Like clockwork, another Square-Enix RPG's time has come again.
Chrono Trigger always makes the top RPGs of all time lists, and there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. Of course, a new generation of gamers will finally have the chance to experience the masterpiece. Yet, the game does include a few new features, which I had a chance to try.
The core game has been largely untouched, unlike the recent Final Fantasy 3-D remakes, however, there have been some additions. For example, the second screen now displays a map and stats, and the touch screen can also be used to direct character movement as well as navigate menus. Additionally, the classic SNES control options are provided to approximate the original experience. The game also features a polished new translation, although the newly shrunken text size is a little small on the DS screen.
In the Square-Enix tradition of handheld ports, a new dungeon has been added, which will appear near the end of the game. Furthermore, a sound test, cut-scene library, bestiary, and even an item encyclopedia are also included. The DS rendition includes the anime cut-scenes that were created for the 1999 PlayStation re-release. These movies suffered from some compression artifacts, though I'm not sure if those already existed in the original, but it was still great to see them included.
The game also includes a new monster battle mode. In this sub-game, players train a monster to battle in a coliseum, which appears as a location much like The End of Time. Players first choose a monster from a set of four, each with a particular elemental affinity (color swaps of the Nu enemy). The monster gains abilities depending on which periods of time the player has visited within the game. During battle, the monsters fight autonomously, but they can be given healing and attack items by their trainers, though it is up to the monsters to decide when they will use them. One thing that may bring a smile to fans' faces is the fact that the monster battles feature the unused battle theme found in the original soundtrack and hidden in the original game. Players will also be able to battle each other wirelessly, through a local network connection.
While the new features don't add a lot to the actual main game, the extra polish and care is certainly appreciated. Gamers have long awaited the re-release of Chrono Trigger, and their time is almost here.