I am led to believe from many claims of friends and professionals alike, that "Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPG's ever made, if not THE best". Having never had the chance to play it, I disdained and shrugged this statement aside for almost 10 years, and recently decided to pick it up for DS on a whim (as those of us who are earning usually do =/ ). Now, which side did I pick? "Nothing special", or "best RPG ever"? Besides the fact that I doubt the first group exists, I have indeed joined the latter.
For a start, the game manages to pull out a fairly decent storyline that allows you to care for the characters, and really gives some point to the quests that stand in your way between you and the final goal. Despite Crono's lack of speech, the other characters referencing / referring to traits of his gives the character some flesh (One of the main characters is actually his childhood friend). Whether it be the disgraced Frog, compassionate Lucca, or upbeat Marle, you're sure to find someone you can empathise with here - and none of them are annoying like some RPG characters these days. The storyline is superb really, and drives you back and forth between multiple time periods - the other strong point being that it's always obvious what is required of you by the game and you should rarely find yourself stuck with nowhere to go.
The locations and music are sublime, whether it be Guardia forest (taking on duller shades of green further back in time) and it's soft, heartwarming melody, to the post-apocalyptic proto domes of 2300 AD with the desolate music of those without hope, the setting and sound of the game is spot on. It will set the scene for you, and it really draws you into the situation - peace in the past, the plights of the future.
Gameplay is mainly split up over searching around the world for your way to the next goal, solving puzzles, and defeating bad guys while doing so. Fighting is never a chore, and most battles are different every time. Fighting is ATB (Guage fills, you take your turn), but enemy units are seen on the map, allowing you to choose your fights. What's more, enemies react and change formation throughout the battle with your three heroes, giving you strategic leverage (for instance leaving Crono active until those three blobs line up for one wind slash :D ) to manipulate the battle in your favour. All of the characters have significant use too, and none of them are redundant. Whether it be powerhouses Crono and Robo, healer Marle, long range fighter Lucca, or the versatile Frog, you will find a combination that works. Overall, the battle system is action packed, and really keeps you on your toes (I reccommend you play it on active, i.e. while you choose your actions, enemies are still able to attack).
So overall, what is there left to say about this game? It's an utter classic, and if you've never played it before, there's never been a better time to invest in such gold. If you have, why not reinvest in a trip down delicous memory lane. Every minute of this is essential, trust me. 10/10
+ Sublime battle system.
+ Varied and well-realised settings keep it all fresh.
+ Powerful storyline with strong characterisation.
+ Time travelling mechanic is intelligent and well used.
+ 13 different endings dependent on your actions.
+ Perfectly pitched difficulty with little need to grind.
+ Tons of DS extras.
+ Epic soundtrack.
+ Perfect conversion of it's retro ancestor.
- Why'd it have to take so damn long to reach us?!