Chrono Trigger Updated Hands-On

We travel through time and train monsters in this classic RPG.

by

Hailed as one of the greatest games of all time, Chrono Trigger has shipped more than 2.5 million copies worldwide since its original release in 1995. In 2001, it was rereleased alongside Final Fantasy IV in a Final Fantasy Chronicles bundle that eventually made it onto Sony's Greatest Hits list. Now it heads for Nintendo's handheld, where it retains the same look it had back in '95 and keeps the full-motion videos that were added in the PlayStation version. This time around, you can play the game with the touch screen if you choose, and Square Enix has added a new dungeon as well as a battle arena where you can raise your own pet monster and pit it against a non-player character's or friend's pet over local Wi-Fi.

Meet Crono and his friends as they embark on an extraordinary adventure through time.

Chrono Trigger follows young Crono, a silent, spiky-haired individual who, thankfully, is quite handy with a sword. He attends the Millennial Fair to see his friend Lucca and her new invention; on the way, he bumps into a tomboyish young girl by the name of Marle. Without giving away too much of the story, the three of them, along with a cast of other colorful characters, end up on an adventure that will take them through time and possibly alter the course of history. Even better, multiple endings to the game ensure that the outcome can be different each time you play.

Part of what made Chrono Trigger so much fun the first time around was the fighting system. Instead of waging random battles, enemies are seen onscreen and you initiate the fight by approaching them. The game uses an active time-battle system, which means that enemies will continue to hit you while you're trying to figure out what commands to input. You have the option to switch to a wait mode, which pauses the game when you make a selection. Each character has a gauge that fills automatically, so you'll know when your character's next turn will be. All the playable characters in the game come with their own tech skills--special abilities that cost magic points to use. As your characters get stronger, they'll learn dual techs and even triple techs that they can perform with their party members to unleash a more powerful attack. As the game progresses, some characters will even gain the ability to use magic. If you're playing in the touch-screen mode, you can use the stylus to choose among attack, tech, and item; but if you're used to turn-based RPGs by now, you'll feel more comfortable using the D pad and A button during fights.

Those familiar with the story may remember a place called the End of Time, which acts as a gateway to all the different time periods. The new battle arena, the Arena of Ages, can be accessed from this point, as well as from the main menu. You'll have to load your current save file to enter, since everything that takes place there will be tied to your game (more specifically, to your bank account). The Arena of Ages is where you can train your very own monster and put it up against an NPC opponent or a friend who also has a monster that's ready for battle. The stable master at the arena will allow you to choose one of four round blobs with arms and legs to start off with. Each color of monster--red, blue, yellow, and purple--is attached to a particular element: fire, water, light, and shadow, respectively. Their affinity can change depending on the items you give it, but what you're trying to do is to train it by sending it off to a different time period so that when it comes back, it'll be stronger. Each time period will increase different stats, so you'll have to advance through the main story for your monster to have access to them. You can purchase various items from this area to give to your monster, both to train with as well as to use in battle.

You'll even be able to travel to the End of Time.

Before entering your monster into a fight, you have to choose what tier you want to participate in. The fees go up depending on the tier, but the prizes are better. You're also facing tougher opponents, so be sure to go in prepared with items. When you're monster is fighting, you don't give any commands. All you do is watch the fight unravel and provide your bubbly pet items to use, whether they're healing items, enhancement items, or attack items. You can give it only one at a time, so choose wisely. You also need to build trust between your pet, which increases its chance of using the item. The bond between you and your pet will go up with every battle, so it's smart to balance your training with your fighting. With only one copy of the game, we weren't able to play against a live opponent, but the general concept should be the same. This is a somewhat bizarre new addition to an RPG and a simple distraction for those who want something to do on the side. It's not mandatory, but it seems that you could potentially get some good items out of it.

