|Reviewer: Judge489||Date: Aug 22, 2011|
|Seen as the "inferior" sequel to what's known as one of the best, if not THE best RPG of all time, Chrono Trigger, this game still amazes me with how much hate it gets, and I don't understand why. I actually played this game before I ever played Trigger. Heck, it's my favorite RPG of all time, even beating the Final Fantasy games, and of course, it's predecessor (just barely though).
I have shown people the opening cut-scene of this game, along with some of the gameplay, and they were amazed. They all thought that this game was for the PS2, and were stunned when I told them that it was for the original PlayStation. To me, it's on par, if not better, graphics wise with Final Fantasy X. Then environments are very well detailed, and very fun to explore.
The music catches the atmosphere of the game perfectly. From the battle music (boss, regular, and special battles), to the environments you explore, every piece of music fits perfectly. Sad music when a dramatic scene happens. Jungle appropriate music in Gaea's Navel. And probably the best boss music I've ever heard in any game. Period. This games soundtrack has won awards, and was even released as it's own compilation album. If that doesn't say something about the music, I don't know what will.
The gameplay mechanics are much different than most RPGs of the time. Yes, it's still turn based battles, but with a few nice twists. The most important one, you can choose between a Weak, Strong, and Fierce attack, and the hit percentages are shown next to each one. Weak attacks have a higher chance of hitting, but have a small payoff. Fierce attacks are the reverse. You can increase the percentages for each hit with every successful hit.
Another change to the formula is the magic system, as it gets rid of the the traditional MP system, and replaces it with an Element Grid. You attach your magic somewhat like you do equipment, however, in a Grid form. Each Element that is not a consumable (Tablets, Antidotes, etc.) can only be used once per battle, and can only be used after your Grid level gets to the level the spell (or element) is on. You increase your Grid level with normal attacks. Weak attacks increase it by 1, strong by 2, and fierce by 3. Every character has 3 their own Signature moves (Commonly known as "Egg moves"), learned at Grid Levels 3, 5, and 7. Some can even combined with other characters egg moves for "Super" moves. You gain these levels only from boss battles. You can use the "Stars" from these levels to summon creatures such as Salamander, Frog Prince, as well as others.
The last key change is the color system. Each character has an innate color, and can be used against whatever the opposite color is as either a strength or weakness. Each color is not only strong, but weak against whatever is the opposite color is. White and black are strong against each other, as is Blue and Red, and so is Yellow and Green. Depending on what color Element you use, you can increase the attacks of your characters. So, say you use 2 White Elements in a row. The field effect will be 2/3rds White, and all White innate characters will have an attack increase, as well as better resistance to their opposite color.
Realistically, a 9.7. This is almost the perfect game (in my opinion). Gameplay is very well done, the soundtrack is amazing, and the story and (most) of characters are very fun to follow.
One thing I should really note: Don't really think of this as a "pure sequel". Trigger is only really mentioned in the key moments of the game. Look at this as more of a "Reimagining" or an "Homage" to the original. Still, fantastic game, and can't recommend it enough.