Getting ready to play Chrono Trigger for the first time

So I’m finally getting around to playing this legendary game for the first time. I picked up a used copy of it for the DS today and decided the time has come to see what all the fuss was about. This is one of the few games out there that it’s nearly impossible to find a bad review of.

Any of you dopers played this one? Is it as good as history would have you believe?

I’ve played it and I was disappointed. I think everything about it was inferior to the later Playstation generation of Square games. Back when it came out, it blew every other game away, but I feel it was simply due to lucky timing

Welcome aboard to one of the best RPGs ever created. If you’re a fan of time travel, it’s impossible to NOT enjoy it, but it’s also incredibly FUN to play. Excellent story, excellent soundtrack (half of it was composed by a 22 year old unknown who went on to do great things, the other half by Uematsu of FF fame), well designed worlds, characters you can like.

I didn’t play the DS remake, but it looked pretty faithful to the SNES original. Does anyone know if it used the same translation - another remarkable thing about the SNES game is that it had a very good translation.

It just sucks that its sequel sucked. I couldn’t stand it more than a couple of hours…

I have to disagree with YogSosoth, I think it was better than most of the Playstation games. It is much more simplistic in terms of game play and overall strategy compared to their later games, but I think they took that simplicity and made the most of it. Like fusoya said, I think the characters are all very likable, the music is excellent, and they did a pretty good job with the time travel plot to make it compelling. And, unmentioned, is that the art for the game is also done by Akira Toriyama, of Dragon Ball fame.

As for the DS version, I played through it a couple years ago, it stays faithful to the original SNES version with the addition of some anime cut scenes and some extra content at the end which is completely skippable but also provides some item upgrades and an interesting alternative ending that adds to one of the major storylines as well.

Overall, it’s definitely worth playing, and I spent far too many hours of my youth in that game. I also feel like it’s aged reasonably well particularly since the graphics are among the best for the 2D sprite era, so they don’t look as dated as they might when compared to a somwhat more recent 3D game like FF7.

It’s a genuinely great game, although I suspect folks who prefer latest/greatest graphics (and who came into the gaming scene when the Playstation had come out) will wave it off. Personally, I like the artistic style of 2D sprites; the variety of excellent games that come from amateur/indie programmers in 2D speak to the solidity of the style.

In addition to the good art, the plot is expansive and epic but at the same time coherent, which is more than can be said for most of the Final Fantasy games. The gameplay is fun for a turn-based RPG, the action smoother and more natural than the Final Fantasy trope of lining everyone up on either side of the screen.

It’s basically a Final Fantasy game but better in just about every way unless you just dislike SNES graphics.

Chrono Trigger does a lot of little things right. It doesn’t use a grid-based movement system, which feels really nice. You’re able to just run away from people to get out of conversations with them. The art style is bright and characters are well-designed. The game has a light-hearted personality. Mini-games are thrown in just often enough. The number of animations is above average for a 32-Mbit cartridge, but they’re of a low frame count as a result. Chrono Trigger’s strongest aspect is that it doesn’t ever annoy the gamer.

Of course, the gameplay was pretty damn primitive. Even by 1995 JRPG standards, it was bland. It’s a Squaresoft game and that’s all you’ll see. If you don’t know what that means, you’re going to enjoy it a lot more. It’s turn-based. Select a command. Enter a room, kill everything, run to the next room, repeat until you find the boss. Pound on the boss until you’re low of health and use an item. That was old gameplay by 1995 and it’s absolutely dreadful compared to the RPGs of today. In 1995, you had titles like Tales of Phantasia, which offered better graphics and real-time combat and more advanced equipment management. You also had Lufia II, where every dungeon contained numerous puzzles. Legitimate puzzles like you’d find in a puzzle game. Not JRPG switch puzzles. Lufia II also had the best after-game mode on the SNES. Chrono Trigger’s story is nonsense, but that’s the same with everything really. You may as well still play it though, since it’s an important game to know since it’s so popular. It’s useful for identify someone’s tastes. Some people are gameplay-gamers. Some people are story-gamers.

