Is Chrono Trigger the greatest Role Playing Game? Perhaps not, but without question it is the most revered. Even Final Fantasy isn’t looked upon with the same reverence as this Super Nintendo classic. Why is that? Why is Chrono Trigger seen at or near the precipice of the RPG genre? I think the reasons lie in its simplicity.
Chrono Trigger is designed splendidly. There’s no wasted elements, no need to grind gameplay for hours, no need to farm gold, or sit through cutscenes. It’s the perfect length, just right difficulty, and streamlined story that make it a great game to play even today.
The premise isn’t shockingly original, it’s just done right! As the main protagonist Crono you’ll band together with heroes from different time periods to battle an evil that has blighted the entire world in the past, present, and future. The game goes from the dawn of man, to middle ages and into the distant future to uncover the fate of the planet.
Battles are your typical turn-based affair: you take a turn to attack, then the baddies do the same…blah, blah, blah – If you’ve played an RPG its nothing new! What makes battles a joy is the team unity. The “Tech” system combines two, to three party member abilities into a light show of a strike. Each character has his or her unique magic and set of skills that can then be mixed and matched together to form these powerful attacks. It’s these dual and triple tech’s that make diversifying your party a fruitful choice as every group combination has it’s own dynamic battle fusion.
I’ll admit 10 dollars is a steep price to pay for a nearly 17 year old game. Great games don’t become bad games because they get old though. And shelling out a little extra cash for one of the best on a mobile platform was a no brainer for a diehard like me.
How does this time-traveling adventure fair on the iPhone is the question -- Exceptionally well, is the short answer. Navigating the world with the virtual joystick placed on screen isn’t a big deal because there’s no need for precise movements when not in battle. Combat takes some getting use to. Most of the commands are initiated with a swipe across the screen: to either switch the enemy you wish to attack or the specific ability you wish to use.
It’s not as fast as simply pressing a button. It’s just not. So battles can take a minute or two longer than they would on the original console version – which makes setting the enemy attacks to “Wait” more important. If left on “Active” monsters will attack relentlessly making fights a tad more stressful to handle on the iPhone.
How you navigate and control takes some time. But once you figure it out Chrono Trigger on the iPhone is a picture prefect transition. This retro gem maintains it’s charm years after it’s release. I’ve written about my love for this masterpiece before as it’s among my favorite games of all time.
What makes it so is the complete package of art, story, music, and just plain fun that culminates into a game that should be played by everyone. As RPG’s go look no further, if you want to play what many consider the best, and you haven’t yet, check out Chrono Trigger on the iPhone, you wont be disappointed.