Review by Tokyo Fusion

"Spoony bards! Mute swordsmen! Rally Ho's! Fake Chancellors! It's two of Square's classics in one package!"

Two of Square’s classic masterpieces comes to your PSX. Final Fantasy IV , the first RPG in the Final Fantasy series that introduced the now common “Active Time Battle system.” And Chrono Trigger, the most epic “time-travel” themed RPG ever existed. Both were released for the SNES and now Square brings back nostalgia to us.

Final Fantasy IV

Story: 8/10 You are the Dark Knight Cecil of the Red Wings. Working for the king of Baron Empire, Cecil’s duty is to steal crystals from towns. Unsure of his destiny, he believes that his duty is unjustified and not honorable, and thus questions the king which results poor Cecil being banished. From there on, Cecil’s embarks on a quest to uncover his destiny as well as tagging along with the most memorable RPG characters that ever graced the Final Fantasy realm.

The SNES version was slaughtered to simplicity with cheesy dialogue. However in this version, the excellent localization of Square EA stayed true and identical to the original script. The script is excellent, far beyond from the horrible kiddi-fied SNES version. It now contains the “D” word and the “B” word. Even weapons unimaginatively named “Black”, “White” and most items and enemies had undergone the change and now given each weapon/item/monster a proper name. There are few new items in the game as well not present in the easy type version. Among of them is the… (GASP!) Porn Mag! (those naughty minds at Square) And a side note, a few of the cheesy yet memorable dialogue FFIV fans loved managed to survive the localization and remained untouched. Among of them was the classic, ever-popular, “You spoony bard!”. Those certain ones will sure bring the “blast-from-the-past” moments out of you.

Graphics: 6/10 Let’s face it, newbies and oldies. The graphics here will not make your jaw drop for the graphics in the game did not go under drastic changes. The graphics in FFIV remained the same pre-16 bit just like FF2’s SNES. The only major difference in the graphics area was the intro FMV. Still, it’s pretty nice to see the same old visuals again after 10 years and realize how far and advanced video games now in the visuals area.

Music: 7/10 Again, just like the graphics, the music in FFIV remained untouched. The music is both HIGH and LOW in quality. High because it’s one of Uematsu’s classics yet low because of the sound quality. But there is no offense intended there because this game is one of my favorite game soundtracks. The Red Wings Theme has the nostalgic military theme to it. The main theme of FFIV, “Theme of Love” is one of the two dramatic world map music Nobuo Uematsu ever composed (the other one is FFVII). My two favorite themes in the game besides the main theme was Rosa’s and Rydia’s. Rosa’s theme sounds so warm as if the music is concerned for me while Rydia’s theme is mellow and relaxing. The main town theme is very peaceful to hear. Golbez’s theme is dark, gothic organ music that symbolizes evil, darkness, and immorality (one of my favorite villain themes). And the final battle music is one of the early fast-paced techno boss themes in the Final Fantasy series. How’s that for nostalgia?

Gameplay: 7.5/10 This is the hard-type version of FFIV which was never released in the North American shores. This game is now more difficult and challenging. Enemies in the game are now twice as powerful. There are also new skills for some characters such as Cecil’s “Dark” and Tellah’s “Remember”. Characters still gain EXP points, learn magic, earn gil after every battle. FFIV also lets the sluggish Cecil move three times as fast in towns/dungeons with the “dash” feature. One frustrating thing in this game is the loooooooooong loading time whenever you save a game. But thankfully, there’s a memo feature which temporarily saves your game on your PSX. Overall, everything’s still well-balanced.

Replay Value: 7/10 After completing FFIV, there really isn’t anything worth replaying for other than playing this game for nostalgic reasons =). The loading times contain cute sprite animations of various characters from the game, however.

OVERALL: 9/10 This is still one of Square’s gems despite the fact that this game really shows its age. But mainly one of the reasons I bought this game is for… a) it’s FF and b) nostalgia. And I smiled…

Chrono Trigger

Story: 9/10 You are Crono, a swordsman in training, I believe. The town of Guardia celebrates the arrival of the year 1000. Crono visits the Millenial fair to see his brainy friend Lucca and her latest invention – a time machine. But on the way, Crono bumps into a young lady named Marle (who’s really Princess Nadia). Marle and Crono views Lucca’s sideshow and Marle happily volunteers to be the first one who will try out the time-machine. Then… something happens…

Graphics: 8/10 Well, the graphics in this game is almost appropriate and could pass as an early RPG for the PSX. The areas are very nice compared to FFIV. Houses has a warm feeling to it. The forest areas are as lush as a quiet Sunday afternoon in a park. Character and enemy sprites are pretty likeable. Magical attacks are also neat to see again. Unlike FFIV, Chrono Trigger contains very cool anime sequences never before seen.

Music: 8/10 Again, the sound quality is a bit better than FFIV (this is due to the synthesizer’s capabilities) but the music could easily rival the music found in FFIV. You are treated to the grand and epic “Main Theme of Chrono Trigger”. The joyful yet peaceful village music heard in year 1000 AD is very happy to listen to. Marle’s “music box” theme could be one of the soundtrack’s most nostalgic piece. Magus’s theme (one of my favorites) is a doomful-sounding battle theme complete with wind howls. This soundtrack is Yasunori Mitsuda’s early work and it still appreciated today.

Gameplay: 9/10 Chrono Trigger does not offer anything new in the gameplay department but the battle system is still fun to play. Characters still have Techs (special skills) to use against foes and learn them for upcoming battles. Some Techs can attack a single/multiple enemy(ies). Some are for curative purposes. But what makes this game fun and interesting is the ability to work as a team using Techs and inflict mega damage to the enemy(ies).

Players are able to choose which time era they want to stumble upon. There are so many itsy-bitsy things in this game that affects the gameplay. For instance, whatever you do in the past, affects the events in the present or even the future.

There are also unique puzzles, obstacles, side quests, and extras along the game such as Robo Johnny’s highway race and Ayla’s soup gobbling contest.

Overall, gameplay in CT is fun galore and not chore bore.

Replay Value: 9.5/10 With multiple endings (13, I believe), what more could you ask for? Like I said, there are many little things in the game that affects the gameplay. Doing one task might shuffle your destiny – be it a bad or good. Other bonuses are chock-full. You can also obtain sound tests, FMV sequences, maps, bestiary, item/tech list (for every time period). Oh, we’re still not done… There is also a New Game + option. This game is overloaded with extras it puts FFIV to shame. Overall, the replay value in this game is high due to the packed extras.

OVERALL: 10/10 Chrono Trigger, like FFIV, is one of Square’s classics and RPG’ers favorites. It truly does not disappoint.

OVERALL PRESENTATION: 9/10 This game is a must buy. Buy it even if you have both carts for the SNES. Sooner or later, you’ll find out that your saved files in the battery-packed cart will be gone and you’ll regret it if you do not have the PSX version as a backup.

Besides that, it’s nostalgia in one case. You will find these classics very enjoyable to play without doubt. Buy the game now because this could be the last FFIV/CT port Square will give to us. You will truly regret it if you don’t.

Thank you Square for listening.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/05/01, Updated 03/23/03

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