time travelling robots

So, my wife loves me: she bought me Final Fantasy Chronicles for Valentine’s Day. Since I’m still (intermittantly) replaying FF7, I thought I’d steer clear of FF4 for now and work on the other game in the package: Chrono Trigger.

I’d heard its praises sung, and I’m pretty cool with anything related to time travel. Also, I had a lot of remixes of its music; I figured if people were willing to spend time on /that/…

Anyway, on to the game. Why is it that nearly every RPG begins with Mom waking me up? Maybe it’s a reference to some early masterpiece; maybe it’s become a part of the formulate. I find it annoying. Beyond being hackneyed, it just enforces that the PC is a kid – and will still be a kid at the end of the game, despite having 91203 HP and the ability to summon The Whore of Babylon. I just don’t buy that crap!

With that out of my system, I’ll get to the good stuff which, so far, is just about everything.

There was a little bit of whats-next hunting, but for the most part the first scenes of the game were better than usual. I felt like I was really exploring a new area, and time even seemed to pass without too-obvious triggers. I’ve felt like my goals have been pretty urgent so far, too, which is good. Unfortunately, it’s bad, too, because it means that I’m not interested in looking behind every rock for side quests. I like side quests, but an RPG needs to make you feel like you have time for them, if they want you to take them!

This game is pretty early in the days of Square’s “active time battle” system, and it seems much harder than I’m used to; the monsters can often attack pretty quickly. I like it! In fact, I died fighting the first boss, and that hasn’t happened to me in a while. It’s nice to play an RPG that isn’t mostly a cakewalk.

So far, I haven’t been at a loss to find What’s Next, which is also important. Then again, I’m only about three hours into it.

I’ve also enjoyed spending some time in The Future. Now, I grant that most of the game seems to be set in a fantasy or steampunk setting, but there has been at least some time spent wandering around between broken domes infested by crazy robots and machines that keep people alive but miserable. I am all about dystopia!

More on Chrono Trigger, and its ability to keep my interest, as I continue…

Written on February 21, 2003
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