Review by Cyril

"It can never live up to the Heaven that was Anthology"

Final Fantasy Chronicles is a collection of two games, just as Final fantasy Anthology was. Oddly, FFC isnt only FF games though. FFC holds both Final Fantasy 4, and Chrono Trigger. Both are some of the most wanted games of all time.

Final Fantasy IV

I admit it. I am a huge Final Fantasy fan. But I have to say this Final Fantasy really, really disappointed me. Sadly. While it does have its shining points, it is marred by some extreme downfalls as well. And I wanted a damned good FF to go with Chrono Trigger. :(

Anyways, to begin, this game has some of the worst loading I have ever seen on a FF. While the load times are no where near as bad as CT's, it is still horrible. Seriously, I dont have time to be waiting around for things like this. Especially in a game that you are probably going to play for a long time.

Now one good thing about this game is also its flaw. Its difficulty. I am NEVER one to complain about the difficulty of a game. Since I LOVE leveling, it usually isnt a problem for me. But the thing have to level to do well in this game. And leveling does almost absolutely NOTHING for you. All it does is increase your HP, MP and gives you new spells. Nothing else. I mean I like a game where I can level for hours and hours on end because there is that certain I just have to learn. That's part of the reasons I liked games like Grandia, FF5, and FF7. You can level and level, and still have time, and energy to level more. Basically the leveling in this game is too shallow. Meaning this game is going to get boring really fast because of you need to level.

I have always been a fan of Final Fantasies battle systems, no matter how many flames it gets. Final Fantasy 4, as a lot of people know, was the first Final Fantasy to use the battle system used in 4-9. The Battle system that supposedly ''revolutionized the genre''. The sad thing is, in this hard mode, it isnt really cool like it is in the later games. The enemies attack you after EACH turn a party member has, so it is kinda worthless to have the system. Basically the game makes the system totally unfair to the user.

Now one of the high points of FF4 is the story. NOT the characters, the story. While it is a bit cliche, it is still cool. basically, you start off as a Dark Knight, under a kingdom that is going to rule the world. or rather, try to. While the Dark Knight does his job, he gains absolutely NO respect, and is therefore later demoted. Under unfair premises. The story has lots of plot twists and other goodness, like any other good Final Fantasy.

The bad part of the story is the character development. maybe 1 or 2 characters are actually developed. Seriously, all you do throughout this game is change characters. It really isn't good for the development. This rapid change of characters does not allow you to get emotionally attached to them. Even worse is the fact that you have to continue leveling brand new characters over and over, wasting more of your time. It just gets so damned dull. And sadly, the character development is rather predictable.

Graphics freaks wont be able to stand this game. Obviously, they haven't updated the graphics much since the days it first came out. So if you're a graphics freak, stay FAR, FAR away from this game.

The controls aren't exactly the tightest, as you move rather slow. But they work well in battle, where you need them most. So I am not complaining there. Bah a few times I actually smacked my controller because of the EXTREME amount of random battles saying ''god damnit why the hell do you do this to me???''. Seriously, they get so tedious.
My personal favorite part of this game though, is the monsters. They are absolutely gorgeous. I don't know why, I just loved them so much. Their designs are perfect. And besides, I know a lot of guys who would love to hit on that sexy Lamia. She's just damned cool looking.

Bah my very last rant for this game: It takes two memory card blocks. I dont know about other people, but I dont have nearly enough room to give up 2 memory card blocks. Even with my 5 memory cards.

And to finish, the game isn't the worst I have played. But the flaws outweigh the goods of the game. It all depends on the type of person you are. To me this was extremely boring because of the total unoriginal battle character development, but if you like that, then you will like this game.

Chrono Trigger

I had heard so much awesome stuff about Chrono Trigger, I was expecting the game to be 10/10 material here. Sadly, this game is by FAR, the single most over-rated game I have ever played. It is bad, by no means, but still, far more over-rated then any other game I have ever played.

Chrono Trigger starts out like any normal game. A small town boy wakes up on the day of a carnival for the anniversary of his countries liberation. He wakes up, yawns, and goes down to talk to his mother. At this point, you are capable of naming him. From here, he exits his house, and goes into town.

This is where the game makes its first mistake. The town itself is the world map. There are just houses cluttered on the world map, rather randomly, and with no thought whatsoever. It just isnt right. Anyways, from outside of Crono's (the main character),you go and head up, tpo the fair. Here, there are a few mini-games to play, but nothing really interesting. But it is around this point the biggest problem with the PSX port comes up: Load times.

It takes about 20-30 seconds to actually load the menu screen. No my friends, I kid you not, and nor do I exaggerate. And normal screens themselves take about 10 seconds to load. This causes some HUGE problems in the gameplay department. It slows down the pace of the game to almost a near crawl.

Luckily, the story of the game makes up for it. After Crono plays around for a bit, he goes up to the second screen, and meets the very cool looking Marle. She has a secret, but that doesnt stop her from falling for Crono. From this point on, you are judged. Until a certain point, your actions are being judged by witnesses, and it will later affect the choices some people make. Of course, this is a VERY cool affect the game has.

Anyway, after Marle and Crono join up, you can exit the fair, go talk to people some more in those tiny, mixed up houses. But your true goal is Lucca, your friend since you were a child. She is a genius, and, like all geniuses, she is positively insane. Of course, this isnt a good thing. her newest invention is a teleporter. When she sends Marle on the teleporter, she disappears! Now Crono and Lucca have to go save Marle, but little do they know this single invention will change the world, for better, or for worse.

What people often say is the best part of Chrono Trigger, the battle system, is truly not. I have heard from everyone that it is extremely innovative, and excellent. Sadly, it is not innovative, but it doesnt stop you from having fun. It runs basically like a normal FF ATB system. Almost identically, actually. The one main change is the combos some characters, and entire parties can do together. These combos usually do more damage then a normal attack, but also take up two characters turns. To be able to use these combos, both characters must have learned certain skills, and both be ready to attack. So usually, these skills are not worth it.

The graphics, like I said, dont really matter in a game like this. Chrono Trigger is quite old, and obviously doesnt fit todays standards. But do I care? Nope.

The sounds, are, as people say, quite good. Some songs are totally awesome, I admit that. Some songs from games now are based off songs from Chrono Trigger. Take Final Fantasy 9. One of the final battles in FF9 actually has almost the exact same song as is the dino theme in CT. Not that this is a bad thing, the songs themselves are excellent, most of the time.

There are a lot of characters in Chrono Trigger. Sadly, the only bad part about this fact is that they are not well developed. They just seem like an outer shell of a character, and you do not really see into their souls like a game with good character development has.

The very best part of CT is the time traveling. When you travel through time, you change the effects on the rowld in the future, Crono's world. Say, if you dont open a chest early in time, but just touch an item then, and then head to the future, you can get the item, except it will be a far better item then if you got it back in the past. This also effects the world, and its inhabitants. Its really interesting to talk to your family members after changing the world.

The very best part of CT is the multiple endings. There are 12 in all, and each tell you more about the story. You can get different ending by beating the game at different points of time, or by beating it in a different way. This is a very interesting effect, even if it is a cheap way to make you play through the game more then once:).

To finish, both games were FAR better not ported. Load times, and other problems have killed these ports, and stopped them from being the excellent games they should have been

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/19/03, Updated 06/19/03

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