Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chrono Trigger

Ah, nostalgia. It makes everything seem better in retrospect, doesn't it? Vacations seem like they were more fun than they were, people were nicer, and games were more fun. 

Or were they? Chrono Trigger for the DS is almost a direct port of the SNES version, only with the anime cutscenes from the PS1 version, 2 new dungeons, and a monster-raising game? I don't know what to call it. Let's take this step by step.

1. The original content: Holy cow. It's actually as fun as you remember it! If you remember it really well, you might have some issues with the new translations. Some techs were renamed, monsters renamed, and some dialogue changed (though I didn't notice any line changes, so they didn't stick out very much). Even if you remember this game spectacularly well (which I did), it'll still take you the greater part of 20 hours the first time through. This game is a over a decade old, and it still holds up well not just to your memory of the game, but to games today. This is the gold standard of JRPGs. They just don't get much better than this game. The only problem those of you who know this game well will have is that as you get to the end of the game, it gets really easy. How many people remember the trick of load Crono with speed and magic tabs (capsules now) + Gold Stud (75% mp cost reduction) + *Luminare for 5 mp? Hands up? Yeah, it still works wonders on anything not immune to magic/absorbs lightning. If you run across something like that, Rainbow + prism sunglasses. 1500 dmg/critical hit. Still an excellent game.

2. The new dungeons. I hope you like repetition. The Lost Sanctum is an exercise in retracing your steps. There's a section that you have to climb up and down about 8 times or so, and it's easily a 5 minute round trip. That may not sound like much, but it's really boring. The designers should have put in a quick travel option that would take you back to the base of the mountain. The treasure you get is barely worth it. Most of the stuff you get is worse than, or only a point or two better than what you get from the original sidequests. The dimensional vortex isn't much better. 

3. Monster raising. Takes too bloody long for my liking. From my experience, it takes about 10 battles before you can "rank up" your creature. However, it's a fun distraction. Just don't forget to save if you do it from the title screen. I made that mistake a few times.

This is a classic game, so I'm keeping the review short, so I'll finish by saying this: If you liked the SNES version, get this. If you like JRPGs, get this. If you hate games with epic storylines and time travel and a changing world, then don't get this. But I doubt anyone like that is reading this blog, so get this game.

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