3. Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger SNES Front Cover

Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Year: 1995
Platform: SNES, DS, Playstation, PS3, PSP, Wii, iPhone, Android

I heard how awesome this game was for five years before I finally put some serious cash down for it on eBay. It blew away all expectation I had. While the characters are only about average as far as RPGs go, it has my favorite battle system and an incredible plot that spans multiple timelines with significant choices the player can make to alter events.

The fact that I love this game despite not caring about any of the characters speaks to the incredible gameplay. Battles are similar to previous Final Fantasy titles in that it utilizes the Active Time Battles that require you to be on your toes. That’s where the similarities end, however. Borrowing from the greatest things about Mystic Quest, all enemies are visible on the screen, allowing you to never be surprised or unprepared for battle. Not only that, the position of the monsters matters as well. Are they huddled together? Some attacks work better, others worse. Are they in a straight line? Same thing. Not only that, your characters actually work as a unit in battle rather than individual automatons. There are special attacks that can be done as a duo or trio to pack a punch if you plan things right. I can’t remember feeling exhausted by the battles like I eventually do in nearly every other RPG. In fact, I looked forward to them.

Chrono Trigger SNES Fighting some weird creatures in a devastated laboratory

Another feature of this game which was hyped was the multiple endings, 13 to be exact. They’re certainly neat, though not the game’s biggest draw, especially since many of the endings cannot be realistically found until after you’ve won the game in the regular way. Still, for those who like to be completionists, it’s certainly more fun than collecting items or fighting impossibly hard monsters. Even better, is that the multiple sidequests in this game actually serve the character development rather than just being there to get better weapons.

Chrono Trigger SNES Prehistoric age

I guess what I appreciate the most about Chrono Trigger is how user-friendly it is from beginning to end, despite its complexity. It’s a very relaxing game to play without dumbing things down. I own the DS version (that has some minor enhancements, and another ending!) but have never bothered to play it.

6 thoughts on “3. Chrono Trigger”

  1. I downloaded an emulator and this rom so I can play it at home (FF4 is becoming my lunch break activity at work.) I’m really enjoying going back to these RPGs I never played back in the day because I had a Genesis.

      1. I did not. I wasn’t really an RPG kind of kid at that point, though since then I’ve heard great things too. Another one to toss on the ROM pile.

  2. Sidequests that serve the characters make me happy.

    I got stuck on this game about 30 hours in initially and was stuck there for years before playing it as an adult and wondering where I even got myself stuck. I definitely loved it, but I wish I’d played through it at the time.

    I liked it plenty but reminders of the scenes, the plot and the enemy orientation have me jonesing to play it again.

    However, I hate when games have multiple endings. Tell your story and let that be that.

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