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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 1995 SNES game time-hops to 2008/9... near unchanged, but a classic, 16 Dec. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Chrono Trigger (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Chrono Trigger is an RPG from the heyday of the genre on the Super Nintendo game console. For anyone who has never experienced the game due to it never being released in Europe, but who loves RPG games from around the mid 90's (Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana) this is a must-have.

For anyone who _DID_ experience it in either the original SNES form or its re-release as part of a late-90's Playstation compilation (especially the latter) you may well be warned that little has changed.

To elaborate: the game was produced as a collaboration between Square and Enix (who at time of writing are now one company), featuring the art style and creative input of Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama.

The characters are few but memorable: a samurai-sword-wielding lad, a mysterious girl with powers of healing and ice, a madcap inventor girl with powers of technology and fire, and a few others that, for the uninitiated, I won't spoil.

The game is similar to Final Fantasy in gameplay (turn-based menu combat, no genuine real-time combat like that found in Zelda or the Mana series), with character positioning and technique combinations making for more strategic play.

The plot starts out as a simple case of mistaken identity and wandering about in the classic RPG-game style. The lead, Crono, meets Marle, a secretive girl, at the Guardia Village millenial fair, and the two take part in a space-displacement experiment by Crono's friend Lucca. It goes fine until Marle volunteers; her pendant causes not a space, but time displacement, and Crono must travel back in time to the middle ages to rescue her. From there, the three realise that it was fate, not accident, that it happened, as the three protagonists end up in the future, where what they see compels them to make a pact to do whatever it takes to save the world. Beyond that, I say no more.

On completion of the game, the time-related story - that in the end has the player hopping between 1000AD, 600AD, 12000BC, 2300AD and a slightly unimaginitive Prehistoric era (perhaps the weakest point of the game) - allows replay with an existing save to uncover other alternative outcomes. By existing save, I mean that, barring 'key items', your character roster, and money, you keep everything you had, i.e. levels, items and equipment. I'd be lying if I said the extra endings were 'awesome' - the endings weren't really that in 1995, so they certainly won't be now - but they add replay value, justifying the shortness of the game when compared to similar offerings of the time.

-A note to those who have played this before-
As is the norm now with re-releases (I wouldn't dare call this a remake), a few FMV's (cartoons done by Toriyama studios) bridge key sequences and provide more aesthetic candy (those even these are not new; they're from the Playstation version). As for new in-game, interactive content, weeell expect the obligatory encyclopedias, music players bla-bla-bla, and a new bonus dungeon or two that bridge the story with Chrono Cross, its Playstation-only sequel that Europe didn't get either. Those dungeons are Recycle City, so expect no frills.

This is, along with Final Fantasy VI and Secret of Mana, one of the best RPG games released in the early-mid 90's. It may look dated, it may be shorter than what is now expected gameplay-wise, but it has lost none of its charm, mainly due to the absence of CGI, which dates faster than anything (although why this never got the same respectful remake treatment as Final Fantasy IV and Dragon Quest IV did on DS, I do not know). This game did help the introduction of time-consuming long animations on pretty much all attacks, and annoying lags between characters moving during battle due to the 'Active Time' system, both of which killed this genre for me in recent years, but it isn't so bad as it is now.

So, if you'll excuse the pun, if you like RPGs it isn't a waste of your time; if you own a previous release though, it might be a waste of your money.
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Location: London UK

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