Game Review: Chrono Trigger (DS) (2008)

Chrono Trigger
About Chrono Trigger (2008)
Chrono Trigger
Through a chance encounter amid the festivities of Guardia’s Millenial Fair in Leene Square, the young hero, Crono, meets an adventurous girl named Marle. The two decide to explore the fair together and soon find themselves at an exhibition of the Telepod — the latest invention by Crono’s long-time friend, Lucca.

Marle, fearless and brimming with curiosity, volunteers to assist in a demo. However, an unanticipated malfunction sends her hurtling through a rift in the dimensions. Taking hold of the girls pendant just before she’s whisked away, Crono bravely follows in pursuit, but the world into which he emerges is one of four centuries ago. In Chrono Trigger prepare yourself to journey into the forgotten past, distant future, and even to the very End of Time.

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Review: Chrono Trigger (DS)

Chrono Trigger was first released on the Super Nintendo in 1995 and is another RPG classic from those giants of the field – Square Enix. Bless them. I never owned the SNES in my teens, instead playing all my games on the Commodore Amiga, so I’m sorry to say Chrono Trigger evaded me. I had heard rave reviews about the game for a long time so, armed with my DS, I ventured into the world of Chrono Trigger to see what all the fuss was about.

The game takes place across different periods of history beginning in 1000AD with a trademark Square hero, the spiky-haired Crono, who joins with his friend, Marle, at the Millenial Fair to witness a teleporter developed by another friend, Lucca. When Marle uses the teleporter her pendant reacts with the machine, creating a time portal and sending her hurtling through history. Crono and Lucca access the portal and set out to rescue her. Along the way they discover that a creature named Lavos will destroy much of the world in the distant future. Crono and an increasing group of allies from different time periods band together to redress history and stop Lavos.

Chrono Trigger follows the same formula as the majority of RPGs. As you progress you have to obtain better weapons, armour and other accessories for your characters. They each have access to magic spells and techs, which give more options in battle. Unlike Final Fantasy games I have played, Chrono Trigger contains another option in battle which is the combined techs where two or three characters use a turn each to join forces and launch devastating attacks. You are never short of ways to kill enemies in battle. The fights themselves are not the random ones that have divided Final Fantasy fans for years. Instead, Chrono Trigger is similar to Grandia in that as you wander castles, dungeons and underground caves your enemies are visible on the screen and it is up to you whether to avoid or fight them. Fighting a lot is, as always, beneficial as your characters level up, earning more HP and unlocking further spells and techs to stand you in good stead for the later enemies, especially the bosses.

Chrono Trigger boasts a varied group of characters for you to build a party of three from. Crono is a fearsome but quiet hero, Marle is a princess that loves to venture from the seclusion of royal life to see the world and Lucca is a mechanical genius. During their journey they meet Robo, a robot from the year 2300AD; Ayla, a warrior from 65,000,000BC; and Frog, a former human from 600AD turned into an amphibian and now hell-bent on avenging his slain friend, Cyrus. Another optional character can join your party later in the game, but I won’t give details and spoil the plot. Each character is varied enough in battle to ensure you can’t just pick three at random and make do. Some are good at healing, others have powerful physical attacks, while others are more potent with magic. Finding the right balance is vital to progressing in Chrono Trigger.

It’s hard to pick any faults with Chrono Trigger. Being adapted from the SNES the graphics may be frowned upon by some gamers that are used to jaw-dropping cut scenes and visuals. A handful of cut scenes have been put into Chrono Trigger but, good as they are, their anime element rather than an FMV moment like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, fits the game better. I care less about the visuals in a game and more about how it plays. Thankfully, Chrono Trigger is fun to play and will keep you engaged right up until the end. It also has multiple endings so there is always scope to go back and enjoy the game on many occasions.

Chrono Trigger has stood up well to the test of time, proving a good story and gameplay are more paramount than visuals. With a range of different time periods to explore, a variety of characters to choose from and multiple endings to experience, this is one RPG that should keep you busy for a while.

Verdict: 4/5

(Game source: reviewer’s own copy)

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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