Author Topic: Chrono Trigger Review  (Read 983 times)

SilentMartyr

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Chrono Trigger Review
« on: September 24, 2005, 02:11:47 am »
I made this a couple of weeks ago, and completely forgot to submit it! Here it is, hopefully its good enough to be put up.

Chrono Trigger (SNES); reviewed by SilentMartyr (Spencer Medve)

Game Play (10/10):
Chrono Trigger is one of the finest RPG's of all time, and the game play is a strong reason why. It makes full and complete use of the SNES controller, with commands in all of the right places. No button is wasted, each one serves a purpose.

The battle system is elite, a flawless interpretation of the genre. No random battles, all fights are pre generated, and most are even avoidable. No battles occur on the over world map, so going from town to town is something to enjoy instead of a mad dash. Even if you get into a fight and are not comfortable with it, running away is nothing short of a couple of pushed buttons. However not all fights can be fled from. The game is paced so that there is no unnecessary fighting; you are at the required strength when you reach the boss.  This does not guarantee a sure victory however, some of the bosses put up tough fights that require strategic fighting abilities. Even though Chrono Trigger is relatively easy, it still puts up a good challenge.

The tech/magic system was ahead of its time, and still considered one of the best. Dual and triple techs allow for any combination of the seven playable characters to have a fun and interesting battle experience. With near one hundred different magical attacks at your disposal it is hard to become bored with the system. Earning the techs are easy, singles are learned via tech points gained in battle. Dual and triple are instantly learned, just have the characters in a fight together and they are learned right after the fight. Some require rocks that can be equipped in the accessory slot.

Weapons, armor, and helms are easy to maintain. When purchasing everything can be equipped, sold, and purchased all in the same window with the stats shown telling what item is better. Also any extra abilities the item has will be listed. In the X menu these stats are again shown, for when items are acquired via battle or chest.

The leveling system is also done very well. The seven characters as a whole are extremely well balanced, and grouping them in sets of three (the most you can play with at a time) leads to a multitude of different possibilities. Under the character screen all stats are listed, along with equipped items. By pressing X you can access this menu, along with a tech list for each character, a menu that allows you to switch the order of you party, if possible, and others that adjust visual and audio features.

Switching party members is also easy, pressing Y accesses the screen and you just move them around. You can do this at any place any time, as long as you are not in a battle or in a conversation. Experience points are divvied up even to the characters you do not fight with, so that no one is left behind in terms of experience. This is only for experience points however; tech points only go to the fighters.

There are even several mini games to pull the attention of the player. The Millennial Fair has plenty to do outside of what is needed, and somewhat early on you meet a robotic drag racing motorcycle aptly named The Man. But you can call him Johnny. You race this individual and while the race is quick and simple, it is very fun and addicting. You even can find a log to keep track of your three best times, and can receive prizes.

This game really has nothing in terms of game play that can really truly be complained about. If you like the style of play that RPG's deliver then this game is an excellent one to pick up.

Graphics (10/10):
Chrono Trigger has arguably the most beautiful graphics on the SNES. All visual facets of the game are breathtaking, with excellent detail and design.  

The characters, both playable and not, are superbly designed by Akira Toriyama. The main characters are all uniquely crafted each with their own visual quirk or trait. From Cronoís spiky red hair to Magusís pale skinned complexion. The bright colorful sprites convey the detail and effort Akira put into this game. Even the non playable characters have vivid designs to immerse the player into the game.

The eras that the group travel to top the characters in terms of visual beauty, even the bleak desolate future has astounding detail. The domes look truly futuristic while maintaining the sense of death and destruction the time has felt. Zeal is awe inspiring; it looks stunning and absolutely conveys the utopian image that the story enfolds onto the player. The over world backgrounds are painstakingly detailed. Towns have houses with visible windows and doors, all the while still blending into the general image that the era is portraying. The surrounding forests, mountains, and oceans all look very real, and complete the over world designs.

