It has been a glorious few months for lovers of old 16-bit titles. Squaresoft’s wonderful Super Nintendo classic Secret of Mana arrived on the Wii’s Virtual Console in December. Now, Square Enix have released the equally brilliant Chrono Trigger on DS.
Chrono Trigger was never released in the UK back in 1995, which meant I had to import it from the US. Playing through it again 14 years later, it remains as much fun as it was back then.
The adventure starts in stereotypical manner, with Chrono, the central figure, undertaking a quest to find a missing princess. However, the story soon broadens out to become a memorable time travelling adventure, ripe with interesting and unusual characters and exotic locations to explore.
Unlike other RPGs of the mid-Nineties, there are no random battles in Chrono Trigger. Some enemies can be avoided if you wish, although skipping these encounters will leave your party underpowered as the game progresses.
Another benefit from battling monsters comes in the shape of the bestiary. This fantastic addition allows you to browse through all the monsters you've encountered and check out their stats. Filling all 246 slots is going to take quite some time and this feature adds a Pokemon-style flavour to the game.
Despite being 14 years old, Chrono Trigger's graphics and audio hold up extremely well. The colourful 16-bit visuals are excellent, while the soundtrack is magnificent.
Square Enix have added a few extras, including an improved script, two new areas and optional touch screen controls to make this the definitive version of this classic game.
If you enjoyed Secret of Mana or any of the old school Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger is an essential purchase. Despite its age, it is infinitely better than many of the bog-standard RPGs released over the last few years.
Images courtesy of Square Enix