In this turn-based Japanese RPG, young Crono must travel through time through a misfunctioning teleporter to rescue his misfortunate companion and take part in an intricate web of past and present perils. The adventure that ensues soon unveils an evil force set to destroy the world, triggering Crono's race against time to change the course of history and bring about a brighter future.
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I feel like Chrono Trigger was what the previous nine years of JRPGs were building up to.
For a little bit of context, the week before I started Chrono Trigger, I had finally brought myself to complete Final Fantasy IV after months of putting the end on hold. Thinking about the JRPG genre and my relationship with it, I listed out some wants out of the genre as I continued to dive deeper into it.
Five days later, I started Chrono Trigger and found it satisfying basically everything I'd put on that list, and then some.
If Chrono Trigger was just another JRPG that happened to address my issues with the genre, I'd be very happy with it.
But the game has clearly gone far beyond being just a good game in the genre. Many others have put into words far better than I can about this game's triumphs and accomplishments, but I can say this much:
- Chrono Trigger makes me feel far more accomplished about figuring out a boss's strategy, and working around it to steamroll enemies I'd initially struggled against, than any other JRPG I've played so far.
- A few weeks into having finished Chrono Trigger, I find that it's still in the back of my mind, latched somewhere - and I think that's the testament of a very uniquely fascinating game, just as I'd spent countless hours reading and thinking about games like Undertale and Super Mario Odyssey.
It's not a perfect game - I wish Crono talked, and I think its battle system has room for slight adjustments and improvements. But if those are the two wishes I find myself walking out of this game...
I'm convinced the nine years of JRPGs before this game were worth that very moment.