Review by DJellybean
"Easily an instant classic that still sends ripples across gamers, even as of today."
Undoubtedly, Chrono Trigger is one of the best and one of the most exceptional RPGs you will ever find. With the ''Big Three'' working on the game...it definitely lives up to the hype and promotional consideration that it had recieved.
The game definitely is full of bright colors and snazzy 16-bit special effects. Sure, this is the Super Nintendo that we are talking about, but at it's present time the graphics ''wuz all dat an a bag a chips.'' Mainly sprite based, the game does an excellent job of detailing the characters and backgrounds. The graphics look like they are pretty much ripped from an anime(which is good by the way) and show basically no sign of slowdown.
The really eye popping graphics occur in battle, the flashiness and the lighting found in tech skills are eye candy to all. Techs like Luminaire, which fills the screen with a bright turquoise color light, are definitely one of the savvy spells worth seeing...not to mention the other 70+ techs in the game. The game is your usual horizontal and vertical scroller, nothing fancy and little depth, but if you were to go back 5 years from now...you would definitely have different thoughts towards the graphics of the game.
Music and Sound: 10/10
Sure, the game doesn't have the best sound quality, but back then the sound was pretty much on cue if not anything else. Sounds included loud explosions(that were a bit muffled but not too much), sword clashes, and pretty good thunder effects.
Music was the gem of this game other than the gameplay and storyline. With nice orchestral music that blends into a medevil type atmosphere...you get one of the most memorable tracks ever to grace any game console of any time period. I sometimes find myself humming to the music out of nowhere at times...it's that memorable. The music can really set the tone for the game, the music composer really knew his stuff when the time for sorrow was about or when victory has glanced the party. Obviously, music isn't the easiest thing to describe...play the game and you'll know.
Replay Value: 8/10
Chrono Trigger is a long, but an extremely fun game. By beating the game you recieve a New Game+, in which you can obtain 14 additional endings by defeating the last boss after various segments of the game. However, this does not mean you start off with the vehicle to reach the last boss...otherwise this would break apart the actual storyline. So what Square did was that they put time holes(blue shimmering dots) along the world instead that would lead directly to the final boss. This prevents any storyline mishaps and complications. The NewGame+ allows you to start off with your stats from any previous turn, including weapons, techs, and such. The only thing that is taken away are the event items like the Masamune or the Epoch, but all your gold, items, and weapons and armors stay intact. Meaning you can literally ''kick butt'' on your opponents who have pounded you in the previous conflict.
Gameplay-wise, Chrono Trigger simply delivers. Like for every genre(other than puzzles), it's hard to come up with something original and something that has not been done in the past. This is where the development team for Chrono Trigger went to work. The end result displayed in a deep tech system along with key RPG in-battle selections but still manages to make the game simple enough to pick up in under 10 minutes.
Although you can see your opponents ahead of time before you fight them, sometimes you are forced to fight them rather than given a chance to avoid them completely as in Earthbound. However, random battles are completely non-existant in the game, giving you time to prepare for what is ahead. By this, a lot of stress is relieved since you stand a better chance of winning the potiential battle rather than watch yourself start over from the last time you had saved your game.
In battle, you have Square's newest feature(at the time)...which was the Tech/Comb skill. Techs alone were pretty much like Sabin's Blitz attacks and magic from Final Fantasy VI...but a lot more graphically enhanced in some cases. The Dual Techs were a lot of fun, to put it at best. These Dual Techs would require a certain amount of HP from each character and they would also consume up the turn of that character, once combined the two selected characters would either unleash a powerful and flashy attack or have some kind of ability that would benefit one or all party members. To earn these techs, you would need tech points that would be given to you after every battle. The more powerful the tech the more tech points you would need for that attack, simple as that. The Triple Techs only add to the already awesome and definitive Dual Tech. This is where all three of your characters embark on a powerful attack against either one or all opponents on the screen...these Triple Techs are a graphical beauty...with great lighting effects that plaster around the screen can easily give your eyes cavities. But at times, not all Triple Techs can be earned by tech points...they can also be earned via a colored rock that would envoke this Triple Tech to happen.
Chrono Trigger is a traditional RPG...meaning it shares the old elements found in past RPGs but blends them in with new ones. The battle menu is simplistic(attack, tech, and item) but the broadness of the battle menu hides the variety that the game offers in terms of dual techs and triple techs. You are talking about over 100+ techs in this game, each with their own attribute, their own element, and their own visual appeal. You still buy weapons, armors, helmets, and accessories...and you can sell them as well. A new item that was never found before in previous RPGs are the use of Tabs. These Tabs would permanently increase a character's stats...meaning you can ''beef-up'' without fighting battles.
Storywise, Chrono Trigger has definitely lived up to what an RPG story should be...a tale that is rich of prose, innovative in plot, and at the same time, appealing and attention drawing to the player. We get the usual ''Save the World'' storyline from RPGs...but while Chrono Trigger does follow that sequence, it is by far...a storyline more complex than any past RPG that you will ever see. Using Time Travel as a storyline thread, a lot of things can be envoked here. The horizon is much more broader because you don't deal with just one world...you deal with many of the same worlds...just in another time period. In fact, it sometimes amazes me how people can ever go wrong with this. A lot of things you do in the past effect the future...even if you give a small piece of jerky to someone for free. You will witness a lot of amazing storyline threads in this game...traveling to the past and coming back to your current time period and watching what happens not only intrigues you, but also gives you a real sense of what could've been about your real life. The game is full of touching moments and wonderful humor and each character's personality really adds a punch to the game. If you were to say that each character were similar to another...it's an obvious bet you haven't played the game or you just didn't follow the storyline one bit.
Definitely worth 50 hours of your time and definitely worth the money this game is purchased for. It's easily one of the timeless classics that is never forgotten by gamers and definitely goes down as one of the greatest RPGs in the history of all gaming. Picking this up for no matter a price is a bargin within it's own...so quit reading this and buy the game you lazy yoke!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/30/00, Updated 08/30/00
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