I think one reason why I feel the way I do about the game is Crono himself. I do not like silent main characters. I need him to speak, to have a personality, to have quirks or thoughts that are more than simply sprites or polygons moving around on screen.

Good to see some love for Lufia 2. In retrospect, it’s my favorite game on the entire platform. I have a SNES emulator running on my laptop solely to play that game.

Slight hijack - I thought the first Lufia was crap (an actual quest to go find pie??) but I keep hearing that Lufia 2 was way better. How comparable are they? Can I pick up 2 without having played most of 1?

…and you have now guaranteed that I will never, ever play this game.

Yeah dragonball sucks, but do you really hate the art that much?

Yeah, I really do. I can’t think of many other artists who produce such a visceral dislike in me as that guy.

Now waitaminute. I never once thought “hey, this looks Dragonbally” when I played Chrono Trigger. I suppose I could see it a bit in the BOX ART, but not in the game itself. I always thought that Chrono & Marle were ripped off from the two main characters in Secret of Mana.

Remember, this is SNES graphics we’re talking about.

If the DS release contains the PSX edition cutscenes, those are done by Toriyama. I personally like the Chrono Trigger character art, it’s a lot more interesting than Dragonball. Here’s a video of what I presume to be all the cutscenes. (Spoilers, obviously.)

I think that wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve played both, but I remember nothing from 1 at all.

The one thing I’ve heard about the Lufia series now, years after it’s release, is that you’re supposed to play Lufia 2 before Lufia 1. I approach that with the same kind of trepidation as when people told me I should watch the Haruhi Suzumiya anime out of order. Anyone know if this is true?

No. Obviously, 2 came out before 1. The first was a relatively simple story. The second was more complex, and laid the groundwork for 2 since it’s a prequel. I’d reccomend skipping 1 and just going to 2.

Now, onto Chrono Trigger…
Totally disagree that the simple gameplay is a weakness. It’s fast, ity’s fun, and it’s exciting. Stages are relatively small, but with a lot of variety in terms of enemies and setup. The abilities and gameplay are simple precisely because the situations you use them in vary considerable.

And y’know what? You go back and look at al thsoe early PS1-style games and they suck. They’re clunky, the characters ans settings are ugly as sin (“But it’s 3d!” people cry, like that’s an excuse). The gameplay is crap, overly-complex and often tedious.

No, Chrono Trigger is a classic. It has a great plot, kieeps things movign, never hammers you with any need to sidetrack or level grind, but there’s usually some alternative fun thing you can do if you wish, has just enough secrets to play with without overwhelming you with nuisances, and gives you all kinds of flashy abilities to play with.

So, sorry, but I go with fun, style, and simplicity over technology any day of the week.

It uses a slightly different, more accurate, translation - Frog’s dialogue, particularly, is changed. The faux-medieval stuff is gone - he talks just like everyone else from his era, now. Aside from Frog’s weirdness level being dropped significantly, the most obvious difference is the names. Some stuff carried over into the new translation, though - Ozzie, Slash, and Flea keep their English names, rather than their food based names from the original, as do Masa and Mune (and the Masamune), though most of the other bosses have their names changed - though some are fixes of the English names, not moving them closer to the Japanese (such as Mammon M becoming Mammon Machine, or Son of Sun becoming Son of the Sun, which is actually further from the Japanese version, which is San obu San (Son of Sun)).

It’s also added an arena mode (that I can’t remember the name of), which I don’t think was in the PS version, in which you train monsters which you fight against other monsters for prizes you can use in the main game. And some extra areas within the game itself, plus, IIRC, another couple endings. (Not sure on that last bit, though.)

Things that haven’t been changed - the graphics and music are left as they were, and the translation doesn’t effect the plot beyond the extra material.