Chrono Trigger. Another Squaresoft RPG that appeared during the glory days of RPG's. Chrono Trigger was an excellent game, with the ever exciting idea of time travel thrown in, however, falls short when compared to some of Square's other achievements of the time.
Technically, Chrono Trigger is graphically above that of other SNES RPG's. There is animation during battles, and the character sprites are large and details. The magic attacks look excellent, and the backgrounds also look nice. Unfortunately, it is not as artistic as some of the other games of its time, and comparing it to something like Final Fantasy VI is like comparing Super Mario 64 to Vagrant Story. Whether or not vibrant and technical graphics are better than moodier artistic graphics is a matter of choice.
Chrono Trigger's gameplay is good, but not outstanding. It is an extremely easy game, and can be beat by even the most novice RPG gamer. The tech system is great, since no character can become instantly powerful, and with the double and triple techs, is somewhat customizable. However, it is also a very easy system to master, which can be either a pro or con, depending on what the gamer is looking for. For instance, a fan of Final Fantasy IV's system will like the tech system better than a fan of job or Guardian Force.
The soundtrack is good, with the character themes fitting each character well, from Lucca's adventurous theme to Marle's sad song. The boss theme is also well written, although the normal battle theme is weak. Although it's not exactly the amazing soundtrack that some gamers have come to expect from Square, it is not bad and does help enhance gameplay.
Chrono Trigger's plot is okay, but could be better. Mainly revolving around time-travel, the game isn't really long enough to fully develop the plot. Lavos, the game's main villain, is not developed very well, and is pretty much treated like the ever imposing threat who finally comes to life. However, he lacks a personality and never really does anything to form a personal grudge with the gamer. The character development is either great, or virtually non-existant. The Frog-Magus rivalry is treated very well *SPOILER* with the exception of Frog's almost immediate willingness to allow Magus to join him on his journey. *SPOILER* Chrono, on the other hand, is supposed to be the main character, yet he never talks and is given nearly no personality. *SPOILER* In fact, after his death, the sole reason the gamer may bother to revive him is his excellent fighting skills *SPOILER*
Replay value is the quality in which Chrono Trigger really shines. Equipped with a "New Game +" after the game is defeated the first time, Chrono Trigger is also filled with multiple endings, depending on the gamer's actions taken during the game. This is no Majora's Mask either. There are multiple "good" endings, all distinct and possessing its own traits. The true CT fan will spend hours attempting to view them all, some of which are extremely hard to get, however, the casual gamer or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, hardcore gamer who is looking for more of a challenge, will cast Chrono Trigger aside and look for a harder and deeper RPG.
Although Chrono Trigger is not the experience that Final Fantasy or Xenogears may be, it is a good game in it's own right and deserves a try. No one can truly call themselves a true RPG fan without trying this game at least once, now widely available and enhanced with anime cinemas on Final Fantasy Chronicles. (However, if you're getting this package, play FF4 first. It's the deeper and harder game of the two, and there is also only one ending, so it will not take you as long to beat.)
Character Development: 8.5
Replay Value: 10
Reviewer's Tilt: 9.0
Dark Mistress' Reviews
Chrono Trigger Reviews
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