Chrono Trigger takes place in a fantasy world which is shared by humans and dinosaurs. The world features knights, magic, and technology. Your adventure starts when you head to the Millennial Fair and bump into a strange girl. From there you are sucked into an epic time traveling story line where the fate of not only the present, but the past and the future rests on your shoulders.
Chrono Trigger Rating 4.4
I never got a chance to play Chrono Trigger on the SNES. The first time I played the game was when I read about it online back in the early 2000’s and downloaded a ROM to play on an Emulator. I was working security at the time and had a computer at my posting. The posting was very boring so I was free to do what I wanted. I had just finished the latest Harry Potter book and was looking for something to kill some time.
That is when I found Chrono Trigger. I spent weeks playing it until I beat the game. I cannot even remember what ending I received. Then and there I knew it was one of my favorite games. I haven’t played it again since until I found out they released a PC version. Now that they have I plan to go through and play through the PC version of the game and see what new endings I can unlock.
I will probably never unlock all of the endings, its not really why I play the game. However, I would like to get a new ending since I plan to play it through again.
Game Play 3.0
Chrono Trigger is a favorite of mine, however, I am not that big of a fan of the JRPG style. That said there are other aspects of the game that I really love which is why it is one of my favorites games. I really enjoy the top down 2.5D aspect of the game. I really love the over land map travel between locations. It is really special when you get mounts and are able to start flying over obstacles.
One of the best aspects of this game is being able to travel back and forth to different points in time. When you make changes in the past you can go to the future and see the results of those changes. This makes it really feel like you have a huge impact on the world around you. Some of the changes may be large, but others are just small and fun. One example, spoiler warning, is you meet a very greedy man at one point. If you go into the past and give someone something they want for free, they say they will raise their children to be more generous. When you to back to the future the man is no longer greedy. Small hidden quests like that make the world come alive as you play through it.
My least favorite aspect of the game is the combat system. It is a weird mixture of turn based and real time. While it could be enjoyable in small doses, it really gets boring when you are grinding through encounter after encounter which you will be doing in many of the games areas. My dislike of the JRPG style surprises me. In games such as The Fallout Classic Collection I really enjoy how they handle turn based combat. I think it comes down to two main issues. The first is your positioning doesn’t matter in Chrono Trigger. In Fallout you could move closer or further away to increase your chance to hit, or get out of the enemies range. The second is the weird real time timer chrono trigger has going on. Not only are you limited by your character’s reaction time, you are also limited by your own. I have to admit I have gotten killed a few times because I became distracted while playing. Maybe those experiences just made me bitter.
While I may not enjoy the combat that much I have to admit it can be neat to see how including different members together allows you to build different attacks up.
The party limit feels frustrating to me, I always want all of my characters involved. However, they come up with a good plot point as to why this is not possible. It also makes you really thing about who you need to level up, who you need in various areas of the game, and how you can use your characters together. My preference is picking story line development over min/max. So even if a one of my characters would make a fight easier, I am more likely to take a character who should be there instead. This of course means I need to keep all of my characters leveled up so I do not find myself needing one who is to weak to help me.
Chrono Trigger drew me in to the story from the very beginning and held my attention all the way through. The characters you meet feel alive and like a real companion throughout the adventure. Traveling through time and getting to not only change the past, but see how that affects the present and the future are also add a rare depth to the story.
Being able to swap who you want in your party also adds to the story. I cannot recall if who you have in your party affects what you are able to do story line wise, however, I am fairly sure it does in some places.
The game is not a linear game. You are free to explore the world as you go. You cannot explore all area’s right away, however, once you can you are free to do as you please. There are various endings depending on when you defeat the big bad. In fact from my understanding you can try to defeat him right at the beginning of the game. While I may never take the time to unlock this challenge it is refreshing to have a game where you can beat it almost as soon as you start it if you are good enough. Far to many games put artificial road blocks in your way to prevent this. I feel as a player it is my decision on how I want to play and how quickly I want to beat a game.
I am a huge fan of the artwork. I have always loved the 2.5D perspective and pixel art. Chrono Trigger delivers some of the best pixel art I have seen in a game. By today’s pixel art standard they may seem slightly block, however, I feel this just adds to their charm. I am very glad the developers did not try to go the same was Secret of Mana did and make the game look more 3D; That decision completely destroyed the remastered version of the Secret of Mana for me.
The colors for the characters are very bold in this game, and the backgrounds and scenes are all highly detailed. Role playing games are about far more than their visuals. Yet when you have visuals as well thought out as these they help draw you into the game more. They help you imagine the world in your head.
The Game Audio is some of my favorite. I actually count the sound track from Chrono Trigger among my top 10 favorite game soundtracks.
The sound track is very soothing to listen to and helps me immerse myself in the game. Each area has its own music which helps bring each area alive and feel unique.
User Interface 4.0
There is nothing really special about the User Interface. It is functional and works well enough. The PC version of the game has great mouse support which makes it easy to navigate. I will give it a 4 since it really doesn’t do anything innovative or neat like Secret of Mana did with the pop up mini map.
While I may not be a fan of all aspects of Chrono Trigger, it still is one of my favorite games of all time.
The game play, story, audio, and visual elements combine together to create something truly special. I feel it is well worth the low cost to purchase the remastered edition. In fact I do not see the reason to ever use an emulator and ROM for this game. I would rather support the company that made the remake. The more we support the studios who do remakes like this, the more likely we are to get awesome remakes of our favorite games.
However, when I play this again I may see if I can set up my iNNEXT USB SNES controllers with it. It could be neat to revisit this game using the original controller it was meant to be played with. I never had the chance before, as I stated earlier I only found this many years later and played it with an emulator.