(Really, REALLY) Old Video Game Review: Chrono Trigger

What do you get when Hironobu Sakaguchi (producer and creator of the Final Fantasy series), Yuji Horii ( the creator and director of the Dragon Quest series), and Akira Toriyama (famous for drawing the Dragon Ball series) come together to create a game?  Chrono Trigger, one of the biggest and most ambitious projects at the time and came out to be a critical success.  I consider Chrono Trigger to be my number one all-time favorite game.  Of.  All.  Time.  That is obviously just one opinion and my opinion.  But, let me assure you that Chrono Trigger is still one of the best games ever created.  First released for the Super Nintendo on March 11, 1995 (damn, that’s a long time ago), it has been ported multiple times to systems like the original Playstation and the Nintendo DS.

Chrono Trigger

This game is one crazy ride.

Let’s start off with the story.  Story is one of, if not, THE most important aspect of a RPG.  The story starts out simple.  In the year 1000 A.D., a young boy, Crono, attends a festival and meets a lovely young girl named Marle.  They both enjoy the festival together until they meet Crono’s best friend, Lucca.  Lucca and her father wanted to demonstrate a teleportation device and Marle wants to be the first volunteer for the device.  Then the story gets all crazy interesting as something goes wrong with the machine and she seems to slip into some kind of time portal.  Crono decides to go save Marle and goes in after her and ends up in the past.  Then on, Crono meets many other allies and tries to save the world from the past to the present to the future.  I don’t want to go to much in detail about the game’s story, because it’s just too amazing for me to type into words.  I don’t want to ruin an amazing experience and you have to experience the story yourself and just bask in the beautiful and crazy world of Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Trigger

Where’s Phoenix Wright?

The RPG elements are standard; you go fight monsters and level up and collect money.  Then go buy some new weapons, armor, and accessories to keep your character as stacked as possible.  But the battles were new and innovating to the RPG world.  First off, I don’t know if Chrono Trigger was the first to expose enemies in the wild and have no random battles, but knowing what you battle and not having some crappy random battle every step of the way was a nice touch.  Each battle is turn based like usual, but instead of having each member go one-at-time, you can combine their specials (magic and/or tech) to create one helluva move with some trippy effects.  The battles were never dull and grinding out levels for your character wasn’t a chore like other RPGs (back in the days).  I kept battling and battling foes until I decimated them and then I would move on with the story.  The best part was the replay value. You can replay the game after you were done and find the multiple ending set out for you at different points in the game.  Seriously new stuff no other game (at the time) had.

Chrono Trigger

I’m either on acid or something…

The sound was amazing.  The music was just incredible.  There was a lot of heart and soul put into the music and it showed (…or heard…whatevers, you get my point).  You feel sad and depressed in an area that looks desolate and miserable.  You feel happy and excited when visiting the fair.  The music feels primitive when you go back in time and futuristic as you go forward in time.  Music never stood out so much as this game (during the 16-bit era).  I usually ignored it, because it would be washed away as I concentrated on the gameplay, but not so in Chrono Trigger.  It set the tone and just meshed so beautifully, no matter what circumstance you were in.  The sound effects were great as well.  You can hear the sword cut into your enemies and hear the screams of your dying enemies.  Each effect brought more realism to the gamer and really helped immerse the gamer into Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Trigger

Let’s get it on!

The graphics were amazing and the art was beautiful.  With a famous manga drawer at the helm of the art direction, what could go wrong?  Well, nothing.  Actually, near perfection is what I can say.  The landscapes are drawn to seriously impress.  Here are two examples, Crono fights for his life on two different bridges on different points of the game.  Bridges are very boring and pointless, but the art direction was astonishing.  The bridges weren’t amazing, it was the surroundings that made it fantastic to begin with.  Then the character designs really stood out.  The heroes and enemies were all greatly imagined, albeit that the enemy designs were recycled and given only different colors.  Speaking of colors, the full color spectrum was used in this game and that’s what really caught my eyes.

Chrono Trigger

*Sniffle* Oh the memories….

I have so much to say, yet there are no words to truly describe the beauty and excellence of the overall experience given by Chrono Trigger.  The story, the art, the music, etc., etc., everything was as close to perfection as perfection allowed it to be.  I really do mean Chrono Trigger is my favorite game of all time.  So why don’t you go pick up a controller and see why this game is one of the best.

Rating: 10/10

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