There are few console RPGs these days that stand the test of time. Such is the way of this electronic game genre where some are made, but few are really loved. In the years of 1991 and 1995 however, this changed when Final Fantasy IV (Final Fantasy II U.S.) and Chrono Trigger was released.
In many people's eyes, these games were their favorites. No matter how many times they played these two games, they never seemed to get old. These games were worth dusting off the old Super Nintendo, wiring it up and replaying these classics. Suffice to say, Square heard the call and released these two games in a compilation called Final Fantasy Chronicles.
Similar to Final Fantasy Anthology which bundled Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III U.S.) which was released in 1999; it is a remake so there are some good things and some bad things. Some of the good things about Final Fantasy Chronicles in general include anime/computer graphic cut scenes, a place where extras are unlocked when the games are completed, and the fact that it is on a new system. Some of the bad things are technical problems where there is slowdown or slight sound effect problems, although Final Fantasy IV has been the luckier of the two games.
Concerning the two games individually, Final Fantasy IV's script is completely rewritten with a more mature tone. Although some lines remain unchanged, even veterans will find that NPC's talk and react with the main character Cecil a little differently than they did in the Super Nintendo version. Items such as the "Package" and the "Carrot" as they were called in the Super Nintendo version have been changed to "BombRing" and "Gysahl" respectively. In addition the Caller Rydia is now a Summoner. Errors such as grammar and spelling mistakes have not been detected as of this article. Gameplay wise, it is almost a perfect remake as there was no slowdown experienced when going in and out of menus. Audio wise, the music and sound seems untouched and brings back memories of Super Nintendo sound. It is also important to note that this port was not the same as the FF2 U.S. version as Square decided to use the FF4 "Hardtype" version for Final Fantasy Chronicles.
Concerning Chrono Trigger however, there are problems that become apparent quickly. Similar to the remake of Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy 3 U.S.), there is some slowdown between switching to the menu to the game interface and back again to the menu. Concerning the transition from the game interface to battle, load times seem to fluctuate - at times fast and at times slow. There is also a cosmetic problem such as the screen turning from black to navy blue to black while resting at Crono's home or in an inn. The cursor sound is also somewhat a bit more metallic sounding but not by much. Despite these problems, the script for Chrono Trigger is untouched, and the extras section has the introductory movie unlocked as well as some of the game's soundtrack.
Final Fantasy Chronicles is a good compilation of two classic Square games. Although not perfect, people who remember these games are in their right to be excited, and those who haven't played them will be quite fortunate that Square made the decision to port.