Also available on PlayStation, DS, Wii via Virtual Console, iOS, and Android
Chrono Trigger is one of those RPGs that gamers talk about the same way that movie buffs talk about The Godfather or bibliophiles talk about To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the type of game that you have to play to really understand. You can tell someone all day how good Chrono Trigger is, but until they play it for themselves, they're not really going to get it. That's how it was for me. I've had access to the game via the Final Fantasy Chronicles PS1 disc that has it and Final Fantasy IV bundled together, but I never bothered playing it. I'm a stickler for playing games on the original hardware, so I wanted to wait until I could play it with a legit Super Nintendo controller. Little did I know what a legendary experience I was putting off.
Chrono Trigger is a JRPG that tells the story Crono, a misplaced Dragon Ball Z character who thinks he's going to spend a lovely day at a local festival and ends up on a journey through time to stop an unspeakable evil that could put The Doctor to shame. Along the way, he encounters with a spunky blond chick, a dorky genuis chick, a Battletoad, C-3PO, a female Grognak, and a Dunmer that forgot which RPG franchise he's supposed to be in. So you're here at the festival, just chilling, and this dorky chick is like "Hey yall, check this out, I built a teleporter!" That's your first red flag. One thing leads to another, you tear a hole in the space-time continuum, and then adventure happens. And oh, what a glorious and brilliantly paced adventure it is.
The great thing about Chrono Trigger's pacing is that you never need to grind, but you're also never completely overpowered. Unless I was backtracking for an item or something, at no point did I streamroll through the opposition, and except for a battle I'm expected to lose, at no point did I get absolutely annihilated in the blink of an eye. It's an extremely approachable game for beginners, and while some may say that the game is too easy, but with 17 different endings (18 if you're playing on DS or Android), there's enough replay value to make up for any low difficulty and then some, and the plus to that many different endings is that you can start New Game Plus with your level carried over (you'll definitely steamroll shit that way, though).
The visuals in Chrono Trigger are fantastic with detailed sprites, colorful vistas, and some great scrolling effects. The music, however, is what really elevates things to another level. Chrono Trigger has some of the best music I've heard in any 16-bit RPG. It's right up there with the best that Final Fantasy had to offer, although that should be no surprise given that Squaresoft produced both. This is not a game that you want to play with headphones; hook up a sound bar or at least decent speakers and blast it because you're doing a favor to whomever else can hear it (whether they want to hear it or not). The dungeon music sets the tone for each area perfectly, and Chrono Trigger has some of the best boss themes found anywhere in the Super Nintendo's library.
The game is great about giving you direction with regards to where you should go next, another thing make it approachable for JRPG beginners. On your journey, you'll explore the present (1000 AD), the Middle Ages (600 AD), the Dark Ages (12000 BC), prehistory (65000000 BC), the apocalypse (1999 AD), the future (2300 AD), and even the end of time itself, traveling through time via both temporal portals and a time machine. With each character you add to your ragtag band of heroes, you get to name them (up to a paltry five letters). I chose to name each after Racketboy members, so my team ended up consisting of Elkin, Key, Laurn, Bone, Maru, Bogus, J T, and the time ship Popo.
The greatness of this game really can't be overstated. I thought he was exaggerating when a friend of mine describe Chrono Trigger as "god tier," but that really is one of the best descriptions I can think of. I still have several other big title 16-bit RPGs that I'm intending to play in the next few months, but from what Super Nintendo and Genesis RPGs I've played thus far, Chrono Trigger definitely reigns supreme. To call this game legendary is an understatement. It's not my favorite RPG of all time, but it's DEFINITELY high up on my list.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.