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    TDouglass's Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    [January 13, 2008 01:06:44 AM]
    Part 2


    After continuing with Chrono Trigger for some time, I quickly got tired of wandering around in circles in the World Map. Unfortunately, the combat system alone is not enough to make up for the lack of coherent directions or dialogue, and the plot is, simply put, not compelling. I did appreciate some of the newer skills that you can learn along the way, and I like the Combo system that becomes available with some of these skills. (Two pary members can use different attacks on the same targets as long as one of them uses a Combo move) That was exciting for me, because I am used to a "combo move" entailing multiple party members using the same attack to great effect, but this Combo system is much more engaging and mutable, since you can use any other skills you want with the other characters.


    Chrono Trigger may well have been cutting-edge in 1995, and I appreciate it for what it is. Of course it does not stand up to some of the next generation games as far as graphics or sound, but as is the case with many older games, is still somehow fun to play. Chrono Trigger's combat system is engaging and fun to play with over and over again. And since you will be playing with the same combat system for a very long time with this game, that is definitely a plus. A good RPG requires two things, however: a good combat system and an engaging storyline. Unfortunately, Chrono Trigger's story is bland and uninteresting. After the initial shock of going backwards in time a few hundred years to the town you started in, nothing really happens for a good amount of time. Long enough for me to lose interest in the characters involved, sadly. Chrono Trigger is useful in that it shows us which conventions of older RPGs have been recycled and which ones have been pruned. It would seem that game developers would side with me regarding the story, as many more compelling and immersive games have emerged in recent years. Still, Chrono Trigger's popularity at the time shows that the truly essential piece to a solid game is the gameplay itself, not the fiction surrounding that game.
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    [January 12, 2008 07:45:24 PM]

    Chrono Trigger is a classic RPG that utilizes many common practices from that era. Players navigate the game through a main World Map, with various locations that they can enter to progress the story. Enemy encounters are fought via a turn-based battle structure using an ATB (Attack Time Bar) system, and utilizes enemy location for special attacks. (ie, certain attacks hit enemies that are closer together or lined up, etc) As such, combat is fluid and tactical, with many moves taking precious seconds before execution so the enemies line up perfectly.


    At first glance, Chrono Trigger is very clearly the predecessor of the Final Fantasy series. That combat takes advantage of mobile enemies adds a bit to fighting, but for the most part seems pretty straightforward. Cheesy dialogue appropriate to this time period (the game was released in 1995), and the limits of graphics that follow are not distracting in the least, rather they create a nostalgic feel for the game that produces most, if not all, of this game's value. Yet the nostalgia evoked certainly feels right, and Chrono Trigger is still fun to play. Noticing the relevant mechanics that have been adapted into more sophisticated games in the following generations makes playing the game feel appropriately like a step back in time, seeing as the plot itself follows the hero backwards in time. Nostalgia aside, my initial experience with Chrono Trigger is somewhat dissapointing. After progressing through very little of what I presume to be an expansive plot, I find myself stuck without any idea of where to head next. The lack of a diary or quest log makes many games of this time period difficult to understand without prior experience, and that problem seems to be highlighted in Chrono Trigger, because the characters' dialogue is insubstantial at best. To say that this is a great game would be an exaggeration, but to say that it is terrible would be unfair. Chrono Trigger appears to be a good representation of the technology and inspiration that available when it was made, and that is just about the best that can be said about a game from the First Generation of gaming.
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    TDouglass's Chrono Trigger (SNES)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 12 January, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 13 January, 2008

    TDouglass's opinion and rating for this game

    An interesting step back in time, but nostalgia quickly gives way to an "outdated" feel.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See TDouglass's page

    See info on Chrono Trigger

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