Thursday, July 3, 2008

Chrono Trigger Makes Triumphant Return on the DS

One of the most beloved, innovative, and lauded console RPGs of all time is finally making a return. Before the merger between Square and Enix, Squaresoft assembled a "dream team" that consisted of big names such as Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, composer Nobuo Uematsu, and Dragonball/Dragon Quest artist Akira Toriyama. Originally released on the SNES back in 1995, the game pushed the limits of the console and the genre. The original Playstation saw a re-release of both Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy IV in Final Fantasy Chronicles, and now both games will be making their big North American DS debuts this year. The recently announced CT remake is slim on details, but the game is looking to retain the original’s 2D look and feel. New features include full touch screen functionality, dual screen presentation, and a wireless play mode. A new dungeon has also been announced, but there is no word yet if it will simply be a side quest or an addition to the story. With the remakes of FFIV set to come July 22 and CT this Holiday season, there is no better time to own a DS.

One of the first screenshots of the DS remake from Japanese magazine, Shonen Jump.

Chrono Trigger’s time-traveling story, innovative gameplay, and multiple endings are only a few reasons why the game is critically acclaimed. The story begins in 1000 A.D. with the silent protagonist Crono, mechanical genius Lucca, and princess Nadia disguised as Marle. As they meet at the Millenial Fair and witness Lucca’s teleportation device, that soon begins an epic adventure that spans across multiple eras, a wide variety of characters, and the discovery of a global catastrophe that needs to be stopped. The game’s overall focus on time travel and large scope allowed for pioneering devices such as character-driven subplots, side quests, and multiple endings. The gameplay was unique for traditional RPGs because it discarded random encounters for visible enemies on the field map. Battles occurred directly on the map rather than a separate screen, and utilized a new version of the Active Time Battle System created in Final Fantasy IV. The magic/skill system was called Techs, which allowed for a wide array of character skill combos to create Double or Triple Techs. Much like the previously released Square action RPG, Secrets of Mana, Chrono Trigger was a part of the classic 16-bit era of RPGs that also saw multiple games from the Final Fantasy and Breath of Fire series.

Crono, Marle, and Lucca unleashing the Triple Tech, Delta Force.

The game’s re-release on the Playstation saw newly animated anime cutscenes by Akira Toriyama as well as a slew of unlockable bonus features like a bestiary and art gallery. One of the other innovative features Square introduced in Chrono Trigger was the New Game Plus option. After completing the game once, this feature allows future playthroughs to retain certain character stats and non-story related equipment for easier run times and unlocking other possible endings. A PSone sequel was made called Chrono Cross, which featured many innovative ideas of its own. Some confusing story elements, pacing problems, and a large departure from the original CT were some of the more negative criticisms fans had with the game. Despite these issues, the game was almost universally praised for breaking convention. While Chrono Cross may not have stood well as a sequel, the game was great as a standalone title.

With a return as large as this, there is excitement buzzing throughout the community. It may not be receiving the 3D overhaul that Final Fantasy IV is receiving, but keeping the classic feel may be better for the game. Since Chrono Trigger is one of the most demanded RPGs for a proper sequel, hopefully this is a good sign for things to come.

Related Articles

Our Blogger Templates  © 2008

Back to TOP