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Chrono Trigger Review

Square's masterpiece finally arrives in UK in its original 16-bit form

Chrono Trigger Virtual Console review: Chrono Trigger is, in case you're not aware, not only one of the best RPG games out there, but is quite simply one of the greatest games ever made.

Despite Chrono Trigger being remade for DS, this is one of those games that deserves to be among your Virtual Console downloads. Particularly since this is the first time that the untouched original has ever seen UK shores - the Super NES game was released in Japan and the US only.

It's About Time

Chrono Trigger was the result of a collaboration of Japan's finest RPG makers in the genre's heydays of the mid-'90s. These were people whose CVs are topped with games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball.

What Super NES owners got in 1995 was an RPG that redefined the genre, taking on board many of the typical RPG traits while etching its own rules that set it apart from every other game.

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The story, and the way in which it ties into actual gameplay, is masterful. You play as Crono, who along with your allies Lucca and Marle, embarks on an epic quest to prevent evil Lavos from sucking all the energy out of the world.

Chrono Trigger doesn't just have you travelling across a vast land, but sends you leaping back and forth through time to alter events in history so that you can achieve your goals in the present day.

Each of the eras you'll explore are rich in detail with their own distinctive look and feel, from a prehistoric past to a future with advanced civilisations. And while changing the events of the past is restricted by the pre-determined storyline, the game's side-quests and character-specific plots create an illusion of freedom.

Also, one of Chrono Trigger's most interesting features comes with the 13 different endings you can encounter depending on your actions and when you choose to defeat the final boss.

Trigger Happy

Battles are top-notch. You select your attacks as you do in many RPGs, but this game adopts Final Fantasy's famed Active Time Battle system which replaces the typical monotonous turn-based structure with a timed system that lets players - and enemies - launch into action every few seconds, regardless of their opponents' actions. This makes for seamless, fast-paced and exciting battles without that usual break in flow.

Chrono Trigger is a must-have game, on all counts. Its only downfall in this case is the fact that it's not so long since we were playing that new and slightly improved version on the DS - a game that RPG fans should already have in their collections. If you do own the DS game, you don't really need to play the original.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the June issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is out now. You can buy it here or if you want to receive a future issue before it reaches the shops, subscribe and get Monster Hunter Tri.

Comments

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  1. master dingley Friday 20th May 2011 at 14:31

    If it is as you say one of the greatest games of all time, why is it only a 90%?
    Surely what you say is one of the greatest games of all time should be rated in the high 90's,

    I'm currently midway through the DS version so I can't give an accurate opinion yet, just I think if you say in the review its one of the greatest games of all time it should be rated higher than a number of other games you have reviewed without the same level of praise.

  2. masamune Friday 20th May 2011 at 14:40

    I'll probably be buying this when I feel like playing through it again.

    Personally I think Chrono Trigger gets a just little too much attention, but it is a fantastic game, one of Square's best.

  3. PeterR Friday 20th May 2011 at 18:53

    Ive never played it so will most likely get the DS one at some point instead, when i have some spare time to play it.

  4. TechnoWolf Friday 20th May 2011 at 18:58

    So for someone who has never played it, should they get the DS or VC version?

  5. shad177 Friday 20th May 2011 at 19:12

    Chrono Trigger and Mario RPG are by far the best things square have ever put out.

  6. master dingley Friday 20th May 2011 at 19:29

    So for someone who has never played it, should they get the DS or VC version?

    I bought it recently, and looked for the same advice, was told the DS version is the definitive version. It has a slightly modified script to make more sense, anime style cut scenes at important moments and a few extra dungeons (although I'm not that far into it yet.)
    However you'll be hard done by to find the DS version in store, and it only pops up online now and then (even the main stream sites rarely have stock.)
    Either way from what I've played so far, ensure you play at least one version, it's very good :P

  7. TechnoWolf Saturday 21st May 2011 at 08:46

    So for someone who has never played it, should they get the DS or VC version?

    I bought it recently, and looked for the same advice, was told the DS version is the definitive version. It has a slightly modified script to make more sense, anime style cut scenes at important moments and a few extra dungeons (although I'm not that far into it yet.)
    However you'll be hard done by to find the DS version in store, and it only pops up online now and then (even the main stream sites rarely have stock.)
    Either way from what I've played so far, ensure you play at least one version, it's very good :P

    Cool, thanks. I hate hard to find games but I'm sure someone will have it.

  8. sciqueen Saturday 21st May 2011 at 18:19

    In the time it has taken Nintendo to release the original version in the UK children have been born and have now left school! There is no excuse for that.

  9. Red-Wolf Sunday 22nd May 2011 at 16:54

    I was thinking "What's the point?" when I saw the heading, but fair play to them for finally releasing the original over here. It is an incredible game, I'd recommend it to anyone.

    This is off-topic, but I want Square to remake Super Mario RPG on 3DS. That would be a remake I would snatch before it hit the ground, even though I've already finished it on VC. Who knows, maybe a wider audience would get a fresh taste of the god that is Geno.

  10. saswatch Wednesday 1st Jun 2011 at 11:28

    this is in my top 5 favourite games of all time

  11. jonnyjazz Monday 6th Jun 2011 at 13:46

    C'mon its like gaming heaven for about Ł7? I don't know what a game has to do to get 100%, but it doesn't really show its age and its awesome!!!!! I'd say 95-98%. The DS one was great but I think its way better playing it on the tv. If secret of mana was 93% then this is higher!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. zapper01 Monday 6th Jun 2011 at 19:16

    I've played the ds version and I love it. I haven't finished yet- I got up to the point where you can do extra quests to get the best armour and weapons for each character, but then accidentally saved over that file. My second save is pretty close to the end though so I'll get round to finishing it eventually. It's very good but I found it incredibly frustrating at times- grinding is a pain, thankfully I didn't have to do it much.

  13. SunnyIsland Wednesday 8th Jun 2011 at 10:43

    I played the original on the SNES when I went to visit a freind in America and it was the most amazing game in the world! It was a good couple of years ago but I remember the awesome characters and the terrific storyline! Definately deserves more than 90%!

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