Saturday, June 16, 2012

Top 50 Video Games: Number 4

Platform: SNES
Absurdly Specific Genre: Deaf-Mutes Saving the World
Difficulty: 4
Beaten: Yes

When I first came up with the idea of making this list, I knew that that it would take a while (though it has ended up taking a lot longer than I thought, because I'm lazy and time was hard to come by for a while), and there was a good chance that I was going to play some damned good games in between the initial posting of number 50 and the list's completion. So I cheated. The original list had 45, and I gambled that I'd find five additional games over the course of the list. Some games, like Red Dead Redemption, were natural fits, but I figured that this would also be a good time to revisit some classics that I was just never able to get into before to see what I'd missed. Chrono Trigger was one of those games. I got a lot more than I bargained for.

In much the same way that a visit to the millennial fair ends up being a little more exciting than planned.

I don't even know why it never clicked back in the day. I sort of recall not liking the concept art that I saw, even though the game is easily the prettiest game on the SNES. This time, though, I was hooked like I haven't been hooked by a video game in years. I got home from work and flicked on the TV, enjoying myself fully and wholeheartedly.

The music in this game is absolute top notch. Even Linds enjoyed some of the themes (she did recognize the main overworld theme from Video Games Live, so that surely helped). The different lands you travel to (and the time-travel mechanic in general) are all flawless. The characters that make up your party are well-rounded and interesting. The battle system is probably my favorite of all RPGs of any console.

You can stick a sword into an enemy's noggin then hit the sword with lightning. Best fighting ever.
It's a fair point that Lavos isn't exactly the most compelling villain - he does pretty much define "giant space flea from nowhere" - but if ever there was a game that was about the journey, and not the destination, this is it. I made sure that I hit every side mission I could possibly find, I took every chance to dive into the mythos and gameplay of the world that I was presented.

I might not have figured it all out the first time, but I'm almost glad it happened this way. I got a special experience where I wasn't expecting one, well after


  1. Hard to find many flaws with this game. When I was younger, I pursued about five of the like 18 possible endings, but the final battle with Lavos is so dull that I gave up. Now I can probably just watch those endings on YouTube.

    I guess Lavos is the weak point. Not only do I not care about its evilness, but the final battle is one of those "impossible until you figure out the trick, then it's easy but time-consuming"

  2. Agreed. Lavos is the weak point all around. Chrono Trigger is way less about the ending than the destination (but, you know, in a just sort of dull way... not in a soul-crushing "we came all this way for this!?" feeling that certain recent games' endings have had.

  3. Well, I'm with y'all all around. I love this game but Lavos is ass on toast.

    I stalled for about - I'm not exaggerating - ten years about halfway through this game. When I went back I played the whole thing through, after I'd played Chrono Cross through twice. I really dug it.

    The music from the Millennium Fair plays in my head all the damned time. I loved the music throughout. My closest thing to another gripe with this is the old RPG trope of a boss having a million, jillion hit points, then joining the good side and having as many as the people on your team.