Chrono Trigger is a role-playing game developed and published by Square for the SNES on 1995-03-11 making it the first game in the Chrono series. It has been ported to the PlayStation by Tose and reworked for the Nintendo DS. In the game, the player controls a party of adventurers who, after an incident involving time travel, discover that the world is destined to be destroyed, and attempt to stop it. The game uses an interesting combat mechanic which merges the action aspects of Secret of Mana and the turn-based strategy of Final Fantasy VI, and was one of the last epic RPGs of the 16-bit era.
My friend Kevin rented Chrono Trigger shortly after it was released, and I remember watching him play it and thinking it looked amazing. For the next several years, various friends of mine had the game, and I watched them play it. Since it is a one-player RPG, I never played it myself at the time. But I did start an emulated version of the game when SNES was still new, and the graphical glitches made me not want to keep playing. Years later, in the early 2000s, I bought a boxed version at Funco Land for a decent price. I played it again for a little bit, but got busy with other things. Then, in 2011, I actually sat down and played the entire game through beating it across multiple endings, and thoroughly loved it. I now view it as one of my favorite games for the SNES, and one of my favorite video games in general.
I own a boxed SNES game and have beaten the first play-through three different ways.
Best Version: Nintendo DS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The game has been put together in a very solid manner. It looks great, sounds great, and plays great.
- The graphics are amazing. The developers not only took advantage of the SNES's hardware, but the artists did a phenomenal job on the pixel art. Scenes like the bridge, the camp site, and Magus's castle are particularly beautiful.
- The story, although a bit juvenile at times, remains interesting through the whole game. Each of the characters has their own story arcs and quests, and I especially love Lucca's scene with her mother.
- The combat system is not only unique, but very well-made. I love how you can sneak around enemies if you're careful. I really enjoy combining your party's techs to make more powerful double or even triple tech attacks, and a lot of the animations are exciting to watch.
- The music is utterly amazing. Yasunori Mitsuda created some of my favorite video game tunes ever and Nobuo Uematsu's added tracks help flesh out the soundtrack.
- Character level progression is nicely balanced where you don't need to do much grinding.
- Giving the player the ability to kill or save Magus and revive Crono adds nice role-playing choices.
- The many hidden tabs are a nice way to reward players for being especially thorough.
- The final boss battle, or, should I say battles, really make the game feel epic.
- The game has several endings, and each is altered based on what things you accomplished throughout the course of the game.
- The new game + is a really nice addition which gives a lot of replay value to the game.
- Like most RPGs I've played, the tech (magic) system is unbalanced. Some of the techs are highly effective on most enemies, others are only so-so.
- The rubber band aspect of the race with Johnny is really annoying and kind of ruins it.
Japan and Europe. It is a white background with the game's logo and drawings of six of the game's characters by Akira Toriyama. The logo is a bit busy, but it's quite interesting to look at.
North America and Australia. It's shows a combat scene, also by Akira Toriyama, with Chrono, Marle, and Frog using the arc impulse technique on a Heckran in the snow. In the game, Marle uses ice magic, not fire, and the Heckran doesn't appear in the snowy Antiquity era. Despite not accurately matching the game, I prefer this box art over the plain original.
- youtube.com/watch?v=fEcwtSkRz2Q - Longplay, SNES.
- youtube.com/watch?v=8qNXMB-4mqs - Longplay, Nintendo DS.
- kotaku.com/chrono-trigger-the-kotaku-review-1826393914 - Kotaku review.