Chrono Trigger Review
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Chrono Trigger Review

Our Review by Rob Rich on December 16th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TIME-WARPED
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One of the most beloved RPGs of all time (no pun intended) has popped-up on the App Store. Have the years been kind to this 16-bit legend?

Developer: SQUARE ENIX
Price: $9.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Ask anyone what their favorite Super Nintendo RPG is and there's a very good chance they'll answer Chrono Trigger without a moment's hesitation. I mean it is one of, if not the most respected, admired and loved role-playing games ever. The game has seen its fair share of ports since the glory days, including an appearance on a compilation set for the PlayStation and a much more recent Nintendo DS iteration. Now it's out for Apple devices.

Chrono Trigger is a game about a young boy's accidental time-traveling whirlwind adventure. He and his friends will travel through the ages, even to the end of time itself, in order to prevent the end of all things. Almost everything in the SNES original (what did they do to Frog's dialogue???) is present, while two new dungeons introduced in the DS port (The Dimensional Vortex and The Lost Sanctum) have also been included. And, of course, there's a new set of touch controls.

Chrono Trigger is pretty much a direct port, so almost everything the original fans loved is still here (why Frog? Whyyyyyyy?????). Each character, location, twist, turn and "tech" is accounted for. But this is considered one of the best RPGs ever for a reason, and it still holds up incredibly well over fifteen years on. Someone who's never experienced the original adventure us just as apt to get swept up in it as they would have been back in 1995. Which makes what I'm about to say next fairly depressing.

If Chrono Trigger didn't have it's legacy it just might have been ignored this time around. Because of the controls, sadly. I respect and even applaud Square for using the "drag anywhere" virtual stick, along with the "tap anywhere" interaction controls, but it's a very flawed system. It's not real analog, so Chrono ends up running into walls (and enemies) a lot. It also makes lining up in order to speak to an NPC much more taxing than it has to be (i.e. multiple passes). Worst of all is how it affects combat. Now, I love the way I can just tap-tap and perform my previously selected actions without thinking, but having to drag to select a target just doesn't work well. More often than not, I'll either attack the wrong enemy or just stand there doing nothing while they get free hits in. And this is when the game was set to "Wait" mode.

Even so, this is still a classic and still a fantastic game that needs to be played by any and all RPG lovers. The controls can be very, very irritating at times but the core experience, characters and storyline have weathered the storm of porting and still provide as much enjoyment as they ever had. I'm still kind of cheesed-off by the butchering of Frog's script, though.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 1 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 2 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 3 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 4 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 5

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 6 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 7 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 8 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 9 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 10

Apple TV Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 11 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 12 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 13 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 14 CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.) screenshot 15
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