Game Review: Chrono Trigger

Geek Specs:
Title: Chrono Trigger
Platform: Super NES
Genre: RPG
Developer: Dream Project
Publisher: Squaresoft
Release: n/a

Introduction: This game was created by a group of three men known as 'Dream Project'. They were Akira Toriyama (who created Dragonball), Yuji Horii (he created Dragon Quest) and Hironbu Sakaguchi (who created the Final Fantasy games). This is without a doubt one of the greatest RPG' of all time so reviewing it will be no easy task. Just keep in mind that this is one of the first Square game released after Final Fantasy VI, one of their best to date.

Review: You play as Crono, a young man from the year A.D. 1000. One morning, Crono awakes to find a warm sun high in the clouds and the Millenial Fair teeming with life and excitement. With games and fun all around, you are not quite sure what to try first. Then you remember that Lucca, Crono' best friend and a fascinating young inventor, has her new invention ready to show off in the back of the fair. Its a teleporter machine and Marle, a young girl Crono just met at the fair, tries it out. The machine breaks down opening a time rift in which Marle is sucked into. Bravely, Crono decides to follow her in and your adventure begins. Ultimately, your objective (after saving Marle) is to prevent an ancient demon named Lavos from wreaking havoc in almost 1,000 years from now in A.D. 1999. This, being a Square RPG, is like many others as far as the real-time battle system is conecerned. Your team consists of three members in battle simultaneously and each member is to advance in skill. To level-up a character you must earn experience points (EXP) by fighting and winning battles. You have a World Map to travel across the vast land and unlike in Final Fantasy, there are no random battles. Upon leveling-up, several areas will increase in skill; your hit points(HP), magic points(MP), hit percentage(how often you hit your target), etc. Crono is always in your team and he carries a sword. Your other team members can include Marle, who bumps into you at the start of the game (she has a crossbow and good magical powers); Lucca has a gun; Robo, a robot who can combine powers and uses his fists; Kaeru, a frog who will stay with you for a short while and uses a sword; and Aira, a cavewoman. After Spekkio realizes your party' true powers and brings them out, each member will have a particular element. Crono's is lightning, Marle' is ice, Lucca' is fire, Frog' is water, and Magus' is darkness. This is very important in deciding how to attack enemies. When fighting a water-based enemy, Lucca is the most effective. After acquiring enough experience your party will acquire new techniques and magics. Throughout the game you will also find new weapons everywhere, and some you have to buy. Crono alone acquires at least twenty swords. The most interesting and well produced part of the battle system is the double and triple techniques. When two party members reach a set experience level, they will not only receive new single techniques but ones they can combine for a more devastating effect. The triple techniques are especially powerful like the Delta Storm, for instance, performed by Crono, Frog, anf Lucca.

As for the graphics, this game sports the best that the SNES can produce. Only Seiken Densetsu is better but only in areas of animation and shading. Everything looks really smooth and the background environments are highly detailed. The music, which is the real gem of the game, is composed by the famous and highly accomplished Japanese songwriter, Nobuo Uematsu. Ranging from adrenaline pumping battle themes, gentle conchairtos, and lamentful death themes, the Chrono Trigger soundtrack is everything a fan has come to expect from an RPG.

Conclusion: In my mind, Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPG' ever. The battle system is pure genius, but you don't have to be one to figure it out. Its simplicity is what makes battles so interesting. Like I said before, the music and visuals are the epitimy of beauty. The only thing that could be improved is the character developement, which Square is known for. I never knew the characters in this game as initmately as I would have liked. In the end, you are still left with a memorable gaming experience that has yet to be surpassed for me.

Ratings: (scale of 0.0 - 5.0)

Gameplay: 5.0 Graphics: 5.0
The plot flows like the sands of time. I really became enveloped by it. The battle system is similiar to other Square titles but its more simple in this game. That makes it easy and fun for a virgin to the RPG genre. Highly detailed environments are only the tip of the 'iceburg'. Watch out for the smooth animation when performing magic attacks and the swaying of trees in the wind. Simply breathtaking for an SNES title.

Sound: 5.0 Overall: 5.0
Chrono Trigger sports one of the greatest soundtracks to be heard in any game. Salute Mr. Uematsu on this one. If songwriters could be allowed into the "Video Game Hall of Fame", he would have my vote. If you do have an SNES and its lying around your house somewhere, dust it off and give it one last look before diving head first into the new generation of consoles. You could be missing out on a masterpiece like this one.

Written by Magus


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