Chrono Trigger ReviewTiffany Shafer
Chrono Trigger really is one of the masterpieces of role-playing game history. Originally created in 1995 by Square for the Super Nintendo, it is still held in high regard among many RPG enthusiasts. One of the biggest perks of Chrono Trigger is its storyline. The protagonist, Crono, is transported through time to correct events of the past, present, and future. Along the way, other characters from different time periods join Crono's party, aiding him in his quest. The decisions the player makes affect what happens later in the story. Crono cannot return to his own time of 1000 A.D. until the chronology of the world is restored.
The vast amount of choice in the game is its biggest forte. The battle system, alone, offers a lot of variety compared to other RPGs. Over a half dozen characters are available to choose from for your three person party. Each character uses a unique set of skills and weapons. Tech attacks can be combined with other members of your party to incur greater damage on an enemy. Players can choose from the traditional turn-based battle system or use the active battle system. In the turn-based system, players and enemies must wait their turn to attack. The active system uses a meter to let the player know when each character in the party is ready to attack, but enemies can attack at any time. There is no waiting on the player to decide on an attack option. The active battle style can make battles go much more quickly than the traditional turn-based system. It also adds a level of difficulty to the game, but players have the option to choose how quickly the active system progresses in the menu, yielding even more freedom to the player.
Another time-saving feature of Chrono Trigger is the way that battles occur. Usually, an RPG has a player cutting away to a different scene for the battles. However, in Chrono Trigger the battles occur in the same location that the player encounters an enemy. There's no waiting for a separate battle scene to load, so the battles are quicker. This design also adds visual variety as players aren't forced to look at the same battle scene background every time a battle occurs.
In fact, the vast amount of choices offered to players is part of what makes Chrono Trigger worth replaying. There are fourteen different endings available to unlock. The party members, battle style, menu colors, controls, cursors, and gauges are all customizable. Plus, after completing the game the first time through players can begin a new game using the leveled-up characters from the previous game. As a result, players can progress through the subsequent games more quickly, spending more time affecting the storyline than battling enemies.
Chrono Trigger is a definite must for RPG fans. The storyline, visuals, and music are well thought out and enhance gameplay. The 16-bit graphics are great for its time, utilizing creative maps and backgrounds. The music in Chrono Trigger employs a memorable score that marries the storyline, beautifully. The battle system is quicker than a typical RPG and loaded with battle style and attack options not normally found in RPGs. Also, the choice in which party members to use, and the effects of player choices on storyline development adds variety that is much welcomed and definitely needed for replay value.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.