The 'Shroom:Issue XLV/Non-Marioverse Review
For this very special Christmas issue of The Shroom, I will be reviewing the legendary Super Nintendo RPG, Chrono Trigger! Specifically, the DS remake, but they are still the same game. Developed by Square in 1995 (those same geniuses that brought us Super Mario RPG), the game has gone on to win multiple awards and wide critical acclaim.
You control a young man named Crono from a country village, simply having a good time at the Millenial Fair. There he meets a seemingly-normal girl named Marle with a mysterious pendant. His friend Lucca has brought over a teleporter to demonstrate, but when Marle volunteers as a test subject, everything goes haywire and Crono and his friends get caught up in time travel. The Earth is doomed to be overrun with monsters, and the apocalypse, brought on by an entity known as Lavos, is completely unavoidable - unless Crono can go back in time and set things right. Along the way they join a perfectionist warrior frog, a reject robo, a former prince of Zeal Palace, and others.
The way the plot moves itself in this game is a true work of gaming art. The depth and dialogue of a novel mixed with the best dungeon design and music of any RPG. To make it even better, Dragon Ball veteran Akira Toriyama lends his artistic talent to the character design and basis for animated cutscenes (PS1 and DS version only).
While not a huge departure from other console role-playing games of the day, Chrono Trigger created a number of gaming innovations in the same way The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would three years later. The combat system, in particular, was very advanced - it remains turn-based like most RPGs, but works in real-time. The ability to do "techs" with other party members adds a whole new level of depth.
The music for this game, is what we've come to expect from the company. High-quality (for the system), nearly-orchestral pieces, some very charming and atmopsheric ("Spekkio's theme", "Millenial Fair"), moving and inspiring ("Chrono Trigger", "Far-Off Promise"), and others. The soundtrack is truly remarkable in the amount of ground it covers while still being very Square-style.
Maybe the one flaw of this game, a flaw unavoidable for most role-playing games, is that it's difficult to pick up and play. As I am borrowing this game from a friend and do not own it, I found it very difficult to make progress if I hadn't gotten to play it in some time.
Chrono Trigger is one of those games that will always be remembered for what it's contributed to future gaming and for what it still is: a shining, jewel of a game. If you want great fights, play Chrono Trigger. If you want superb music, play Chrono Trigger. If you want to be left with a dramatic, sincere, often moving and satisfying experience, play Chrono Trigger. Seriously, no matter what it takes, an RPG-lover must get their hands on this game!! - 9.4/10.