elit3deception's Chrono Trigger (SNES)
| [February 21, 2008 02:13:06 AM]
Upon playing the game for a second time, I found that the storyline was even more unique and interesting than I previously thought it to be. After realizing that I had been exploring the world map and particularly the Millennial Fair for over 30 minutes, I realized that I was in for a treat (knowing that this was undoubtedly the least interesting part of the game, yet it managed to capture my attention and interest for such a long amount of time).
Another factor which added to my desire to wander aimlessly was the music. I didn't appreciate it as much when I first played, but as I explored and enjoyed the unique dialogue of each NPC, I began to pay closer attention to the background music. I found it to be so engaging that I let my character rest as I sat back and enjoyed the music for certain portions of the game. I was particularly surprised by this gameplay aspect of Chrono Trigger, particularly knowing that it was for the SNES, which tends not to focus on background music for its video games.
As the story began to unfold, I found myself already caring for the characters more than I thought I would, and much more than I do for at least 80% of the RPG's I have previously played. When Marle disappeared through a mysterious time warp, I realized I was just as confused as Crono and Lucca and just as unable to explain the mysterious occurance. Knowing this, I found myself greatly impressed by the designers ability to create dialogue and events that captivated me so early in the game. Rarely have I been so interested in the fate of an RPG's main characters within the first several hours of gameplay.
After following the story I found my character warped into a mysterious mountainous world, of an unknown location. I found the battle system to be similar to many other RPG's (as I confronted enemies almost as soon as my character arrived in the new area), but still extremely challenging (as I will further discuss in the design portion of my blog). The designers provided chests along the way which allowed my character to obtain, what I felt to be, the perfect items for the situations I found myself in (for example, as I lost health from the battles, I obtained a tonic that restored my health soon after, preventing a potentially frustrating section of the game).
One design aspect of the game that I found impressive was the unique battle system. Many early RPGs implement this same battle system of fighting the bad guys that the character comes in contact with. However, at the beginning of Chrono Trigger, when I created a new file, I was given the option to select a battle system in which the enemies would wait to attack until I chose my attacks, or if they would attack whenever it was their turn. Initially I assumed that this idea would be secondary to the gameplay and would merely not matter with regards to the overall feel of the game. However, realizing that I had chosen to allow the enemies to attack whenever they were ready, I actually found the game to be more challenging this time around. Even at the first level (after being teleported via Lucca's teleportating machine and Marle's pendant) I found it to be extremely challenging. At first I died rather fast, and I was afraid it would be so difficult that it would detract from the aim of the game. However, dying so quickly allowed me to better plan my attacks and actually understand the game better and on a different level.
When the game could have been unnecessarily difficult, it actually excelled and proved to be superior to many of its predecessors in the RPG genre. I almost instantly gained a level after only a few battles, allowing my character to be able to compete on an equal level with the tougher bad guys presented in the game. I find that many other RPGs are too hard earlier in the game as your characters are too weak. However, this unique design aspect of the game prevented me from becoming frustrated with the battle system, and actually enjoy it and explore the many options within each individual battle (For example, I soon learned new Tech moves that allowed Crono to use what I found to be equivalent to magic in the game).
In addition to the battle system, I found the storyline of this RPG to be the biggest driving factor of the game. As aforementioned, I discovered myself greatly caring about the fate of the main characters even though I had only played for a little over an hour or so. Whereas many RPGs rely on the battles to progress the story and allow the player to continue playing, I actually found myself wanting to uncover the fate of the main characters. The designers created an interesting enough storyline so that I cared enough about it to want to keep playing, thus realizing that the battles were merely a pleasant addition to the very much engaging storyline of the RPG.
This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 14:22:00.
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| [February 20, 2008 10:09:44 PM]
Chrono Trigger is an innovative and "ahead of its time" RPG released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo. The main character, Crono, travels through time to prevent the destruction caused by Lavos while meeting new characters (a total of 7 playable characters) in different points in history (as well as the future) along the way.
I returned to Chrono Trigger after playing it several years ago, as I wanted to obtain a more analytical perspective of the game. Knowing that this is one of my favorite games of all time, I was afraid my bias would blur my examination of the structure and gameplay of the game. However I found that its vastness and creativity allowed me to examine it with a detached perspective and still have an enjoyable experience exploring the game in a new light.
The game begins with Crono waking up and visiting the towns Millennial Fair in 1000 A.D.. This momentous occasion marks the unveiling of Lucca's (soon to be a playable character) teleportation machine. When I began exploring the fair I eventually ran into (literally) another playable character named Marle. I liked that the game creatively introduced multiple characters without seeming overwhelming in any way. Rather I found the quick introductions to be unique as it made me more interested in the game's storyline and overall character development.
The thing I initially liked about this game was the dialogue. Whereas many RPGs begin with boring story line oriented dialogue, I found that the method in which this game revealed its story was innovative and very interesting. I found myself pausing and taking time to read everything the characters said, as I could tell it would be important later in the game.
Each of the two characters that I first interacted with (Marle and Lucca) had very obvious and interesting character traits. Marle was care free and joked with my character, whereas Lucca appeared to be an eccentric scientist. As storyline and character development are extremely important to the gameplay aspect of RPGs, I felt that this was something that made the game initially quite enjoyable. Whereas many RPGs throw in characters that no one really cares about and just sit in your party, I found that I was excited to have both Marle and Lucca join my party and add a more interesting aspect to the potentially uninteresting character oriented aspect of the game.
Another thing I appreciated about the game was the immersive world that I was initially allowed to explore. RPG's rely heavily on environments and level designs and many fall short of interesting and unique. However, in Chrono Trigger, I was impressed by the colorful and interactive world that I was required to venture through. I found that I could interact with almost every NPC in the area, and many even had interesting mini games I could participate in. (For example, there was a race constantly going on that I was allowed to bet on, and even a House of Horrors).
I felt in particular that the games graphics, though limited by the SNES' capabilities, were colorful and created a world which I felt I would want to visit in real life. It pushed the graphical limitations of its day further then most SNES games I have played in the past. I felt this aspect of the game in particular greatly helped my experience of the game become more enjoyable the more I explored each level.
This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:50:18.
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elit3deception's Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Current Status: Playing
GameLog started on: Tuesday 19 February, 2008