Square's classic SNES RPG, Chrono Trigger, has arrived on your smartphone (here's the iOS version). I'm old enough to remember the marketing blitz that built up the buzz around this game when first released on the Super Nintendo.
Chrono Trigger has been available for a while on the Square Enix Market, but only recently appeared on Google Play. With a heart full of nostalgia, I downloaded the game and dove back into the world of Chrono Trigger.
For those of you unfamiliar with Chrono Trigger, let me give you a quick overview of the story. The game focuses on young Chrono as he heads off to the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom of Guardia. At the festival, Chrono meets a girl that ends up setting the story in motion.
This girl manages to mysteriously disappear, and it's Chrono's task to chase after her and bring her back. This chance encounter quickly expands into a massive adventure spanning thousands of years and ultimately leaves the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
Thinking about the story brings back clear memories of playing the game. Chrono Trigger is well known for featuring one of the best RPG stories ever.
Let's take a look at how well the game makes the jump from SNES to smartphone.
First up, graphics. The game's graphics were amazing when they first came out, and the art style is still really impressive after all these years.
Compared with the SNES original, the graphics look a little blurry, but this might vary depending on the smartphone being used.
Nowadays, when games are all 3D and full of polygons, it's nice to go back and play a beautifully illustrated, high quality 2D game. Ah, the memories...
As expected, game controls are different for the smartphone version. You control Chrono by tapping on the screen, which brings up a joystick icon. You then slide in the direction you want Chrono to move. This allows you to change where you control Chrono so that your finger doesn't block the action on screen.
Unfortunately, this system is a little tough to get used to. I found myself bumping into barriers quite often due to unresponsive controls.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the battle system. Commands are chosen by swiping in different directions.
Compared to movement control, the battle system is a little bit better, but it's still a bit tough to use properly. I recommend switching the battle system from "active" (where enemies can attack while you are choosing commands) to "wait" (enemies wait for you to choose a command).
In what seems like a move to keep the time required for the initial download and install to a minimum, the initial download doesn't contain all the game data. After progressing through the story a bit, you'll be prompted to download more of the game, meaning you should connect to a wifi network before playing.
While it might just be an inherent problem for smartphone RPGs, the Android version of Chrono Trigger is quite a bit harder to control than the original, which is unfortunate.
Even with these problems, Chrono Trigger is still an awesome game. The story by itself makes up for any control-based shortcomings. If you've played Chrono Trigger before, you'll be able to fully relive the adventure of the original. If this is your first time, you'll definitely enjoy the game even though the controls could use some work.
The smartphone version also seems to contain the extras that were added to the Nintendo DS version of the game. Players who have only played the SNES version should try the smartphone version to see what was added.
Here are some other Square games available for Android:
Time played: about 1 hour
Device used: Galaxy S2 LTE (SC-03D)
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Last updated: 10/29/2012
Price: 1,200 yen
Compatibility: Android 2.2 or higher
Translation by Jason Morgan