But by far leaps and bounds the most beautiful part of this game are the tech/magic attacks. The ideas that were thought up for some of the moves make the visuals outstanding to watch. Volt bite is one that comes to mind, the dazzling colors make the attack look fantastic. These tech/magic attacks are exceptionally detailed for a SNES game. The more people involved the more amazing the attacks look. The triple techs are all something to watch, the attacks are extremely vivid and colorful.

This game should always be remembered for its stunning graphics. They bring the story to life so well that it makes it completely impossible to look away at any point in the game. Every battle can lead to a multitude of amazing attacks that looks as good as they hurt the enemy. Every room has an unbelievable attention to detail. When you play this game, be sure not to blink, or youíll miss something good.

Sound (10/10):
Both the music and sound effects for Chrono Trigger are done remarkably. They both add the finishing touches to an incredible game. The sound in a game is normally an amplifier of the scene. In Chrono Trigger the sound is as important as the story, or the game play. It is just as essential, and is just as astounding.

The music made by Yasunori Mitsuda, with a little help from Nobuo Uematsu is still considered today one of the finest game soundtracks made. And for good reason, the 60+ tracks done for the game all give the listener a great sense of what is going on during the songs playtime. Each characters theme is excellent, and portrays their image extremely well. Frogís theme is an incredible piece; each note displays the noble and tragic life of Cyrusís squire and friend. Roboís Theme is an upbeat very fun song, showing the human that Robo learned to be. The town themes are incredible; they all give the exact atmosphere that the graphics and story give. The serene lullaby town of Truce has its own lullaby of Peaceful Days. The wonder and amazement one first feels when visiting Zeal, accompanied by an incredible paradise theme that jingles away.

The music also stays somewhat fresh for a SNES game. There are no points where the same song is heavily overplayed, with the exception of the battle songs of course. However; the battle music is nothing of greatness, but it is not annoying to the point where you turn the sound down during a battle. The boss battle tracks keep pace with the level of the game, the more intense the fight the more intense the song. Battle with Magus is arguably one of the best songs in the game, which coincides with the fight being a very interesting and difficult one. And the ending theme (To Far Away Times) is something of great beauty. It finishes the game better than writing ďThe EndĒ ever could.

The sound effects in this game are done very well. The attacks sound realistic, along with the techs. They really make the techs look better; you are really pushed to see the power that these guys are dishing out. The highest level single techs especially, they engulf the surround sound with stunning blasts and explosions. Everything else is just as good, there is nothing that sounds odd or out of place, from the first ticks of the clock and call of the seagulls to the final scream of Lavos. The whole game just sounds right.

Itís all done superbly from this part of the game. There is nothing to complain about here, this is a solidly made soundtrack accompanied by incredibly realistic sound effects. This was the start of a so far spectacular career by Mitsuda.

Story (10/10):
You might have thought by now that there canít be any more praise for this game, well you were horribly wrong. The storyline is the brightest star of Chrono Trigger. For a game with time travel completely intertwined into the story it is amazingly airtight in terms of paradoxes and contradictions.

The characters you encounter throughout the game each have their own special agenda or story behind them. Even Crono, who doesnít say a single line in the main portion of the game, has defining moments and undeniable qualities. All seven of the characters you control are developed extremely well, there is not one that is over or under developed. The non playable characters have their own luster and shine that you rarely see in any game. As much effort and thought was put into these people as were the playable main characters. For a 20 hour game, an extreme amount of work went into making each and every character believable and realistic. You really feel how each character struggles or triumphs every step of they way.

The complete story is astounding. The set of events that happen to allow the group of warriors to come together is put together beautifully. One thing that is rarely seen in these save the world kind of RPGís is a strong dose of comedy. But lo and behold its here in this one, you may not be laughing your way through the game but I guarantee you will chuckle at some of the events that occur during this game. Dalton as a whole is pretty funny, and most of the scenes he is in allow for some good laughs. It is nice to be able to have some fun in a game with consequences as serious as the annihilation of the planet you live on.