Chrono Trigger on the DS should bring back fond memories of 1995 with its 2D visuals and glowing soundtrack. The tunes really make an impact, and you can always go to the extras menu to listen to each track that you've come across. Akira Toriyama's artwork is also included in a gallery, and you can watch the full-motion videos again and again. A bestiary and item encyclopedia are also included for your convenience, and having the touch-screen option really helps organize information regarding your characters and their techs and items during the game. Be sure to check back for our full review when Chrono Trigger is released on November 25.

Discussion

228 comments
linkman3
linkman3

Ive played the original one but never finished it so gonna beat this one

Chronologo
Chronologo

a great game is back, what made this game unique were the variety of paths and endings you can take, so this one is a must have to all the classic rpg's fans

SnakeVenom3000
SnakeVenom3000

I loved this game. I have the original Cart on my SNES and I have the Final Fantasy IV in a Final Fantasy Chronicles bundle and beat them both. I cant wait to play this on my DS.

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

One of the best RPGs of all time, respect. And I look forward to playing it all over again on my DS :).

Sumotaii
Sumotaii

One of my most fav. games ever. What a time slot for me as a gamer. Chrono Trigger, Street Fighter 4, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, Fallout 3...its like a return to the mid 90's for me. Twisted Metal on the PS3 to haha i love it. Oh and Tecmo Bowl which i still play on my NES.

N-REAL
N-REAL

This was a terrific game back in 1995. I played it to its fullest more than 10 years ago! I would get a DS only for this game. I hope the younger generations of gamers enjoy this game as much as I did back in the SNES era. :)

batman_is_me
batman_is_me

never played crono trigger before, but i hear nothing but good things about it, i'll hafta pick this one up

WilliamRLBaker
WilliamRLBaker

And yet again square will likely prove people will buy any thing as long as they make a rebrand change. CT DS is not worth 40 dollars let alone 10 dollars, Ill play it but not buy it.... As well could they not atleast add an filter to improve the graphics they should be spot on a snes resolution game on an higher resolution DS? but they look like crap the pixelization is so extremely bad.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Playing Chrono trigger on a big screen was a blast!But playing it wherever u go its just...AWESOME!

dragonvizard
dragonvizard

Kinda of wish they upgraded the graphics.

SnoopyvsRyu
SnoopyvsRyu

cool no tengo un nintendo ds pero se que definitivamente el juego es increible en sns no digamos en ds va a ser mejor yo soy jugador de pc. Cool don't have a nintendo dv but i definitly know this game rocks on snes and on ds i know will be bether i am a pc player.

dachyhound13
dachyhound13

i'll need to remember to keep my eye on this one.

Charlix
Charlix

I can´t wait for this game it was awesome, i played it and finished, but with the bad end jeje. Lavos the final boss is so tought.

omega300
omega300

i can't wait until get here

nuke939
nuke939

I have it on a Super Nintendo emulator, but I'm still going to buy it for the DS (Chrono on the road wooooo!) Chrono Trigger is pretty much one of the best RPG's ever made =D

planetvash112
planetvash112

Nice, now I'll be able to play this game once and for all. :) Thanks Square.

blackjacktodd
blackjacktodd

I played Chrono Trigger on the Snes and it was one of my favourite games. It was great and im really excited for this one. Great story and its really long too. Even though they are not adding anything new to it I think it will defenetly be worth it.

CapedCod
CapedCod

Bout time. I remember when they were talking about re-releasing this for the GBA.

wogboypaul
wogboypaul

i hope this will intrege me more than the blood SNES version :) but other than that, it looks good, should be great

ratamahat
ratamahat

Wow, this is what I call a nice re-pack. Neato stuff included. And for a game that is already worth replaying again and again! I've been waiting for Square-Enix to do this for many years. Chrono Trigger was never released in Europe, so a lot of people are now up for the game of their life. One of my absolute favourite games, alltime!

Sunrie
Sunrie

Outstanding! I'm looking forward to having the animated videos, but no gaming lag. Also, the addition of a Monster Rancher style mini-game is a boon for me as well. This game was and always will be one of my all time favorites, so it's a definitely buy for me.

scyth01
scyth01

I loved this game, infact I still have the snes game.

oblivionownn
oblivionownn

Looks just as good as the original. Expect a great game from Square-Enix

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

really looking forward to this, hopefully if it sells well the franchise will continue on the current gen consoles.

