Review by chandlerbing

"A bundle of Square's top-notch classic RPGs. Thanks Square!"

Final Fantasy Chronicles is the second compilation released by Squaresoft consisting of another couple of classic games - Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger. The package claims that these are the most popular games of all time and this claim is not incorrect. Many people do agree that these two games are some of Squaresoft's best efforts and I agree too.

Final Fantasy IV

GAMEPLAY

A true adaptation of the Japanese ''Hardtype'' version of the game, many players will be more than happy to play this game how its meant to be played. Missing items and summons are restored, censored scenes are also restored too.

The gameplay in FFIV marked the recurring features located in the later Final Fantasy games such as the Active and Wait system, the select-all enemy/allies system and so on. The classic style storyline is very addictive and you can't help but feel towards the characters as they develop as the game progresses. Nostalgic players will enjoy this traditional style whilst new players to the series may be interested to know about the early origins of the Final Fantasy games.

Another good news is that the load times in Final Fantasy IV is virtually non-existant when you enter/leave battles and towns! The memo save feature is excellent because it means that players can temporarily save their games quickly without having to save onto the memory card everytime.

GRAPHICS

As always, don't let the graphics influence you. The graphics may not be up to scratch according to today's standards, but they have such a nostalgic charm to it that you'll find yourself immersed by the experience of the game.

MUSIC

Beautifully conducted. The battle music is excellent and addictive, you'll find yourself humming along to the sounds. There are some classic melodic music especially at turning-points in the game or the character themselves that helps make you feel for them. The sounds themselves are fairly basic but they do serve their purpose in the game well.

DIFFICULTY

Formerly known in the US as Final Fantasy II, this game restores all the missing bits and bobs that were cut out of the original US release. The most notable change amongst fans is that this is the ''Hardtype'' version. This presents a fair challenge to all those who had to cope with the easy version of the old SNES version. Monsters have more HP, tougher skills and statistics that you will notice the difference between FFIV and the SNES FFII.

Chrono Trigger

GAMEPLAY

Unlike the Final Fantasy games, there are no random battles in Chrono Trigger which serves as good news to people who do not like random battles. You are able to see the enemy before you wish to engage in a battle.

One of the unique features in Chrono Trigger's battle system is the combo system. Every single playable character in this game can create double combos and even triple combos with other members in the party. There are a total of 7 playable characters and many combinations you can try out. Through this, you can work out for yourselves which party combination is your favorite and stick with it.

The time periods available are all unique and equally significant to the game. The prehistoric era, medieval era, present and future all have their own special atmosphere to them that no place ever feels repetitive.

The ''Extras'' feature given in this version of Chrono Trigger is a gift for purchasers of Final Fantasy Chronicles. You get a theatre where you can view the FMVs you see in the game, you get a nice soundtrack built-in to compensate for the lack of a soundtrack CD amongst many others!

Don't let the load times/slowdowns bother you. You brought this package to play, not to complain about minor details or faults. If you let this irritate you, you may find your whole experience with this game ruined slightly, so try not to think about it.

GRAPHICS

Based upon the original release, the graphics may not shine against the standards of today's flashing games but they are still good and part of making this game very atmospheric and nostalgic. The graphics are impressive all the same.

REPLAY

There are 10+ endings in Chrono Trigger so what do you think? When you complete the game, you get the NEW GAME+ so you can replay the game to try and earn the rest of the endings.

DIFFICULTY

Perhaps this is the only real let-down with this game. It isn't very tough and this issue is touched upon by many gamers of the original SNES release and this release too. But the game isn't short and I think the extra endings and features compensates for the game's slight lack of challenge.

OVERALL VERDICT ON FINAL FANTASY CHRONICLES

This is a quality package consisting of some of the best-known games in RPG history. Don't be fooled by the graphics, immerse yourself in the great depths of both Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger in the way they are meant to be played.

For Chrono Cross players who had never played Chrono Trigger, this is the perfect way to play the prequel and learn more of the story preceding Chrono Cross. So for old and new players alike, this is an ideal package that should be brought, not rented.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/22/01, Updated 08/22/01


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