Chrono Trigger: One of the Best RPG Games of all Time

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Chrono Trigger SNES box art One of my fondest gaming memories as a child was playing my first RPG on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). No, it wasn’t the Legend of Zelda, but it was another popular RPG, one that made me fall in love with that genre of video games. That game was the first Chrono Trigger (not to be confused with the Chrono Cross sequel made for the PlayStation system or the Chrono Trigger remake for the Nintendo DS). Chrono Trigger’s graphics would be laughable by today’s standards, but as I always say, graphics don’t always make a game. The first thing that caught my eye was that soon after entering the name for the character (the system asked you for your name back then, I believe), the game started using it in the text. It may not seem like that big of a deal today, but considering that I was around 10 or 11 when the game came out, I was amazed by the feature. Today, anyone can program that feature using Quick Basic, but that’s beside the point. The Japanese RPG also forced me to think more than any platformer I had played before. I grew up on brain-dead games like Super Mario, so being challenged to make smart decisions was new for me. I wanted more and found myself quickly trying to find whatever spare time I could dedicate to completing the adventure. I didn’t forgo my basic human needs and social life, but there may have been times when I did my homework the morning it was due. I loved it that much. There was one big problem, however, and it’s not what you think. You see, I was a renter of Chrono Trigger and not an owner. In other words, I had to take it back at some point in time. As hard as I tried to hold on to it, my parents forced me to take it back after my fourth time re-rented the game. With the only video rental store in my small town soon closing down, I never saw that version of Chrono Trigger again. Today, a cartridge of the original Chrono Trigger is still rather rare, and currently costs anywhere from $70 to $100 on Amazon, more than virtually any modern-day video game. I find it saddening that it’s one of the few RPGs that I never finished. I never picked up the sequel or the DS version; however, I would like to try the DS version someday to see if it really is a true copy of the original, because the original was definitely one of the best RPGs that I have ever played (to date) and definitely the best RPG for its time. Game developers can learn a lot from Chrono Trigger, namely that exciting and interesting gameplay (including an interesting storyline) should always be priority number one. It doesn’t matter if you have computer killing graphics, if I’m bored within the first 10 minutes of the game. You’ll lose every time. However, if you have decent graphics (and sometimes even if you don’t), but you have a storyline that keeps people interested, you will see that you will gain a loyal following of fans just like Chrono Trigger has.

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