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.
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.
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.