The lights are on
Finally, after much strife and hardship, I have done it. I have completed what many herald the greatest JRPG of all time, and many more as the greatest GAME of all time. After completing this, I agree with the praise. This now sits in second place on the list of my favorite titles of all time. What makes this game so special? How has it enthralled people ever since its release in 1995? Let us explore and find out wherein its appeal lies.
Chrono Trigger was a game released for Super NES, and has extremely antiquated graphical output by today's capabilities. And yet, the aesthetic qualities surrounding the game are incredible. The art perfectly suits the gameplay and story, with its simple yet exuberant look. The sprites are relatively crisp, and the locales are unique looking and each have their own motif assigned to go with the story of what the world is currently like. The added anime sequences provide an even more enhanced experience by showing character emotion during pivotal moments in the story that would have been less expressive had they merely stuck to telling those parts via the original design. Overall, Chrono Trigger's look still fits it perfectly, and never falters in being visually pleasing to look at.
The music for this game is amazing. The tracks make every ounce of use they can from the outdated sound hardware of the early nineties. Every piece is unique and crafts a more emotional atmosphere no matter where you're at. The music pulls at your heartstrings in amazing ways. The game also makes extensive use of leitmotif, in which each character has a specific theme assigned to them and makes scenes in which they appear as the primary focus much more powerful and identifiable.
This is where Chrono Trigger really shines. Possibly the best ever implementation of time travel is worked into a plot of a group of people across time thrown together for the common cause of avoiding the world's destruction. It does so by creating some of the most likeable characters ever written, each with their own unique backstories that make you feel invested in their well being. From the headstrong Marle to the brilliant Lucca, and from Frog's stoic heroism to Crono's easygoing demeanor, you want these characters to accomplish their goals. At every twist and turn there's surprising new plot threads to unveil, and it boast a wide variety of possible endings depending on your choices. Possibly THE greatest story ever told in a video game.
For those of you who dislike the full turn-based battle utilization present in JRPGs, fear not. Chrono Trigger has an advanced battling system in which you have to wait for a meter to fill up before you can attack. This sounds fairly slow but when you're in a battle with two other teammates it becomes positively frenetic, as you're dashing to get everything done you need to. Selecting tech, healing, attacking a certain enemy, you have to make split second choices due to the way it's set up. In the final battle my stylus was flying every which way across the screen and I ended up feeling incredible after I barely made it past the finale. Aside from that, gameplay is fairly simple as you walk around on the overworld or in dungeons and press switches with A. It seems fairly simple but it provides the perfect counterpoint to the intense battles.
The world is vibrantly unique. From the misty mountains of pre-history to the barren wastes of the future, you are never left thinking it's repetitive. As you move through time the dungeons take place at various points as you make the trips so you're never stuck into one place for too long. Also, when you get to a place called Zeal, hopefully you find it as unique and breathtaking as I did. The difficulty never leaves you completely angered, but it provides a challenging experience to the point where sometimes you'll need to train a bit before reattempting a battle.
Overall, this game was a masterpiece. It has held up extremely well and continues to provide an astounding experience. I rate it a 10/10 for exemplary aesthetic, sound, story, and gameplay, and urge anyone who hasn't played it and is currently reading this to rush out to their nearest Gamestop after leaving their comment. A magnificent experience no gamer should miss no matter what their genre preferences. Like the story inside, it transcends time to confer utter bliss upon gamers.
See, because of this blog I want to go back and play Chrono Trigger. Glad to hear the game is holding up to this day! Great work.
I grew up with a SNES, but I never got around to purchasing a copy of Chrono Trigger. This DS remake brought me back to those days of 16-bit action. Thank you, Chrono Trigger !