Galactiger's Chrono Trigger (SNES)
| [February 16, 2008 12:50:26 AM]
| Gamelog #4 Session #2 for CMPS 20|
Start Time: 4:00 pm
End Time: 5:00 pm
Assignment due 2/20/08
The narrative progression was kind of bumpy. It had lots of sudden twists and turns, with hit-or-miss quality cutscenes. A lot of the time, the animated cutscenes seemed to go on forever, which was neither desired nor necessary. Cutscenes were arbitrarily tied to play at the same time as some music, for the duration of the music, with no way to skip them. As such, the cutscenes overall were pretty annoying. Unfortunately, they were a major part of gameplay, communicating much of the storyline.
Chrono Trigger was sort of fun to play, but I kept having technical failures. I would have liked it better if there had been autosave prompts sprinkled throughout steps in the story to prevent massive loss of progress. As it was, it was difficult to remember to save, which severely impeded gameplay. I had to repeat all of the tedious battles from before, so I enjoyed myself even less as compared to the first time around. As for the main gameplay, I much preferred the puzzle mechanic to the battle mechanic.
I thought the game was hyped up a little out of proportion. Based on friends' opinions, I had expected the game to be interesting enough to blow me away; it didn't. The music was excellent, yes, but I have two CDs of the music from this game: one basic, one arranged instrumental. If the game had lower quality music or art, I wouldn't have bothered playing. As it was, the game had about the same entertainment value per minute as a minute of daytime TV. Listening to the CDs of the music from this game is much more entertaining than playing the game. That's terrible.
Socially, I was isolated in terms of players and spectators both. Chrono Trigger is a single-player game, and I felt alone while I was playing. This game was also largely boring, which made the lonely feeling worse. There were no spectators, either, so I was waiting to be finished playing while I was playing. Chrono Trigger has a following, but I won't be part of it. I prefer RPGs with better character development and more interesting gameplay.
I usually need characters in an RPG to be believable with realistic personalities to be satisfied. Chrono Trigger just doesn't deliver it. Lucca comes to your rescue at one point in the game, but instead of Crono rescuing or falling in love with her, Crono arbitrarily falls in love with Marle, who seems to throw herself at you. If Crono had spent more time with Marle beforehand, that would have made more sense. This is another trend in RPGs; if a silent protagonist has a childhood friend of the opposite sex, the silent protagonist will probably fall for someone else, doubly so if the childhood friend rescues the silent protagonist. I hate that.
The main innovation of this game was the battle system. All allies and enemies in-game have an element affiliation, which gives them the power of that element and makes them weak to the opposite element. Then, there are weapons that can only be equipped by allies who can wield them. For example, Crono can only use katana-type weapons, Lucca can only use gun-type weapons, Marle can only use crossbow-type weapons, etc. Finally, special attacks require magic and two or more allies can team up to execute a super-special attack. Unfortunately, I didn't get to any interesting battles where any of that mattered.
I didn't like this game much as compared to how much my friends liked this game. I found the battles to be tedious and the characters to be superficial. I would have also liked an autosave feature. I only really liked the creative content from this game. I think, as it was, I would have enjoyed Chrono Trigger: The Movie much more than the game.
I think Chrono Trigger could have been vastly improved in terms of pacing if it has been designed and implemented as an action RPG instead of an outright RPG. The way to do it is any place you activate the battle actionAnother thing that would have helped was if Chrono Trigger had a way to skip cutscenes and skip/automate battles.
The levels don't vary very much from the get-go. They are pretty much made up of linked rooms with enemies littered throughout. There are tons of enemies in each level, and often I found myself forgetting what I was doing or what I was supposed to do. Although I liked the basic gameplay, in the scheme of the game, it was analogous to treading water, the same way fun gameplay is analogous to swimming. In other words, I would have had fewer but tougher battles that made you level up faster without the tedium.
This game exhibits progressive complexity with some emergent characteristics. I would expect to find mostly walkthroughs for this game for players to play out different scenario sequences in this gameworld. There would also likely be some strategy guides to direct players to use different techs appropriately. There may also be strategy guides for basic playing mechanics. In other words, Chrono Trigger is mostly a game of doing the right things in the right order, but there are a few different strategies to get to an ending.
That's it for this entry! Keep playing!
This entry has been edited 9 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 03:06:26.
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| [February 16, 2008 12:47:58 AM]
| Gamelog #4 Session #1 for CMPS 20|
Start Time: 3:00 pm
End Time: 4:00 pm
Assignment due 2/20/08
Chrono Trigger is an RPG developed by Square, back in 1995 when Square was not yet Square Enix. Chrono Trigger is the first RPG in a series of loosely related RPGs including Radical Dreamers and Chrono Cross. The main themes, supported by the excellent music and visuals, are time/space/dimensional travel and parallel/serial world interaction. The main way the story of Chrono Trigger plays out is that changing the world in an earlier setting has some sort of effect on the world in a later setting. Combine this mechanic with the music, visuals, and battle gameplay and you get Chrono Trigger, a very cool game.
I liked the game itself, but I was pretty bored playing. Although the battles are never random, they get overwhelmingly boring very quickly. It was boring because it didn't challenge me at all. All you have to do to win a battle is not die and kill all the enemies. Although this mechanic is used in nearly every single RPG, the execution of this is particularly boring in Chrono Trigger. There's no way to automate any part of the battle, and the enemies never revive their fallen party members. Almost every single one of the many battles play out exactly the same. The pathetic battle variation comes nowhere near breaking the overall tedium of the game.
Another disappointing thing about Chrono Trigger is the reward system. The battles' main reward is ending the battle; the battles are that bad. However, the secondary reward in most cases is a piece of storyline that is easily forgotten. It would be good if you could review the story so far in-game, but if you lose your way, you have to be stubborn, persistent or armed with a walkthrough to finish the game. Otherwise, you have a better chance being happy if you can move on to another game.
An interesting side-mechanic is puzzles in the environment. For example, a switch thrown in one room in a level will lower the spikes in another room in that level so that you can access a new area. In other words, completing puzzles is rewarded. Not only that, but the puzzle completion is usually generously rewarded, varying in reward from secret area access, items, bragging rights, or improved abilities. Overall, the puzzles, not the battles, made Chrono Trigger worth playing.
The characters of Chrono Trigger are pretty good overall. The art for the ones I've encountered so far are consistently pretty, crisp, and fluid. Crono, the main character, is a katana-wielding, spiky-haired teen who is the main player avatar. Lucca, a pretty but crazy girl inventor, invents a machine that accesses wormholes in the time-space continuum. Marle, a princess-in-disguise tomboy, has a pendant that reacts badly to Lucca's invention, sending her to an unknown location back in time. From this more-or-less starting point, Crono and company go on a wild adventure to prevent disasters from destroying the world.
Even though I like the characters, I get the feeling that character development was rushed. I think that that led to my not getting attached to the characters very much at all. As such, it's kind of difficult to understand the characters' motivations. For example, why would Crono follow Marle into an abyss when he barely knows her? Why would anyone? The way the scenarios played out, the characters' personalities seem like they were an afterthought, rather than being central to gameplay. That seems like an amateur mistake for making RPGs.
That's it for this entry. Keep playing!
This entry has been edited 7 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:06:19.
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Galactiger's Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored
GameLog started on: Saturday 16 February, 2008
GameLog closed on: Thursday 21 February, 2008