Chrono Trigger
Reviewed by Anna "Lania" Slad??
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-12-20 Nintendo DS RPG E10 (Everyone 10+) Square Enix

Some time ago, I decided to take on the PlayStation version of one of the ultimate classic RPGs, Chrono Trigger, originally for the SNES. Now it hits the store shelves again, but for the Nintendo DS. Not surprising, this remake is the best one of the two and I'll tell you why.

First of all, there is no question that this is one of the world's greatest RPGs, if not THE RPG of all time. Many people already know of this game, so I won't go into detail about the story or characters. If you are totally new to the title, you are more than welcome to check my review of the original which deals with all of those important points.

When I first heard that Square Enix was going to release their most loved and not at all aged RPG to the Nintendo DS, I started to expect a lot. I didn't get what I expected, in the terms of improved graphics and rearranged music. But you know what, that's OK. Because Chrono Trigger is such a rare jewel in the gaming world, it hardly ages at all. The pixel perfect graphics actually look much better on the DS than it ever did on the SNES, because the pixels in themselves become smaller to fit the tiny screens, which brings an overall smoother look. In fact, if I didn't know that this was an older game, I would have thought this was an original production for the DS.

The sound effects and songs are the same as they were in 1995. Seeing as this game was released late in the SNES-era, the soundtrack is actually very good, and much better than several modern game soundtracks. There are several memorable tunes that will make fans reminisce and wipe a tear out of their eye. As I mentioned, I was hoping for a rearranged soundtrack. Some sound effects still try to crack my eardrum, but I don't mind the lack of change overall. There's something very unique about Chrono Trigger, and since it keeps such a high quality, maybe it was considered unnecessary to change the sound.

So what did change? There must be something. Well, apart from a few new places to visit and an arena where you can battle it out, you can set the game to different modes ? Classic or DS. The classic mode shows the battle menu in the top screen, together with the characters. As the screen is a lot smaller than your average TV set, I found this mode to be very straining for the eyes. The DS mode is much more preferable. This puts the battle menu in the bottom screen but it also adds status bars to your characters in the upper screen. This bar shows HP and amount of time until next turn. It's all very nicely done and at first I thought I wouldn't like it one bit, but I quickly changed my mind when I saw the advantages. Since the screens are so small, it obvious that using them both works better than cramming all of the information into one screen.

So what about the touch-screen? Surely something must've been added to the game to make use of this feature. Well yes, you can control Crono and his friends, make choices in battles, and talk to people etc, with the "simple" use of the stylus. I say "simple" because this is, in my eyes, not a good feature at all; it is just there because the DS has a touch-screen. I had a very difficult time controlling Crono with the stylus. More often he would get stuck somewhere along the way and start shaking his head. (Yes Crono, I am aware that you can move through time, not walls...) No, it is much easier to control the game with the buttons and D-pad, and this is how the game should be played, if you ask me. The game gains nothing with the added touch feature, it actually makes it slower and less accessible and that is not what Chrono Trigger is about. I say, skip the stylus and just enjoy the game!

However, there is one good feature to the touch-screen. On it, you will always see a map of your current location, except when in battles. Instead of always pressing X and walk around the menu that way, you can add short-cuts directly to items, equipment, skills, etc and these will show up around the map. This I found to come very much in handy and it's also gamer friendly. It doesn't disturb the gameplay one bit. But I'm not saying you should pick up your stylus for this, it's easier to just use your thumb.

So, now that Square Enix has released this game for the third time, should you really buy it? If you've never ever come across this game, I say that you owe it to yourself to own it, if you wanna call yourself a gamer. It is far too good to pass up, and since it's much better than the PS-version and the SNES-version is only available on ROMs these days, what do you have to lose? It is well worth the money. It takes 15 seconds to be thrown into the story and feel connected with all the characters and what happen to them along the way. If you've already played this game multiple times and call yourself a huge fan, I'd still say you should buy it. Because let's be honest; as this 13 year-old game never seems to lose its popularity, it's apparent you can never have too much Chrono Trigger in your life.

Special thanks to Klee Kuo and Square Enix for providing a copy of this title.