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  #1  
Old 07-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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Default LTTP: Chrono Trigger

So there's this thread about this game that most people don't like, and I was like, "Man, I should give that another shot." And then I was like, "Man, I should probably give the game it's a sequel to another shot." So I'm playing Chrono Trigger in a spirit of taking it on its own merits, instead of wanting it to be a Final Fantasy game.

So far, I'm just about to enter OBVIOUS BOSS ROOM in the Cathedral. I've renamed everyone because I can't just rename Crono, and I can't leave Crono with that absolutely terrible name. My party consists of:
Flynn the Goku!
Ashe the Bulma!
Frued* the Frog Knight!
Alias the Not A Princess! Note: Currently has ceased to exist after a surprisingly horrifying scene.


I gotta say, I'm not hating it. But I can still see why I didn't like it in the past. I'm really not fond of being able to walk around while talking to an NPC. It just feels... cheap and amateurish. The only only game I can think of that's let me do that canceled the conversation if you walked away, and I can't even remember what game that was. The battles feel like they have a lot of pressure to make decisions quickly in a way that other ATB games don't. Even when on Wait, enemies seem to just not care, and because of it, I haven't spent any time familiarizing myself with my party members. The battle menus are also crazy claustrophobic. Given how rapidly my party is accruing abilities, I should be able to see more than three commands at a time. In fact, everything about the battles feels really bizarrely cramped. I think it's the size of the sprites and how small the designated battle spots are. Also? That main menu? Terrible. Just shoulda stolen that from FF5 or 6. Though the equipment menu taken out of the context of the rest of the main menu is a thing of absolute beauty.

All of that said, there's clearly a really good game underneath all these things that rub me the wrong way. The way AoEs work is pretty interesting for the time, and I'm wondering if I'm gonna get any tools to manipulate enemy positioning or not. Battles themselves are super brisk, PS1 version of Chrono Trigger taking an hour to do anything aside. There's a lot of love put into all the animations, and stuff like how Lucca just up and smacks dudes with a hammer she has because reasons when she's close enough to an enemy. The on map encounters are pretty cool, too. It's even better than how modern Tales Of handles fights, seeing as those still cutaway to a battle scene. I'm fighting about as many battles as I would in a game with random encounters, but since those fights are given context, it feels a lot less annoying. Having all three characters command boxes be available at the same time is pretty elegant, though somewhat marred by the claustrophobic menu dealio. The music's pretty great, too!

So, I guess, wheeeee, Chrono Trigger.

*Intentional misspelling of Freud.
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
I gotta say, I'm not hating it. But I can still see why I didn't like it in the past.
This strikes me as super nitpicky given the number and magnitude of things you'd have to overlook in order to enjoy Chrono Cross.

The game only gets better from here. Chrono Trigger still has some of the best battle design in any game ever (even if it skews towards way too easy). You're in for a treat.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
The only only game I can think of that's let me do that canceled the conversation if you walked away, and I can't even remember what game that was.
It was Xenogears. Also apparently you never played Secret of Mana, which I'm almost positive let you run across town with a text box up too.

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Even when on Wait, enemies seem to just not care
Just to double check, you know it only holds timers when you're in the middle of scrolling down magic/item lists like every other SNES Square game, right? Other wise the combo system wouldn't really work.

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Given how rapidly my party is accruing abilities, I should be able to see more than three commands at a time.
Every character only ever learns 8 abilities, over the entire course of the game... and really, at least one or two of those you shouldn't have by the end on your first time through unless you really stop and grind Nus for a while.

Granted, there's double techs on top of that, but there's only three per character pairing, and there's totally a menu where you can check what those do... plus it's generally pretty intuitive, what with everyone just having one element.

Chrono can hit things in wide areas, and zap things.
Lucca can set things on fire.
Frog can hit things, get things wet, and heal.

Chono+Lucca can set things on fire in wide areas.
Lucca+Frog can set things on fire in wide areas.

Chrono+Frog can hit things in wide areas, or really smack things with lightning/water.

When you get Marle back, hey, it's wide ice attacks and full party heals.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:00 PM
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I'm going to put it this way: Even though I had a Super Nintendo as a kid, I never played any of its RPGs. I was pretty young, and probably didn't really know what they were.

In the interest of playing more games I decided to try two of the most highly regarded ones even though I was in to my 20s at this point, ergo I had zero nostalgia for either. These were Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger.

I tried, but I could not get into FFVI. One of my favorite things about an RPG is the party and the characters therein. Everything about FFVI seemed minimalist to me. Characters joined at the drop of a hat and I didn't really get a sense of who they were or why they were there. This was after years of hearing how character rich this game was. I played for about six hours but I just couldn't see where people were coming from. I came to the conclusion that it was something that was impressive at the time, but doesn't hold up so well, and most of its praise is fueled by nostalgia.

Chrono Trigger, on the other hand, got me pretty much right away. The smaller cast seemed to allow for everyone else being much more developed and interesting and I liked the characters and setting immediately.

