Let me just start off by saying that the rerelease of Chrono Trigger is something I've been anticipating since the PS1 version totally disappointed me. Chrono Trigger is my favourite game and for some reason every console launch left me saying 'It would be great if they released Chrono Trigger again on this'. The virtual console brought this anticipation back to the current generation but I then decided that a portable version would be best. I've got to say I am in love all over again- but then again who isn't. That isn't what this blog is about. Lets talk about the differences square has brought to the table.
Chrono Trigger looks great on the DS. It's that simple. Square made a smart choice then in taking the battle menus down to the second screen. Not only are the battles enjoyed without obstruction but the commands have all been relegated to larger buttons on a very clean and efficient interface. There is also the option of touch control which could make things even faster than scrolling through with the dpad. To this point though I will say that scrolling through techs is a little easier with the dpad, due to the smaller arrow icons. A nice addition over all though.
The main changes in this port, as anybody could have guessed, come from the touch screen. The seperation of action and interface is a welcome change and while the interface never interfered with Chrono Trigger before, it is made more accessible here, and makes for an all around more streamlined
experience. The bottom screen houses a brand new, and rather detailed map of whatever area you are in. It reveals itself as you explore the world, simple. Most notable though are the shortcuts that surround it. Instead of hitting X players can now access their inventories and even save their game with one quick press.
I can't recall if in the original you could cycle through weapons, armor, accessories and whatnot (Maybe I shouldn't be writing this? Colette should write this. Anyways! ...) with the shoulder buttons (as you can with characters) but they did it here, and it is a great way to make equipping and healing as seamless as could be. It's an enjoyable experience and just seems better organized.
The red headed step child (I love red hair, don't hate me) of these additions though is the Touch movement. You drag the stylus around on the map which acts as a d-pad of sorts. Its rather clunky and actually even sort of confusing at first. For those hoping for a Phantom Hourglass or even FFIII sort of thing you will not find it here, but who really wanted to move Sprites around with a stylus anyway?
One thing I was excited about, even though some were rather put off by it, was the new translation. It is based on the original but it seems very fresh to me. Chrono Trigger always had a very well thought out and intricate plot, delivered in good enough dialogue, but this really solidifies it's narrative quality. It just seems a bit less elementary, a more detailed translation I suppose. Another thing that horrified long time fans of the game was the fact that Frog was no longer going to speak in 'Olde English'. Well Frog EVER spoke in Ye Olde English, in fact what he used was a rather broken form of early modern english, Thou this and thou that. It worked when I was 9 but is a bit ridiculous- especially considering that nobody else in his era really spoke like that. In this translation though all inhabitants from 600 AD speak differently from those in 1000 AD. Frog is no different. It just enhances the setting, whether your in the middle ages or in present day dialect makes it much more apparent to the player that these characters are from different times. In short, It's pretty nifty. I like it.
So I'm not sure if what I'm doing here is highlighting these changes for people on the fence, or if I'm merely expressing how fresh the whole experience feels to me even after all these years. I'm not through the game yet, but there are 2 new dungeons which my brother tells me are very 'deep'. There are some cool little things you can do but he didn't want to spoil anything for me. I've heard others say they're a bit pointless, but they are totally optional so...I still appreciate it. There are 2 new endings (If I remember correctly) one in particular that may upset fans (or excite them...Dun Dun Dun.)
Anyways, I have to add, when I saw this site. It was one of the most exciting things I had come across online. Definitely one of the greatest things Square has ever done, and I'm glad that so many more people will have the chance to experience it and finally own it! (I don't own the original and like I said the PS1 version became unplayable for me)
BUY THIS GAME.
Also, this is a call out to Colette, I'm specifically interested in your opinion of the port since you replay the game every year or so (If I'm not mistaken). You could probably write a MUCH better version of this than myself.