The main endings are excellent ways to finish out the game. One is very funny and sheds light on all seven characters, while the other is extremely romantic. Either way you get an astounding sense of completeness, nothing that is unexplained that needed to be. But like any great story, there is definitely things to think about after you put the controller down. Youíll be scratching your noggin and searching online for answers. No matter if you find the answers or not (some canít be answered); you will want to play this game again and again. Itís the same as reading a great novel, or watching a classic movie. You just feel warm inside when itís all over, which is exactly how it should be.

Replay Value (10/10):
I have had this game since its release in 1995, my first copy was sold but I soon acquired a new one. I STILL have not done everything that can be done with this game. I have owned the new copy for about 4 years, and I could easily put another 4 without coming close to having everything done.

New game + is easily the most innovative and greatest game play feature to come with Chrono Trigger. It allows for you to start the game over, with all of the stats, items, and equipment that you had. Just pick new game + and select the save file you wish to use. This allows you to be able to get the thirteen (You heard me, thirteen!) different endings that this game has to offer. Most of these endings are inaccessible to a regular new game, for to get these endings you have to beat the final boss earlier than when you are supposed to. These endings are mostly humorous and entwine more of the comedic aspects that the game dishes out. But a couple lend to some questions about characters you might have, or just are a bit more serious in nature. These endings are all worth the time and effort, which is very little since you are at very high levels.

Speaking of levels, donít think that getting high enough levels is easy. The highest level is ** which is right after level 98. And earning that prestigious title is no small feat. There are a good amount of games before you even get close to **. Like the endings, there is no extra award for getting to the highest level besides actually being there. But when you play this game youíll just want to play it again and again. Leveling to the highest level comes naturally after that. Also their stats are not even fully pumped up at **, you can use tabs to finish that job.

Basically what I am getting at here is there are no limits on the amount of times you can play this game over, without a reason for it. These tasks are not for everyone, but if you have fallen in love with the game like I have, then itís no matter because you will be playing it anyways. The developers must have had some sort of psychic ability, because they knew that people would want to play this game more than once. And they give plenty of reason to.

Final Score (50/50):
This is one of the greatest games to ever grace our fair world. I have found barely anyone that has played this game and not liked it, at least. The people who made this game knew what they were doing, and left nothing behind in terms of quality. Whenever you see an American top 100 list or something of the like, this game WILL be on it. And not just on it, in the top 20, every time. That is just a testament to how incredible this game truly is. It is my favorite game, and I recommend this to anyone who has ever picked up a controller for any system or computer. You owe it to yourself to play this game at least once, experience the greatness that is Chrono Trigger.

Kazuki

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2005, 10:00:03 am »
Seems like you've done the game justice  :D ...is this on GameFAQS? If so, I might have seen this before.

SilentMartyr

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2005, 06:21:08 pm »
Hell no! I would never disgrace this fine review by putting it up over there  8)

So ZeaLitY can it be featured?

ZeaLitY

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2005, 06:27:12 pm »
After Sypmhonic, of course. t's goign to eclipse everything released before it, so I'm witholding this and some other stuff.

Burning Zeppelin

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2005, 08:18:57 pm »
Great Review!
But shouldnt you tell them what...well...Zeal is? Or would that be a spoiler?

SilentMartyr

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 04:02:18 pm »
If the five people that play games and never heard of Chrono Trigger read the review, and somehow learn all about Zeal from it, then I'll personally apoligize to them.

Mystik3eb

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2005, 10:32:06 pm »
This is the review I would've given had I a couple years to make it absolutely accurate when describing the game, and perfect word-for-word. Great job, Silent.

SilentMartyr

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Chrono Trigger Review
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2005, 04:44:16 pm »
Yea, I take my time with these reviews. I like to play the game while writing it so the thoughts are fresh in my mind.