Chrono Trigger DS Review «

Toward the end of high school, my friend proposed a temporary trade: his copy of Final Fantasy VI (well, III at the time) for my copy of Chrono Trigger — one of Square’s most beloved RPGs, a 1995 all-star collaboration of Japanese developers that revolves around a group of time-traveling adventurers. We both figured the school year held plenty of time to complete the games and swap ’em back. But before we could return the games to their rightful owners, graduation day came, and life had already placed us on separate paths — I suddenly couldn’t play one of my favorite games of all time. The eventual Chrono Trigger PlayStation rerelease (and other…less savory methods of playing) rolled around, but those experiences were decidedly different — inferior — to the real thing.

Chrono Trigger for the DS is different, too — but in a superior way. Most of it’s familiar: the character designs, the distinct and colorful backdrops of each era, the epic soundtrack, the teamwork-based Tech system — all of the original fun and charm of the original Super NES Chrono Trigger is preserved, with certain aspects improved. Square Enix took the anime cut-scenes included in the aforementioned PS1 rerelease and folded them back into the game, and the localization team polished up the script a bit — with new names for items and techs and more dramatic readings of the more serious moments. The touch-screen functions are convenient but ultimately inessential, simply because the game wasn’t made with that aspect in mind. What’s nice is that the dual-screen setup creates more breathing room in the battlefield for text boxes and spell effects, while it also improves inventory and party management.

Click the image above to check out all the Chrono Trigger screens.
This remake also includes two new dungeon areas — though it’s always nice to have more content, these also seem inessential. It’s cool to see the Reptites form their own village, but their fetch quests aren’t very relevant to the main characters’ mission. Similarly, the monster-raising game’s a clever idea…but having to wait for these beasts to return from training stutters the momentum.

For fans, the reason to pick up Chrono Trigger is simply because it’s available, intact, and enhanced. For newcomers, it’s because the game has easily withstood the test of time.


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