Undoubtedly one of the best games of all time
Chrono Trigger isn't just a game; it is a masterpiece. Designed by the masterful minds of many incredibly creative people at Squaresoft and Enix (including one Hironobu Sakaguchi), Chrono Trigger chronicles the adventures of a silent young boy named Crono. From to start to finish, every moment is one to remember. Many moments will make you laugh, a few sad ones might have a few in tears; all thanks to the absolutely amazing storytelling.
Chrono Trigger's story is one of its innovations. Being one of the first games to pioneer multiple endings, it is truly original. Although on your first playthrough, a generic ending with all of the characters reuniting (the ending is satisfying, however), the story is still a great one. The story takes Crono, a young boy, on an adventure that spans many lands and time periods.
From humble beginnings, Crono starts out as just a regular boy. But after he meets a strange girl named Marle at the fair, his life changes drastically. His super-genius friend Lucca creates a portal device that reacts strangely to Marle, sending her back in time. Through an interesting series of chain reactions, the strange group witnesses the end of the world, and decides to put a stop to it.
Despite Crono's silence, the character development is superb. You will witness your characters grow in skills and maturity, dealing with a variety of difficult topics, such as witnessing a young girl wish for her father to come back, and then discovering the rotting corpse in the basement. Even if you don't like the characters when you first meet them, at certain points in the game, you'll find yourself smiling at their unique character traits.
I'm sure you've seen Chrono Trigger praised for its music before, if you're an avid gamer such as myself. Trust me, Chrono Trigger does live up to its reputation when it comes to music. Each situation and setting is perfectly fit with the music that plays. From thought provoking to joyous sounds, the music is absolutely wonderful. To get a taste of it, I suggest looking it up on YouTube, although hearing it on YouTube is nothing like actually experiencing it in the unique situations of the game.
The sound effects of the game, like the music, fit the situation very well. The clanks and creaks of a futuristic factory are unique, yet modern. The wind on top of a mountain isn't filled with static, it is a clear, windy sound. Without these sound effects, Chrono Trigger wouldn't be any less excellent, but it's just the icing on the cake.
With character design by famed Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, Chrono Trigger's characters are sure to be spiky haired. Thankfully, not too characters are the case. Nevertheless, the character design is unique yet believable. The characters all appear to fit into the personalities that they are portrayed with.
Graphics are an aspect that Chrono Trigger has constantly been praised on. While not up to par with the latest 360 or PS3 game, if you are a fan of classic 2D visuals this is the game for you. Rich, colorful, and detailed graphics decorate every game screen. From lush forests, to barren mountain peaks, each setting is instantly recognizable, and in many cases, beautiful.
The control of the game is solid and is what should be expected of an RPG. One thing that I really liked about this game was the fact that you don't have to buy running shoes or whatever the heck it's called to gain the ability to run. Just by pressing the B button Crono--and whoever is following him around--dash around the area. The speed of the text can be adjusted to your liking, making it easy to skip past long portions of text if you're a fast reader. Overall, this game didn't do anything absolutely amazing with the control, but it was what I expected of it.
The difficulty level and length of the game has constantly been criticized; with people saying that the game is too easy and short. I, however, found it to be of a decent length and difficulty. Despite the choice between Active (the enemy attacks whether or not you're ready) or Wait (the enemy waits for you to choose your attack), however, I didn't notice much of a difference. With twelve different endings, this game is no slacker for length. Twelve endings means it can be played over again and again, making a huge difference on how long the game can be enjoyed. While I do agree to an extent on the game's difficulty and length, I don't think it's enough to make a huge difference when the game is looked at as a whole.
Last, but definitely not least, is the gameplay. And boy does Chrono Trigger excel here. Chrono Trigger pioneered a unique battle system, as well as many other smaller, but equally strategic and interesting battle options. As with SNES masterpiece Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger has an "active battle system," in which there is a little bar that scrolls past and allows the character to attack whenever the bar fills up. I find this an incredibly refreshing take on the traditional RPG battle system, and much more engaging.
The option to use Techs is similar to Magic, except for a few really cool things. Techs can be used with another character. So, say Crono has the Tech 'Cyclone' and Lucca has the Tech 'Flame Toss.' Then, they can learn a Tech together: Fire Whirl. This adds many strategic levels to battling, and helps out in tight situations from time to time.
Other than this, Chrono Trigger is a rather traditional RPG. Exploration in the overworld, battles, and conversations with non-playable characters all occur. Thankfully, there are no 'random battles,' as in Final Fantasy. The enemies can all be seen, and at many times, avoided. The gameplay is exciting, fast-paced, and interesting, making me want more every time I played.
The overall presentation of Chrono Trigger is just about perfect. While it does have some flaws (like all games), it comes out on top as one of the most fun to play, interesting, and unique games of all time. Many people (including myself) have named this game their favorite game of all time. While it may not be yours, this game is not one to pass up. If you haven't played this (even if you have already played it, and just want to have some more fun with Crono), then I highly suggest picking up the DS version--or if you're lucky, nail a cheap copy of the original on eBay.