Like everyone in Europe that had a Snes and a taste for RPGs I knew about Chrono Trigger but had never played it till recently. A lack of European release made that impossible. My first dabbles with it was on an emulated PSOne copy and then later when the DS release made it finally possible to buy the game new in a British shop. I first played it therefore a long time after it was made, approaching it after playing the games it inspired first. Returning to a sprite based JRPG after playing polygon adventures was a little like a visual home coming. The 16bit aesthetic may typify the nineties but that doesn't make it look bad or dated. I have often written of my love of pixel art and Chrono Trigger is yet another example of a time when dotty characters looked their best. A rich detailed world demands a rich detailed central protagonist, but sadly this is the first instance where the game (for me!) falls short. Even after numerous playthroughs and after unlocking many of the games endings I have no idea who Crono actually is. It may be a trait of modern games, but considering you’re expected to invest at least 30 hours playing with him there is just not enough back story to the main titular character. This isn't true of everyone in the game of course. Frog/Glenn, Marle, Lucca and Magus are all fleshed out, it's just the fella you spent most of your time with who isn't. He never speaks, and now seems painfully generic in his design. I appreciate that there is a blank canvas logic to keeping the details of the main character vague, so the player injects themselves into the avatar. The same thing is done in early Zelda games, when you knew next to nothing about Link. However I prefer to be told a story, rather than have to fill in the blanks myself, much like in the modern Zelda games when you know almost too much about Link.
Even with a shallow main protagonist, Chrono Trigger's story is one of the best in the 16bit era. Super Play at the time may have said it was 'a paperback compared to the complex tales of the Final Fantasy games' but I much preferred it. Quite an achievement
It seems harsh to highlight such minor imperfections in what is clearly an astonishing
It may now be my second favourite JRPG of all time but it will always fondly cherished. The fact that this view is echoed by the Internet may mean my words on the game are trite and predictable, but it also means they are not revolutionary. Confirmation therefore that Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece.
Just one that's not as good as Ni No Kuni.
How did I get this?
that much, but know that one day I will. I do however own a mint Super Famicom version
sold to me by a great seller on eBay. Having played through the game so many times I thought I'd be able to play from start to finish without being able to read the text - I was wrong. About 3 or 4 hours in I abandoned my play through and reverted back to my well worn DS copy. With a set of level 99 characters and all the best weapons a 'new game+' doesn't take too long. All enemies pose no challenge and as such I could focus on the story to a greater extent. I can't say I enjoyed it as much without any risk of failing, with certain bits just feeling like I was going through the motions. But even this play through was much more enjoyable than the majority of games I've played recently. I always forget just how good the soundtrack is and listened to it while not paying. I can finally tick 'listen to Gato's theme while on the tube" off my bucket list.