As I’ve said before a million times over, Chrono Trigger is my favorite video game of all time. I take time out at least once a year to replay the game from start to finish. I’ve gotten every ending innumerable times. I’ve maxed out characters, collected multiple copies of every item in the game and have generally OBSESSED over the gorgeous world of pixels that Squaresoft (now Square Enix) created since the first time I laid eyes on it. I absolutely love this game.
With that being said and for those of you not in the know, Chrono Trigger was a turn-based RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment system. Released during the later years of the console, it’s a critically-acclaimed and forever beloved example of a perfect roleplaying game. With a brilliant and memorable music score, an intriguing storyline, unforgettable characters, and a well-executed concept of time travel and its effects, Chrono Trigger is as close to perfection as a video game can get.
I’ve already written about the game extensively, but I thought I would reiterate for anyone who missed it the first time around.
This game pushed the limits of the console as well as innovated the RPG genre by making it possible to travel to different time periods of the same world and complete tasks and make decisions that can affect that same world in the future. Hopping across time, you could see just what effect your actions and heroism had on future generations.
Recently, Square Enix has seen fit to port Chrono Trigger to Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices.
The game’s presentation was always a big part of its appeal, as it had a great feeling of control and the battles were not random like they were in the Final Fantasy series. Instead, you could see the enemies on screen before you approached them and the battleground was the background you were already standing on. You really felt like a part of the game world while the fights were going on.
Disappointingly, the lack of a controller really shows the limitations of the iPhone and iPod as gaming devices, because the kind of turn-based battles that are the focal point of the game aren’t as easily-controlled on these smaller, touch-based mediums. If you’re really having trouble with control on these devices, scour the web and shops for an old Super Nintendo console and, of course, the video game itself–unless you were totally smart and saved them! Either way, you never know when a boredom attack can happen, maybe it will take place on your Doc’s reception furniture that you’ve been tossing and turning in for hours. So it’s always nice to have this game on hand to be played anywhere your phone or tablet device has service.
In order to plan your battles accordingly, including the phenomenally cool combo magic attacks, you have to deal with the confines of a clunky control system. The virtual commands present in this version are quite annoying at times, and I found myself making mistakes that I would’ve never made on the Super Nintendo version. The touch screen could have been integrated far more seamlessly into the game as a way to use items and magic and navigate menus instead of pointless and unresponsive gestures.
The graphics were also a big part of the presentation and, in this iteration, they seem sharper and the in-game menus and text have been enhanced. Only diehard purists would have a bone to pick about how it looks.
Despite its shortcomings, however, Chrono Trigger is still a great game and a few minor hiccups don’t take away from that fact. For $10, there’s not too much out there with as much depth and crowd-pleasing fun. I’d still highly recommend it, but I have to take off a point for the lazy port job Square Enix pushed out its doors. With a few optimizations, this could’ve easily been a perfect 5/5. It’s quite obvious that this game stands the test of time and will be remembered and played for generations to come.