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Not only the best RPG on the DS, but one of the best games ever
on 17 February 2009
Chrono Trigger was originally released in Japan way back on the Super Nintendo in 1995, then shortly afterwards it received a North American release. It was also ported to other consoles in the same regions later on, but only now has Europe got a port of it.
The game has indeed stood the test of time, almost everything about this game is perfect:
The games story starts out simple enough, Lucca; a friend of Crono invents a short distance transportation device and demonstrates it at the "Millenial Fair." A girl whom Crono recently acquainted tests the machine, it malfunctions however because of the pendant she's wearing. The malfunction creates a time gate and this is how Crono and his friends journey through time begins.
As time travel is involved, a lot of the game will raise many questions if you're playing close attention to the story. The basic plot and game objective is simple, paying close attention to the small details in the story may make certain things seem convoluted at times - like "how did that upcoming event happen when I'm meddling with something to do with it in the past?" Chrono Trigger isn't lacking on twists either, they're ubiquitous throughout and lead you to not wanting to put the game down.
The time travelling is very interesting, for example; one side quest later on in the game features greedy mayor who has stolen an item that belongs to you. Go back in time 400 years and offer the woman who lives in that same house a gift for free and she tells you how she will raise her children to be generous and giving; fast forward 400 years and the mayor is now TOO generous and happily gives you the stolen item back!
There's 13 endings that have numerous variations depending on certain choices you made during the course of the game, when the game is finished it allows you to create a New Game+ file which keeps your levels, skills and most of your items from your finished games saved file. This allows you to breeze through the game and finish it in a different matter, hopefully acquiring a different ending. It's possible to "breeze through" the game as the final boss of the game is accessible right near the beginning, you can choose to fight it whenever you want. Without doing the "side quests" however this is practically impossible during your first play through.
Another great thing about Chrono Trigger is the characters, everyone is endearing and charming, even Crono somehow, the typical RPG silent hero. Each character also has a compelling back story, some emotional, all great.
The battle system is so fast paced and fun that even somebody who hates RPGs will enjoy it; after playing Chrono Trigger other turn based RPGs seem slow in comparison. Random encounters don't exist, instead the battles take place then and there upon bumping into the enemy on the map.
The graphics are SNES like but oozing with as much detail a 16-bit game could fit in, another nice feature is the anime cut scenes which were included for the PlayStation port are here on the DS version. The character design is recognizable immediately as Akira Toriyama art, known for his distinct art style which most of us know from the Dragonball series.
Lastly and probably my most favourite thing about the game: the soundtrack. The retro beeps and bleep combine to make an astounding soundtrack; especially the Boss, Epoch and Black Omen themes which are absolutely amazing. Playing this game with headphones is a must!
All in all, Chrono Trigger is an immersive and addictive game that'll last you a while with its numerous things to do and unlock. If you have a DS then do yourself a favour and treat it to this masterpiece.