I think this is a sign, that me, a guy who's experiences with RPGs at that point had all been very modern, went back and played a game from two generations previous, that Chrono Trigger holds up extremely well.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Just to double check, you know it only holds timers when you're in the middle of scrolling down magic/item lists like every other SNES Square game, right? Other wise the combo system wouldn't really work.
Do I have to be actively scrolling through the menu, or is having the Magic/Item menu open suffice?


Also, I know my complaints are largely nitpicks, but they bother me really bad.

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Originally Posted by sheridanmovieguy View Post
FFVI vs Chrono Trigger
I felt pretty much the same about FFVI, though I stomached the game, even after a faulty GBA cart wiped my World of Ruin save. I guess I liked something about it to play it almost twice through.
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:06 PM
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Chrono Trigger is like Cowboy Bebop. I don't want to overhype it. I just tell people, "You should try this, it's good."
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
It was Xenogears. Also apparently you never played Secret of Mana, which I'm almost positive let you run across town with a text box up too.
The player who initiated the conversation had to wait but the other players could keep moving.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
Do I have to be actively scrolling through the menu, or is having the Magic/Item menu open suffice?


Also, I know my complaints are largely nitpicks, but they bother me really bad.
Just having it open stops time. If you're on the primary menu, or selecting a target for a basic attack, though, enemies can and will attack at this time.

Basically, if you aren't button-mashing, you'll notice it more.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
Do I have to be actively scrolling through the menu, or is having the Magic/Item menu open suffice?
Just have the menu open.

There's a game, and I can't remember if it's FF5 or CT or something else, where you could basically run away for free from any battle by holding down L+R with a menu button. (If it's FF5, they fixed it for GBA.)
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:09 PM
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Also, the game I was thinking of wasn't Xenogears. I've technically played that game, though. I didn't make it out of the starting town before deciding the text boxes weren't worth my time. I gave the game away after that. Can't remember to who, though...
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Just have the menu open.

There's a game, and I can't remember if it's FF5 or CT or something else, where you could basically run away for free from any battle by holding down L+R with a menu button. (If it's FF5, they fixed it for GBA.)
...You can run from battles in CT?
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
...You can run from battles in CT?
R+L

A tutorial guy told me!
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
...You can run from battles in CT?
You look away from the enemy for a few seconds and then everything goes blurry and when you wake up the enemy is gone.

Draw your own conclusions on what that really means.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LancerECNM View Post
R+L

A tutorial guy told me!
...Wait.

CT used shoulder buttons?

(this is a joke about how no battle in the game is hard enough to justify running away)
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:18 PM
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I have to say, the characters so far are really likable. It's gonna suck when I have more than three available. Like, out of the four I've met so far, I want four of them in my party. And there's one more I want in my party, too, so...
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:20 PM
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Chrono Trigger was way way way ahead of its time. Still one of the most fun, clean battle systems in any RPG to date. Beautiful soundtrack. Lovely character/monster design (I'm also a big Toriyama fanboy, so there's that). And still such a fantastic story to play through.

And hey, I feel like your gripes with the game are extremely nitpicky, but for the most part I just feel bad it's kept you from playing the game for this long. I consider it to be my favorite game of all time, so I'm also a bit jealous you get to experience it for the first time. Enjoy!!
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:35 PM
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Chrono Trigger is honestly STILL one of the best looking games ever made. Doesn't even need "for it's time" appended on there. I'm kinda surprised nobody ever really seems to give it an credit for playing around with camera angles before that was even really a concept.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
(this is a joke about how no battle in the game is hard enough to justify running away)
(you're trying too hard)
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2014, 02:42 PM
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Good thing that criminal justice thing didn't come back and bite me, like, immediately.

On the note of amazing graphics, the court room scene has got to be, hands down, the prettiest thing on the SNES. It's a quite clear predecessor to pre-rendered backgrounds. I already felt the graphics were a "missing link" as it were, between FF6 and FF7, but dayuuuuuuum, dat court room.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:45 PM
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The mountains in the background during your escape, too.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sheridanmovieguy View Post
Everything about FFVI seemed minimalist to me. Characters joined at the drop of a hat and I didn't really get a sense of who they were or why they were there. This was after years of hearing how character rich this game was. I played for about six hours but I just couldn't see where people were coming from. I came to the conclusion that it was something that was impressive at the time, but doesn't hold up so well, and most of its praise is fueled by nostalgia.
I donít even understand how this is a criticism you can make in contrast to Chrono Trigger. The central cast of FFVI has more depth than the collective of CT, easily. Six hours in is probably where you finally join the Returners and have to split everyone into 3 groups, and by that point you've only got 4 characters whose motives for joining the party are all justified by disliking the Empire and encountering Terraís magic powers. Then after that you get to play through 3 separate stories where 2 of those feature new characters (and both Cyan and Celes have good reasons for joining the party). Granted you donít see the full picture for most of FFVI's cast until the back end of the game, but thatís also true in CT and thereís still glimpses throughout the game of characterization (like, at the very beginning when Locke rescues Terra, or the flashback about Edgar and Sabin as kids).

