|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Square Enix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 21, 2008 - By now we've seen that the DS is a great vehicle for remaking old games. From classic NES and SNES standards like Final Fantasy III and the upcoming Kirby Super Star, to overlooked gems like Shiren the Wanderer. But for the first time, the DS is getting a remake of one of the most influential games in RPG history. One that arguably changed the face of gaming and made an incredible impact on the industry: Chrono Trigger.
Universally hailed as a masterpiece, Chrono Trigger tells the heartfelt story of one boy's quest to save a beautiful girl, which becomes an epic quest across time to save the world. With 20 different ending scenarios possible, this game really set the standard for non-linear gameplay more than a decade ago.
It is because this game worked so well 13 years ago that the new DS version will be an almost exact replica of the original. Everything you knew and loved from the first offering will be here, from the chunky sprites to the funky music. There have been no visual upgrades, and purists will probably rejoice at how faithfully their favorite game has been ported over to the DS. Although the standard version of the game uses both of the DS screens (the second screen just shows a map), there is an option to turn off the second screen and play it exactly the way you remember it.
In addition to the dual screen option, there are also new control choices as well. It definitely wouldn't be a DS port without some type of touch screen functionality and at least this one is minimal, and most importantly, optional. If the mood strikes you, however, you will be able to use the stylus to move your character around and to select menu items. But if you don't, you can keep the stylus firmly in its slot and play the game just fine with the standard button controls.
Speaking of the controls, they aren't exactly the same as the SNES controls you might remember, but for the most part, they're close enough. The shoulder buttons are probably what will take the most getting used to and are employed for changing menu pages (either left or right) or can be held to run away from battle. Aside from that, the control structure remains very similar to the original. The X button will be used menus, the A button will be your action key, and the B will be used for dash.
In addition to the single-player mode, it has been confirmed that there will also be Wi-Fi support for up to four players. Exact details as to how this mechanic will work are scarce, but one would hope an additional mode will be available for drop-in multiplayer that doesn't require too much commitment.
As far as we've heard, Chrono Trigger is pretty far in development, and the English translation is coming along nicely. It seems to be on track for its upcoming release this holiday season, and it will definitely be a hit for both veteran gamers who fondly remember the title as well as new gamers who never got the chance to experience the original.
Of course, now that Chrono Trigger is coming back into the spotlight, one can't help but wonder could this be the precursor to the fabled and ill-fated Chrono Break? There will also be a whole new dungeon to play through in Chrono Trigger, and you can bet fans around the world would rejoice if the events that transpire in this dungeon could somehow be interpreted as having something to do with the cancelled sequel. Let the speculation begin!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer