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Old 07-05-2007, 10:05 PM   #1279
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,148
Chrono Trigger
Super Nintendo

Truly terrible artwork lives on the box to this game.

I had never played Chrono Trigger, but the internet told me that it is the best game ever made, period. My friend found the cartridge in a trift store for 56 cents, so I axed a brutha "Can a nigga borrow Chrono Trigga?" and he gleefully complied. So is this game the best thing to happen ever? Is this game the very reason that the Earth and the entire universe even exist? The internet might have you believe that. Some people may be angry that I didn't give this game a score of 10,000 out of 10. The game is great, but Phantasy Star 1, 4 and even Lunar 1 and 2 (Sega CD versions) are all significantly better RPGs.

A typical overworld map. 32 Mega Power!!!!

Story: 6/10
For the first half of the game or so, I wasn't entirely sure what Chono Trigger was really about. I had a vague idea and it all seemed so accidental, not like a party of pre-teen dipshits on a mission which is the usual standard in RPGs. It clears up a bit during the second half, but it'll never win any sort of award for achievements in writing. The story is actually rather bland. Only the time-traveling concept helps retain interest. For instance there is this one tampon in 600AD who lost his tools. So what do you do? You travel to the future and borrow some tools, bring them back to the guy and let him borrow the tools so he can fix a path for you. The hero, Chrono, never speaks a word. I hate it when RPGs do that. There is no reason for it. None. So as a result, Chrono has no personality whatsoever and it makes me hate him. I don't give a shit about him or his quest. Now maybe if he could prove that his brain was actually functional, I might be able to bond with the character. He's like that retarded friend you invite to your party because you feel sorry for him. There are also a few parts in the story which are messed up. For instance, the first time Frog (who is from the past) travels through time, he thinks nothing of it. Doesn't say a word. He acts as if it is completely natural, even if you take him two thousand years into the future. Hello.... writers???? Also, although not really story related, I hate the character designs. They look like Dragon Ball Z. I fucking hate Dragon Ballz! They look like complete ass. Dragon Ballz can go to hell.

Typical boss fight. Not sure what else to say here.
Ummm, you can change the color and texture of your menus.

Graphics: 7/10
Overall the graphics are more than acceptable. Of course they just had to throw in the token Mode 7 scenes, but it's only for a racing minigame. However during these mode 7 scenes they managed to have sprite scaling... on the SNES! The SNES cannot scale sprites, so they did it through software. I was mightily impressed not only by the feat, but by the actual effort it must have taken since the SNES runs at the same speed as the Sega Master System. Too bad F-Zero didn't do this. The overhead graphics are generally drawn really well and have plenty of color. But in 65,000,000 BC the graphics take a hit due to the use of transparency in the Forest Maze. It looks awful with the transparent shadows laid on top of everything and becomes hard to judge depths and whatnot. When the transparencies shut off during battle effects, you can see how nice the Forest Maze actually looks. I'm surprised that they relied on transparencies as much as they did throughout the game, since they always shut off and reappear abruptly during battle effects due to the fact that the SNES can only do one layer of transparency. Those assholes. And one thing that really makes me scratch my head is the ever-present BLACK BAR that lives at the bottom of the screen for no reason. That's right, NO REASON! The only time the black bar isn't there is during the overhead world maps, and you spend only about 1 to 2% of the game on those screens. This is screen real estate that is clearly wasted. In some battles the menus get in the way and you can't see how much damage is being dealt and whatnot due to them being above the black bar. You can move the menu from the top to the bottom and vice-versa with the Y button during battles, but either way you lose because the menu will block something.

There is a small bit of side-scrolling in the game that game me
some serious Ys III flashbacks. That's a good thing!

Sound: 7/10
A 7 for the sound? Am I on crack? Not at all. There are about 4 or 5 music themes in the game that are actually "good". Most of the rest fall into the category of "appropriate" or "fitting", but don't stand out in any way. There are a few music themes that are absolutely awful. One is the bongo-only theme from 65,000,000 BC (that era's music pretty much all sucks), another synth-guitar laden theme from, well, I don't remember when... but it was in a dungeon. This was Yasunori Mitsuda's first game soundtrack, but it gave him ulcers due to the tracks I just mentioned and Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu had to come in and finish up Yasunori's work. I don't think that Yasunori Mitsuda ever had ulcers, I just think that he is a lazy bastard and used "ulcers" as an excuse so his wimpy ass wouldn't get fired. Anyway my favorite tunes are the one from the game intro/demo, Frog's Theme and the tune that plays in 12,000 BC or whenever it is. The victory tune is also very good (if a bit short) and isn't used after the completion of every single battle here like it is in Chrono Cross, so it doesn't become quickly tiresome.

Some scenes have very well drawn backgrounds, like this court.
Juries here are even more retarded than typical real-life juries!

Gameplay: 8/10
This is a nice RPG to play through. Controls and all of that shit work fairly well and feel smooth. Although I realize it is standard in most RPGs, I don't really care to have so many party members that come and go from your group (you can only have 3 at a time). It's not game-breaking, just a personal preference as I will tend to bond more with characters that are always there as well as learn their battle strategies. But fortunately there are only 7 characters total. The battles can be kind of fun, (and repetitive), but I'm not a huge fan of the battle system employed here. Things keep happening while you're trying to make a damn choice on the menu. It's very distracting and confusing. The little hand which points to the enemy you'd like to attack can get lost in the onscreen clutter sometimes as well, and you may not even realize that it's still there and have to choose. There is an option to switch the battle mode between ACTIVE and WAIT. I tried both. Both are exactly the same from what I can tell. Not sure why they had so many things going on at once. It's like they were trying to fix something that wasn't broken.

This scene is from the beginning of the game, but there is a quick
random scene much later which has these two apparently married
with no explanation provided EVER. The writers suck.

What they DID fix, however, were the random battles. There are none. Mostly you can see enemies wandering about on the map and much of the time if you don't want to fight you can simply walk around them. Sometimes offscreen enemies attack you when you walk over a certain part of the screen, but it's not random. Another thing that I really like is that the game doesn't take it's sweet-ass time to fade out from the map and then fade in to a new battle screen. The battles take place right where you are. The only other game I have seen do this previously was Phantasy Star 1 and only in the dungeon scenes. There are some bosses that love to induce status effects on you, making attacks impossible until cured. That pisses me off, but it's to be expected in just about any RPG. And some enemy attacks seem incredibly slooooow due to the spectacle of the attack itself. I hear this is mandatory in Square games, though. Some attacks in later Square games (Playstation and above) give you enough time to read a book before the attack is complete! This game is rarely "too hard". Usually it is "just right". It took me about 24 hours to finish the game, and you won't hear me complaining that it is too short. The game has 13 or 14 different endings. I am not playing though to experience them all. I don't even think I powered up the game 13 times in my quest to beat it! I'm perfectly happy with just one ending, as I rarely play through RPGs more than once.

The future is home to extremely boring graphics, music and gameplay.
When I got here the first time, I had to force myself to keep playing.
It's that dull. Same thing happened in 65,000,000,000,000,000 BC

Wrap Up:
Definitely recommended. And I also suggest you play the cartridge version versus the Playstation version. If you want lame anime cut scenes, download them from Youtube. It'll be quicker than any loading time the PS1 has ever had. Also, this game kicks the living shit out of Chrono Cross, it's Playstation sequel, in every single way except for the music. Chrono Cross anal-rapes Chrono Trigger in the music department because Yasunori decided that he could never be the Champion of Lazy. That title is mine! This game is definitely better than Rad Racer. Now I'd like to try Final Fantasy 3/6 to see how it is.
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