...I'm gonna derail this thread, aren't I?
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:11 PM
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dat court room
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:16 PM
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...I'm gonna derail this thread, aren't I?
Considering Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are widely considered to be the JRPG gold standard, I don't think it's too out of line to bring up FF6 occasionally in a CT thread.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 9inchsamurai View Post
I donít even understand how this is a criticism you can make in contrast to Chrono Trigger. The central cast of FFVI has more depth than the collective of CT, easily. Six hours in is probably where you finally join the Returners and have to split everyone into 3 groups, and by that point you've only got 4 characters whose motives for joining the party are all justified by disliking the Empire and encountering Terraís magic powers. Then after that you get to play through 3 separate stories where 2 of those feature new characters (and both Cyan and Celes have good reasons for joining the party). Granted you donít see the full picture for most of FFVI's cast until the back end of the game, but thatís also true in CT and thereís still glimpses throughout the game of characterization (like, at the very beginning when Locke rescues Terra, or the flashback about Edgar and Sabin as kids).
I have never liked the excuse "Just play it a little longer, THEN it gets good." Chances are, if I'm going to like your RPG, six hours is more than enough time given for me to be convinced. In that time several characters should have been established, but everything at that point seemed pretty minimal. Most characters only got a few lines and I barely knew who they were. In most RPGs I had played at that point, I get a sense of who the party member is before they even join. The very brief scenes in FFVI did not have this happen.

You know what did? Chrono Trigger. So that's why I can make that criticism. CT established itself immediately, FFVI did not. I find the former very impressive for that reason.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:28 PM
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You could say FFVI didn't establish itself immediately, OR you could say it established strong character beats for virtually all its major characters immediately upon each one's introduction (Terra's decency and alienation, Locke's heroism, Edgar's breezy attitude, Kefka's madness, etc.), and then had you dig deeper into their motivations and back stories later on. Which is what I'd say. FFVI establishes its world, its stakes and its characters quite clearly and quickly ó it just tips them all over and changes the plot halfway through.

Chrono Trigger's great, but its central three characters are kids, and their personalities (excepting Crono, who has none) are pretty basic archetypes. They don't have much to delve into. And that's fine. But Frog, Robo and Magus are the interesting ones, and they take a bit to really get to.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:32 PM
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Locke, Edgar, and Sabin get at least as much background as Marle, Lucca, and Frog before they join you. FFVI isn't underwritten; it's just not overwritten. Nearly every line is important and serves to establish or reinforce character traits.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:34 PM
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Here is my point: I went into both of these games blind with zero nostalgia after I had spent several years playing modern RPGs.

One seemed like a game limited by the times it was created in, with minimal character and story. Maybe it turns into some wordy grand epic later, but in the time I played I could tell you character names and single over-exaggerated feature about that character, which to me doesn't mean deep. The other seemed very well crafted on both of those counts and, in fact, seemed ahead of its time.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheridanmovieguy View Post
Most characters only got a few lines and I barely knew who they were. In most RPGs I had played at that point, I get a sense of who the party member is before they even join. The very brief scenes in FFVI did not have this happen.
But like...that's just not true? That early in the game, Sabin has the weakest introduction and there actually is optional information you can gather about him before his proper introduction (via NPCs). Not to mention the boss fight before he actually joins you already establishes who he is and why he's on the mountain in the first place. But Edgar, Terra, and Locke certainly get plenty of dialogue that early on...because they're the only characters. So I honestly have no idea how far you made it into the game to make this criticism.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:44 PM
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Pretty sure whatever Sheridan pulled from FFVI is what he pulled from FFVI, no matter how much you tell him his experience was different.

Maybe it's how much more... vibrant the CT crew is? Everyone's animations are doing a lot to establish more of their personality, whereas everyone in FF6 is pretty clearly made with the same underlying template.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheridanmovieguy View Post
Here is my point: I went into both of these games blind with zero nostalgia after I had spent several years playing modern RPGs.

One seemed like a game limited by the times it was created in, with minimal character and story. Maybe it turns into some wordy grand epic later, but in the time I played I could tell you character names and single over-exaggerated feature about that character, which to me doesn't mean deep. The other seemed very well crafted on both of those counts and, in fact, seemed ahead of its time.
I'd challenge you to re-visit FF6. Your first impressions are... well, they're just wrong. Not sure how else to describe them. You're telling us that each character as they're introduced are 1-dimensional and over-exaggerated, but pick any character, and you're given at least three aspects of their personality to swish around within the first few lines of dialogue of their introduction.

Edgar, for example, is shown on the surface as a womanizer, but then shortly thereafter you get a glimpse of how he despises politics (namely the Empire in general) when he's told Kefka is arriving. And then, a few moments later, we see how he was shuffled into being a king at such a young age (which, although this isn't applicable to my point, you later discover he took the kingdom upon himself to save his younger brother the grief of doing so).

Look, all I'm saying is FF6 is pretty damn great, and you're doing yourself a horrible disservice by not playing it.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kishi View Post
It's amusing to me how the audience for Crono and the King's trials is larger than the attendance for the Millennial Fair and Moonlight Festival combined.

...which reminds me: did BOTH trials happen in the same day?
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