Though my love for the Super Nintendo as well as my obsession with Chrono Trigger are well-documented, there were other 90s RPG titles that caught my interest and filled my socially reclusive days with hours of multi-colored, pixelated entertainment.
When people think about the classic RPGs from the Super Nintendo, the ones that always come to mind are Chrono Trigger, the Final Fantasy series, and Zelda: A Link to the Past. The game I’m reviewing today most closely resembles the latter.
Although I could never hate on the turn-based systems of combat presented in Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series, I’ve always had a thing for a more action-oriented approach. Much like the future action RPGs Kingdom Hearts or Dark Souls, this game was all about fighting in real time and casting magic on the fly. This game was Squaresoft’s answer to Zelda and a blast to play. The game I speak of is Secret of Mana.
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.
It was Christmas morning, 1991. A hyperactive, super-excited, greedy little version of myself crept down the steps of my childhood home after my father had given the go-ahead. He always had this annoying ritual of setting up the video camera before my sister and I could come to claim our rightful cornucopia of presents.
After opening what seemed like hundreds of lesser presents including action figures, hygiene products, movies, and unwanted clothing, the two of us were like two starving puppies wondering why the top item on both of our Christmas lists, the Super Nintendo, was nowhere to be found.
In what seemed at the time to be a heartlessly cruel jape, my parents exclaimed “Oh, it looks like you guys missed one!” and proceeded to produce a nondescript box covered in reindeer wrapping paper. As we hastily tore the useless adornments from the magically mysterious final gift, we realized it was what we had always dreamed of. Finally, the glistening gray and purple rectangular prism of infinite awesomeness was presented to us. As our eyes glazed over and our mouths gaped open in wide wonder, we realized that we were now official owners of a SUPER NINTENDO.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (aka Super Famicom, Super NES, SNES, Super Nintendo, or Jesus Christ incarnate) is a 16-bit video game console that was unleashed upon the adoring Nintendo-centric public in North America in 1991.
The 90s movies.net staff spends so much time watching 90s movies that some might find it hard to believe that we can find time to play 90s video games. We’ll always make room for the classics.
Mario Mario (yes, his last name is also Mario) is a beloved video game character whose reach and appeal spans all generations, IQs, and demographics. His colorful, pixelated worlds existed across many different video game systems, genres, and languages. The pudgy little plumber transcends all boundaries. Let’s just say the man has pull.
With the Super Nintendo Entertainment system in its pinnacle of popularity, it was unthinkable that Nintendo’s main man and his sidescrolling super video game series took a four year hiatus after Mario’s initial launch game. For gamers, however, it was a blessing in disguise as we were presented with one of the finest 2-D sidescrollers ever conceived of: Yoshi’s Island.
Nintendo decided to try something new with this game and begged for fans to leave their preconceived notions about their favorite Italian stallion at the door. The plot of the game takes the form of a prequel. Baby Mario and baby Luigi are newborns on their way home when, suddenly, they are attacked by Kamek, a magical koopa wizard and the main protagonist of the game. Kamek only manages to get a hold of baby Luigi as baby Mario is sent hurling to the ground and winds up on Yoshi’s Island. The Yoshis discover the adorable little tyke and decide to undertake a quest to reunite the brothers and defeat the evil Kamek and his minions.
I was a snot-nosed little rabscallion when I was introduced to, quite possibly, the most influential and inspiring piece of software ever to grace a home console system. In all my years of being entranced by bright pixels and engrossing game worlds, I had never been captivated by a game so completely as by Chrono Trigger on the SNES.
Chrono Trigger, at its core, is a game about a ragtag group of adventurers spanning many time periods who must work together to prevent global destruction at the hands of a being known only as Lavos. Throughout the epic journey, players are engaged with fully-developed characters and an intriguing and well-crafted storyline that still reigns supreme, in my mind, as the greatest game of all time.