I'm not really an RPG person. I never finished a Final Fantasy because of annoying characters, boring Level Grinding, a sense of confusion over what I was supposed to be doing, or some combination of the above. But Chrono Trigger avoids these problems, perhaps making it an RPG so good that even people who don't usually like the genre can enjoy it. The story is simple but effective, a quest to change the future that ends up improving the past along the way. Combat is lively thanks to happening in real-time, incorporating area-of-effect attacks, and of course the Tech system. If you don't shy away from enemies, your party will usually be strong enough for whatever boss you face next, though they'll still but up a good fight. And even though you're faced with a crop of sidequests before the end of the game, the overall plotting is nice and tight, and the sidequests in question tend to be tied into one of the characters, allowing them to add to the story instead of just padding out game time. The characters themselves deserve mention, as they all manage to have genuine depth and personality beyond their name and innate element. Though you can summarize them with a single Wiki Word, there's more to them than that simple description, and no one on the list of examples is quite like them. You may find yourself enjoying the New Game Plus feature with different parties just to see how the cast interacts with each other. Throw in superb graphics for its time and an absolutely phenomenal soundtrack, and it's easy to see why this game's a classic, a game that's comparatively short compared to the four-disc epics of today, but oh-so-sweet. The DS rerelease manages to improve an already Woolseyied translation and throws in animated cutscenes, which don't necessarily add much, but at least feature remastered pieces of an already excellent soundtrack. The bonus content is more problematic: the Lost Sanctum is tedious, I was never interested in the Pokemon-esque arena, and though the extended endings help bridge the gap to Chrono Cross, they don't add much to Chrono Trigger. But overall I would say the new version is preferable to a simple port of the SNES version, and a must-have for fans of the original or anyone interested in a great game.
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