Review by Psycho Penguin
"This review will take less time to load than a Chrono Trigger battle"
Warning: This review will take less time to load than the average Chrono Trigger battle!
Well.. it's true. See, this game could have been classic. Hell, it was classic.. when it came out for Super Nintendo. Sadly, due to the rather rarity (ha! it's all ebay's fault..) of the cartridge, the game's price was jacked up significantly, and the only way the average gamer could get the game was fork out a decent sized chunk of money.
For that reason, a lot of gamers have been clammering for years for Chrono Trigger to come out to the Sony Playstation. It happened in Japan, but Squaresoft decided not to release it in America. People got ticked off, and along came a spider, and Chrono Trigger suddenly showed up on the American release list, along with Final Fantasy 4. Hence the beginning of the legend which was come to be known as Final Fantasy Chronicles.
Sadly, Chrono Trigger's translation from Japan to America was rather, mediocre, to put it best. The worst part of the game, in my opinion, was the shoddy loading times that came along with it. No longer do battles load right up. Now, you have to wait about five seconds for the battle to load, then slowdown will occur during the battle, and then when you finish the battle you are treated to more loading times. And that's just the battles. Let me say this game is just like Final Fantasy 6 in my eyes: great Super Nintendo game, lousy Playstation game.
Fortunately, Squaresoft really didn't change this game when they brought it on shores. If they did change it, a lot of fans would be severely pissed, and I guess they realized that, because the only thing they really added were the much hyped anime scenes, and the new bonus modes, just like Final Fantasy 6. I am glad they didn't really do much to change this game, because Chrono Trigger is one of the 10 greatest games of all time, bar none. So, the fact they didn't change it means the game still does have its strong points.
One of the game's strong points was it's great storyline. Seriously, I liked it. It involves Crono, and he is the game's main character. He starts off the adventure by waking up in his hometown, and he goes to the Millenia Fair. He runs into this girl and the adventure starts. One of the things I like about this game is how the game has you go back to different time periods to try to change history. For instance, when Crono goes back to 600 AD, he discovers from his friend Lucca that if he doesn't rescue Queen Leene, who has been kidnapped, then Marle, the girl he ran into, will be erased from history, because Marle is really Queen Leene's daughter. How cool is that? I really like the storyline in this game.
Graphically, Chrono Trigger is strong. The same complaints I have for the Super Nintendo version, I have for this one, as well. See, some of the backgrounds in the game are very bright, a little too bright and vibrant, and this may sometimes cause the average game player to get distracted and miss a key item or chest. Otherwise, though, I love the graphics in this game. The game looks just like the 16 bit version, which means it looks great. The enemy designs are awesome, the backgrounds are wonderfully designed, the character designs are classic (although a tad interesting, to say the least), and the overall look of the game is just amazing.
The added anime scenes that Squaresoft incorporated into the game just add to the loveliness of the graphics. The anime scenes are truly awesome, and are very detailed. You will definitely have a blast while watching through the various anime scenes in the game. I really enjoyed them, as the producers obviously spent a lot of time incorporating the feeling of the scene into the anime. Not to mention the fact that they are so well drawn! I was really impressed with the graphics in Chrono Trigger overall, although I wish they woulda changed the background problem I had with the original version.
Music wise, I really enjoyed the music in Chrono Trigger, as I have always considered it to be a strong point. Hell, I even bought the soundtrack for the game a couple of months back just because I enjoyed it so much. The battle theme is probably the worst theme in the game though, so of course you have to hear it most of the game. I wish Square would have used the unreleased battle theme, as it is much better. I really enjoyed the boss battle music, however, and the cool thing about the boss battle is how they varied it. The Legendary Boss battle music is some of the best music I have ever heard in a video game, bar none. I especially liked the final boss theme, it was awesome, and I listen to it a lot on the soundtrack.
Sound effects could have been better, but were very impressive nevertheless. The coolest sound effect was the sound that occured when you got an item from a chest or something. I also enjoyed the sound that played whenever you tried to open a sealed chest but it said ''this item has been magically sealed..''. That was a really cool sound. I wish I could say the same about the sound effects during battle, because most of them were really disappointing. Besides your average sword slashes and magic attacks, there really wasn't a whole lot of sound effects to be heard during battle. I still enjoyed most of the sound effects, I just wish there was a better variety of them during battle.
