“If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh” – Magus
What can I say about this game that everyone in the world hasn’t already…hmmm. Well, at points the path forward is a bit obtuse & requires too many leaps in logic to understand what should happen next. And the big problem with that is, if you’re on the wrong route, you won’t know it until you reach the end of the area where nothing happens. Then you backtrack out of the area, fighting the same enemies again (which can get a bit tedious)…anything else…
Ah screw it, THIS IS A GREAT GAME!! And people gush about it all the time for good reason. The story is compelling, the characters are fleshed out with interesting personalities and motivations. The gameplay is satisfying since it deviates from the standard JRPG combat system using the Active Time Battle system. The variety of magic & special moves alone are impressive but the real kicker is being able to combine special moves with your other party members to make an even more massively impressive attack! The art style was, and still is, gorgeous. The music in each area having a unique flair that makes it stand out even today (especially impressive given the SNES could only hold about 64mb of ram for ALL music including SFX). The unique animations provided to each character to flesh out their personalities (even the “mirror to the player character” Chrono)…need I go on?
And I know some of you are snidely reading this and saying, “But the story is soooo generic! Just another boy needs to save the world story.” But what you’re missing in-between that greater plot thread is EVERY OTHER STORY ELEMENT! What makes it compelling is not the overarching goal, but the understanding why Magus is such a dick. Understanding why Frog feels like he must ostracize himself forever. Understanding how Marle feels being trapped in a royal lineage she wants no part in. Understanding that Ayla likes to beat the shit outta everything.
You owe it to yourself to try this game out. Find a legally available copy of this game & play it. Especially now, since “Octopath Traveler” just released. You’ll realize that you actually don’t even need to play that one if you just check out Chrono Trigger. It’ll scratch that itch and more!