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A Timeless Classic Returns
on November 25, 2008
+A very well done storyline
+A good battle system
+Several sidequests to undertake
+Some new content to experience
+Lots of replay value
-There's a good amount of new content but it might not be worthwhile to those who've already experienced Chrono Trigger before; likewise, there's no improvement in the visuals... this may or may not please some gamers
In 1995 Square released Chrono Trigger. A game commonly hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. In the years following it became one of the most highly sought after Super Nintendo games of all time. The game saw a rerelease on the Playstation in 2001 along with Final Fantasy IV in the Final Fantasy Chronicles package. This marks the third time Chrono Trigger has seen a release since it first debuted. The game has aged very well but some gamers may find there needs to be more of an update.
Chrono Trigger has a well known story but it never hurts to go over it for some who may not have played this gem. In the year 1000 AD, the Kingdom of Guardia has the Millennial Fair. You play as Crono, who goes to the fair and bumps into a girl named Marle. After wandering the fair with her for a while, Crono and Marle decide to check out his friend Lucca's new invention, a teleportation device. When Marle steps into the device, it reacts to her pendent and she is suddenly transported through time. Feeling somewhat responsible, Crono decides to go through time after her. What begins as a simple rescue mission turns into something so much more when you go into the distant future and see that the world has ended. Now, in an attempt to save the future, Crono and his friends will stop the apocalypse from happening. Their adventure will take them through time and they'll meet several interesting characters.
It is because of the characters and the well put together story that Chrono Trigger is so memorable. This version features a newly translated script that is much better than the original (as if the original needed a tune up).
Another aspect that makes Chrono Trigger stand the test of time is the gameplay. You'll roam the field normally until you come into contact with an enemy. Where as most RPGs have to transition from the field mode to the battle mode, Chrono Trigger instead has your characters spread out and pull out their weapons. The battle system itself utilizes the ATB battle system from Final Fantasy for some fast paced action.
Where the game truly shines, however, is its Tech system. Every character has a series of unique techniques that they can utilize. At first the system doesn't sound that interesting, but your characters can combine their techniques together to pull off double and triple techs. It helps to make battling more interesting and fun. It also assures that you'll try using every character at least once just to uncover all the double and triple techniques out there. More than that, however, it adds a lot of strategy to the game given that each characters techniques are unique to them. You may find that what makes the difference between sending a character into battle and not has to do more with their techniques than their base statistics.
There are plenty of side quests to keep you busy, and the time traveling element makes some of them more fun to partake in than others. As if that wasn't enough, the DS version also includes all the animated cutscenes from the Playstation release. If you'd prefer to enjoy the game in a completely classic way, you can turn them off if you desire. There are also a few extras added to the DS version such as new dungeons and touch screen controls. The touch screen controls themselves work fairly well, although you may still find that using the buttons and D-pad is still much easier.
Chrono Trigger is by no means a challenging game. It's also a fairly short one. At most you'll probably take twenty hours to complete it your first time through. Veterans may find themselves completing the game in less than fifteen hours. Chrono Trigger makes up for being a short game by having a lot of replay value. First there's the New Game+ feature which lets you go through the game again carrying over your techniques, items and equipment. The game also throws in multiple endings, which will encourage you to play the game again.
Musically, Chrono Trigger has one of the best soundtracks around. Some of it sounds better than the original Super Nintendo game. Many tunes will be stuck in your head for years to come, mainly because so much of it can convey so much emotion.
Graphically, however, is where Chrono Trigger can be a mixed bag. The character models and backgrounds look incredibly detailed, and in the DS port some things have been smoothed out. Artistically, Chrono Trigger will probably never fade into oblivion. On the other hand, Square-Enix released Final Fantasy IV and Dragon Quest IV earlier this year with improved graphics, bringing the games into 3D. Final Fantasy IV, in particular, showed major improvements in its presentation that made the story more emotionally gripping. It's a wonder why Square-Enix wouldn't do the same with Chrono Trigger. It would've been stunning to see some of Chrono Trigger's best moments in a new light.
The good news, however, is that Chrono Trigger hasn't had many releases, and there's so much more added than simply a new dungeon. This means even if you did play an older version of the game, there's a good berth of new content worth checking out. Whether or not it's worth forty dollars is subjective.
Chrono Trigger is a remarkable game. If you've played it before, one more go can't hurt. If you've never played it, this is the definitive version. Every RPGer should play this timeless classic at least once. Age has not slowed Chrono Trigger down one bit.