Retrospective: Chrono Trigger (1995)

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GAME: Chrono Trigger
PLATFORM: SNES
DEVELOPER: Square
RELEASE DATE: 1995

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear—I love JRPGs. They have become a major part of my life since I began to explore the genre in high school. Whenever a new year is on the horizon, I always find myself reinvigorated in terms of new games to explore. And so as we transitioned from 2017 to 2018, I decided I wanted to take my first look at a game that happens to be as old as I am: Chrono Trigger.

The best part about all of this is that I’ve somehow managed to keep my knowledge of this game to an absolute minimum over the years, be it the plot, characters… Hell, I didn’t even know what kind of a battle system the game had. But immediately after booting it up for the first time and seeing the mesmerizing pendulum in the intro, I knew I was in for something special.

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Not the slightest bit to my surprise, Chrono Trigger had my immediate attention within mere minutes of starting the game. Seeing the sunrise in Crono’s bedroom, exploring the overworld map for the first time, and visiting the Millennial Fair all made for an extremely blissful beginning. But as previously mentioned, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the battle system, as one traditionally does with these kinds of games. I quite frankly knew nothing about what combat was like here, but I quickly began to realize the depth of it, especially for a game of its time. Having the option to essentially do battles in a slower turn-based fashion, or in a more thought-invoking action style is quite commendable. All of the different tactics to experiment with across the different characters and tinkering around with combinations was simply a blast.

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At its core, Chrono Trigger is a grand tale of time travel, filled to the brim with interesting characters, addictive combat, an unforgettable soundtrack, and multiple endings. I just finished the game and have already begun pondering ways of approaching future playthroughs.

I never had any doubts for this game, and delving headfirst into it allowed me to reaffirm my love for the genre. If you have any interest whatsoever in retro games and/or JRPGs, please make an effort to play this at some point. You won’t regret it.

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