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

cool, hope i can get it =]

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

I loved this game for everything it stood for ... i just hope they make for more hidden plots and more time based side-stories for us to get involved in ... and hopefully one or two more time zones to visit and expand the story!

quantumtheo
quantumtheo

the first time I played this game was on an emulator on one of my first pc's.... played through the whole damn thing :) wish i had a ds....

Kirnl
Kirnl

WELL WELL WELL nintendo is gonna make one of the greatest games of all times and put it on a second rate handheld GG nintendo. -.- they ruined FFIII and FFIV and now they wanna RUIN chrono trigger. and whats squareenix thinking even signing any deal with nintendo. -.- the mind boggles.

neoman101-8528
neoman101-8528

I've seen the show on one of those anime sites but thats all

ZabuzaR
ZabuzaR

I remember playing the original as a kid. I just can't wait till this game comes out!

nathanmhose
nathanmhose

Having never played Chrono Trigger, I'm excited to see what this fabled RPG is about. The extras (that is touch controls and a monster arena) do seem kind of lackluster. Nathan

ShirkDawg
ShirkDawg

I can't believe that some people want this to be remade in the same way as FFIII and FFIV. The art style for the DS remakes looks terrible. I've played FFIV multiple times, including the DS game and I was extremely disappointed by the blurry 3D graphics. Before they actually looked stylish even though the graphics weren't nearly as good as CT or SoM but the 3D look killed it for me.

ShirkDawg
ShirkDawg

I thought Chrono Cross was awesome but Xenosaga wasn't nearly as good as Xenogears. The music was a disappointment considering it was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. I think too many people expected Chrono Cross to just be a continuation of CT, but after reading previews I didn't expect that at all. Before playing the game, I was disappointed with the change in art style but I realized how natural everything looked once I played the game. The story was impressive, not as good as Xenogears or FFT, but how it dealt with fate made it interesting.

Krytikal1986
Krytikal1986

So, does the PS1 FMV's mean that the game will be a port of the PS1 version?

R3last
R3last

I'd actually like a real sequel to this or Xenogears. Chrono Cross and XenoSaga didn't cut it.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

This is that rare type game that gets you all warm and fuzzy when you play it.

Hazzerz
Hazzerz

Wonderful, keep wasting our time with yet another pointless remake when fans have been literally begging for a proper sequel to Chrono Cross for years now...nearly a decade. Square has really gone into the toilet. What a joke >.>

knilybrik
knilybrik

i haven't played the original, i might get this though

lostn
lostn

"this game is going to be one the best games of the year , the super-nes one was epic this one looks much better" Graphics are the same as the SNES game from 1995. "this should be a great addition to my my ds collection of snes remakes that i enjoyed replaying many times over" It's not a remake, it's just a port with some minor added features. And were you being sarcastic?

blackhawk101
blackhawk101

I wish it had gotten the FFIII and IV treatment. I can just break out my old SNES if I wanted to play the exact same game I played 10+ years ago.

hajjjustin
hajjjustin

man i loved this game but im not about to go out and buy it again. they released this game like 4 times with nothing realy new. what they need to do is release this game for the next gen system as a next gen game with upgraded graphics the same fignting system same music but with better music sounds same art work from Akira toriyama same story and same world and some new features. make it kinda like dragon quest 8.

DeadlyOnez
DeadlyOnez

nice now to work on the original FF7 for a handheld would be nice.

one_of_panda
one_of_panda

@Jadefury27 Learn how to study up on a topic before you post something. It has been said over and over that the psx videos will be included in the game.

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

this should be a great addition to my my ds collection of snes remakes that i enjoyed replaying many times over

jadefury27
jadefury27

hopefully it can include the cutscenes from the playstation re-release.