Controls in this game were very interesting, to say the least. I enjoyed them a lot though. Although for some reason I have always preferred using the digital pad to the analog pad, I still used the analog pad a lot for this game. I think the reason for this is because the analog pad worked very well with this game, more so than most of the other games I have played which gave you the added benefit of using analog control. The rest of the controls are solid, and you can customize them to your own liking, so you can probably find a control sequence that suits you best.
Chrono Trigger has always been one of my favorite games ever, and for good reason. The battle system in this game is one of the greatest I have ever had the pleasure of playing. It is deep and extremely interactive in terms of the amount of choices the game player has. One of the main points I might point out is the game's disposal of magic. Now you have Techs. There are three types of techs. Single techs, double techs, and triple techs. A single character can learn a single tech. To learn a double tech, two characters must be in battle, and they both must have the single tech needed to learn the double tech. If they both have it, they will learn the double tech. To learn a triple tech, three characters must be in the party, and they all must know the single techs required to learn the tech. How do you learn techs? Simple. You gain tech points along with experience points during battle.
The game also has other parts about the battle system, but some not as good. One of the things I did not like was how your character was limited to 999 HP and 99 MP. While most games have you get to 9999 HP and 999 MP, Chrono Trigger does not allow that. Oh well, it is not really a huge deal, it just makes the game seem like one of those old school games because some of the strongest attacks do like 400 HP, and I am not used to major attacks doing that relatively low amount of damage. Then I forget my character is limited to 999 HP, and just like that, he dies. But that's my fault, and I got used to it fairly quickly. I just wish they would have enabled the player to have more HP and MP.
Another major problem of this game which I am about to seriously go off on worse than I did my ex girlfriend, was THE LOADING TIMES. How in the hell can they just completely switch game loading times like that? For those of you with the confused look on your face, let me explain. In Japan, Chrono Trigger came out and had really good loading times. Final Fantasy 4 came out and it had horrible loading times, and other problems, like game crashes, which is why it never came out on Anthology. Now, when Collection came out, Final Fantasy 4 had AMAZING loading times (did battles even load?) and Chrono Trigger had awful loading times. That's why playing an hour of FF4 seems like nothing, and playing an hour of CT feels like playing 3 or 4.
That's why the replay value of this game suffers so much. While playing an hour of FF4 seems like an hour, playing an hour of CT seems like 4, and it hurts the replay value oh so much. The big problem with the replay value is the fact that if you have the Super Nintendo version, you will probably not want to play through the Playstation version. I think the only thing that would make you want to play this is the fact you can unlock all the different cinemas and music in the added modes by getting the different endings. That's what I did, but I doubt I am ever going to play the game again, especially since I own the Super Nintendo version.
The challenge level of this game really isn't that bad, as long as you can actually manage to stay awake while playing it. The game did seem tougher now than it did for Super Nintendo, but I think they just increased the power of the enemies or something. I am not really sure, but the game did seem kind of tougher. It is a pain in the ass to actually WANT to play this game, however, just because of the loading times and all. If you can put up with them, enjoy the buffed up challenge of this game.
Overall, I was apalled with a lot of this game, but I also enjoyed a lot of it. I like how Squaresoft made this game a lot like the Super Nintendo version, but they also fudged it up by making the loading times and slowdown as bad as it is. I liked this game, and you can't go wrong with getting this and Final Fantasy 4 for 40 bucks, but beware of the loading times. Otherwise, have fun and enjoy a trip down memory lane with this truly classic game!
I Rate This Game, Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - 8.5/10
Graphics - 9.0/10
Music - 9.5/10
Sound Effects - 8.5/10
Control - 9.5/10
Gameplay - 7.5/10
Replay Value - Average
Challenge - Above Average
Is the game worth a purchase? - Yeah
If so, for how much? - the 40 buck price tag.
Overall - 7.5/10
This game has received the beloved Psycho Penguin Bronze Beak of Doom.™
The Last Line
What in the blue HELL is a Chrono Trigger? Heh heh.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/16/01, Updated 10/16/01
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