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Chrono Trigger

Platform(s): Nintendo DS
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: Nov. 25, 2008

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NDS Preview - 'Chrono Trigger'

by Matt Olsen on Sept. 4, 2008 @ 5:21 a.m. PDT

When a newly developed teleportation device malfunctions at the Millennial Fair, young Crono must travel through time to rescue his unfortunate companion from an intricate web of past and present perils.

Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: November 25, 2008

Chrono Trigger on the SNES is my favorite game of all time. The first time I played it in 1995, I was a youngling and wasn't very serious about gaming, but my time with the title is what changed me into the frenzied RPG fanboy that I am today. Everything about the original Chrono Trigger was awesome, but before I start to ramble on and on about it ….

Chrono Trigger DS is the second re-release of the game, with the first one being part of the Final Fantasy Chronicles compilation for the PlayStation in 2001, which included animated cut scenes. The DS version retains these scenes, which I observed in the opening animation when the console had been left idle. A noticeable thing about Chrono Trigger DS is how similar the characters look to those of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Quest; this is due to the fact that they're all drawn by the same artist, Akira Toriyama. With that said, all of the original sprites and environments retain their original forms, which is good, because they still hold up pretty well today.

Like the graphics, the music and sound effects are still the same memorable tunes. One of the main reasons I love Chrono Trigger so much is because of its epic soundtrack. From all of the characters' catchy themes to the emotional sad themes and the classic main theme, these melodies are the standard I hold for all gaming music.

With all this talk about what's has remained the same, what has been done to enhance Chrono Trigger DS? The gameplay is still the same, but it utilizes some of the touch-screen features of the DS. You can move the protagonist, Crono, with either the d-pad or the stylus to indicate the direction in which you want him to travel. All of the action occurs on the top screen, but the bottom screen serves as all of your menus. You can still play the game in the traditional way by pressing the X button to open up your menus, and there are also some nifty icons — config, item, status, etc. — on the touch-screen that open specific parts of the menu. Also on the touch screen is a map, which appears mostly hidden but will reveal more of the area as you explore.

Like the field commands, you can use either the face buttons or the touch-screen to input battle commands. Since I prefer precise commands, I chose to use the buttons instead. A couple of minor features are the inclusion of two bars that appear above each character's head. One bar displays his health, and the other displays the progress of the active time bar that determines when a character can take a turn.

Other features that are going to be included are a brand new dungeon and some wireless capabilities. The demo I played took place during the prison section, which is fairly early in the game, so I didn't get the chance to check out the new dungeon or try the wireless modes.

I've played through the original Chrono Trigger dozens of times, so going through it again may not be worth it for me. I may pick up the title to check out the new dungeon, and because I'm obligated to purchase everything by Square Enix. If you're one of the five people who hasn't played this masterpiece, Chrono Trigger DS should be a mandatory purchase.


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