,
pretty much the only one). This helpful addition speeds things up considerably,
and complements the gameplay nicely. There are no random battles; the
world map is free of enemies, and one must walk up to creatures visible
on the world map in order to fight. The only hindrance to this system
is the monotony of the world map, but fortunately, relatively little time
is spent on the world map, so this doesn't really make any difference.
|I wish MY continent did that...
Mitsuda rules. Not only does Mitsuda rule, but he
had limited assistance from Nobuo Uematsu in constructing this game's
soundtrack, so understandably, it is excellent. Many of the tracks are
memorable, and each fits perfectly the area it is from. The only drawback
is the somewhat tinny sound of some of the samples selected, but as the
music is of excellent composition, this doesn't make any difference. The
sound effects are also very good, and distinctive. The sound of Lavos...
doing whatever the heck it is Lavos does, is as unique as any, and the
kittens mewling are just so cute... Ahem. Before I dribble off into a
big puddle of sap, let me just say one more time: this game's music is
What sets this game apart is how original it was.
I was expecting it to be similar to FFVI, but it is by no means a clone.
At the time, it was fresh and new, including everything from the revamped
battle system, the monster-less world map, the music, the idea of time
travel, and the excellent plot, which is still by far the most complex
and enjoyable I have encountered.
The plot is, without a doubt, one of the foremost
reasons I enjoy this game. The story is simply so deep in detail, and
indeed thought-provoking, that it is a step above all other games. Every
detail fit together perfectly, every idea well-conceived of, and it fit
together to make a coherent whole. Character development was given especial
play, as the storyline was able to include not only the main characters,
but their ancestors, distant ancestors, and even those who succeeded them.
What was the most refreshing was that there was no emperor with a badass
sidekick, which, up until that time, had been a developing trend in RPG
plots. 'The best' is really about all I can say.
Translation was also seamless. With such an in-depth plot,
the potential for numerous screw-ups existed, but mercifully, this was
before the era of tortured thieves and such, so evidently no expense was
spared in this department, definitely a good thing, since it would have
been a great shame to have any of the plot compromised by poor dialogue
or loose translation.
|Why you shouldn't lick tree frogs
With over a dozen endings and the New Game + feature, CT
has easily one of the best replay values around. The New Game+ is basically
a concept whereby the game is restarted, except the characters retain
their statistics from when the game was completed beforehand. This allows
for the game to proceed more quickly, and also affords additional endings
to be uncovered, giving CT excellent replayability.
The graphics in CT, as it is the final RPG produced by Square(at least,
the final one that saw North American release)for the Super Nintendo,
are top of the line, as far as the SNES's capabilities go. The art, done
by the creator of Dragonball Z, is excellent, and lends the game much
of its mood.(As an aside, that is the element most noticeably absent from
Chrono Cross- the character art is somewhat lacking, and it shows). This
serves to further enhance what is already an excellent game.
This game can be somewhat difficult at times, and there will be times
where progress is slow. It is not overly difficult, however, and this
difficulty is best described as moderate. This translates into a completion
time of roughly 25-40 hours, at least the first time through. Subsequent
playthroughs will naturally be easier as a result of the New Game + feature.
There is not enough I can say about this game, other than it is supreme
in my mind. There has yet to be a more solidly constructed game, and I
highly recommend it.