Chrono Trigger - Review

A Game with Charm, part 1.

By: Red Raven

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 8
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 10
   Originality 9
   Plot 7
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 9
   Visuals 9
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

40-60 hours


Chrono Trigger

   Chrono Trigger, released several years ago for the SNES, stood in stark contrast to the only other mammoth RPG at the time, FF6. In FF6 we had the basic war-torn world story, complete with bitter emotions, colorless cities, and many drab characters. Chrono Trigger came with a delightful adventure, bright and beautiful backgrounds, and characters with definite flare. CT almost looked childish in comparison. But as it stood, CT has managed to captivate RPGamers for well over 5 years, an amazing feat in the fast-paced gaming environment. Why is this? Well, I hope to show you as we explore Chrono Trigger for the first time once again.

    I believe the innovative battle system was in part responsible for CT's fun. While it had all the standard Square battle actions, it added an exciting new feature: combos. As the player had learned Techs (not to be confused with Magic, which you get as well) he or she could use multiple characters to unleash a devastating attacks together against multiple enemies. Combos were plentiful as well, you could be sure that your favorite team always had an option for a Triple Tech, provided you procured the correct item for the attack.

    Outside of battle was a pleasure too. Menus were easy to navigate and switching characters was a breeze. Managing your magic and techs skills were mostly intuitive. Another thing, CT also got rid of the pesky random encounters. All enemies can be seen and most of the them could be avoided by skillful (and lucky!) players. Speaking, walking, exploring, and playing mini-games were easy and fun too.

Your charming, but mute, main character
Your charming, but mute, main character  

    The music featured in Chrono Trigger is legendary among all RPG fans. Every song has emotion, and fits the scene where ever you go in the plot. It has exciting battle music, awesome villain tunes, noble ballads, and sad melodies. I personally have purchased the song track and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed if you did too.

    At the time, Chrono Trigger was the first of its kind in terms of battle systems, graphics, and plot. All the characters have non-clichÈ personalities (okay, maybe not the princess), and are all interesting to boot. Time Travel as a plot devise was relativity new at the time, and no one could touch those character designs. All in all, it was a highly innovative game.

A nice cozy campfire
A nice cozy campfire  

    Featuring Time Travel as the main part of the plot might lead people to think of some kind of confusing game, with all the paradoxes involved. Not so. Chrono Trigger treats it in a respectable manner, but also in a simpler way for everyone to understand. Which leads to the score of seven. The plot is very enjoyable by any audience, casual or hardcore, but it lacks the cerebral stimulation that some might want in a time-traveling game. But come on, must of us were 12 years old back then and I doubt we would have liked those headaches. So take that as you will.

    Localization was excellent, you'd be hard pressed to find mistakes in the script. Square even managed to add accents and the like to a few of the characters, something that was missed in FF6. In addition to the great prose one could find a lot of memorable lines from all of the characters.

Silly From the stone age...
From the stone age...  

    Chrono Trigger basically defined what replay value should be in a game. In addition to the 12 different endings to the game, we have the greatest feature of all: New Game+. This lets you start the game over again with all the same stats, magic & techs, and your inventory. This makes getting those extra endings all the more easier and fun. Did you get them all?

    At the time, Chrono Trigger was the best and most beautiful game on the market, in terms of graphics. The backgrounds were always colorful and bright, a welcome change from the grays and browns of FF6. The action and emotional scenes were well put together, and nobody can beat those CT sunsets. I think it appropriate to point out that the anime scenes featured in the CT remake are simply the best I've seen in quite a while. You should definitely check them out, if not buying the remake then at least downloading the movies themselves. the space age, CT has it all. the space age, CT has it all.  

    As far as the difficulty goes, it was about average. Not so difficult to the point of being annoying, but no walk in the park either. It really all depends on whether you leveled up to the point you're supposed to, then it becomes fine. But if you've played any RPGs at all, you'll understand how powerful you have to be to advance.

   Among the other Square classics, Chrono Trigger deserves special attention. This gem managed to snag one of the most elusive game characteristics of all: charm. I can't put my finger on it, but this game seems to always bring back great memories, more than from the other RPGs of that time. And with a fun game like this, those 40-60 hours you spent conquering it will seem to be but a brief diversion. So, if you are so inclined, the hunt for a copy of such a legendary SNES game will be well worth it in the end. I still cherish mine today. So, sit back and enjoy the sweet fruits of Chrono Trigger RPG bliss. And happy gaming.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy