Chrono Trigger on iOS = FAIL?

Chrono Trigger (in Japanese accent = Kurono Toriga) is a classic Japanese Role Playing Game originally released for Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1995. It was produced, developed, and published by Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix). This legendary role-playing game was designed by three legendary designers too. Squaresoft called them the “Dream Team”. It included Akira Toriyama, the legendary mangaka (Japanese manga artist) that’s well-known for his work with the Dragon Ball series and Dragon Quest series. There was also the creator of Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Yuji Horii, a designer and the maker of Enix’s Dragon Quest series. The composer was supposed to be Yasunori Mitsuda, but because of an illness, the remaining tracks were deferred to Nobuo Uematsu, the world-famous Final Fantasy composer.

The game is considered the one of the best classic Japanese Role Playing Games in the history. The story is about a group of adventurers that travel through time to do heroic action of preventing global-wide catastrophe. There seven playable characters in the game. There are Crono, Marle, and Lucca that comes from 1000 AD, Robo the highly intelligent robot from 2300 AD, Ayla the primitive, demonly strong village chief from 65 million BC, and the last two are Magus and Frog from the era of AD 600.

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

The thing that made Chrono Trigger so special are its innovations. Like the encounters. Different from other classic J-RPGs, the monsters are visible. When your character bump the monster, the battle will start on that map, not on other battle screen. The battle system is notable. It is called “Active Time Battle 2.0” that was created for Final Fantasy IV. But this game’s battle features differ from Final Fantasy’s. Chrono Trigger has a Tech system that combines two or even three different techs from different characters like the Rocket Roll that is done by combining Crono’s Cyclone with Robo’s Laser Spin. Chrono Trigger also has exceptional gameplay elements like the time travel. Players can explore different eras. When time-travelling, players complete sidequests and find new allies. Even what you do in the past will affect the future like the Butterfly Effect. The game has 13 different endings. It depends on how you complete the last boss battle. It is also one of the first J-RPG that applies the New Game+ system.

Chrono Trigger has been ported to numerous platforms. In 1999, it is ported to Playstation just before Squaresoft released the sequel, Chrono Cross. The Playstation version got anime cutscenes. The Nintendo DS version was released in 2008. It has new user interface and added contents like new dungeons after the final boss called the Dimensional Vortex and the Lost Sanctum. This year, Chrono Trigger was also released for Wii that can be bought from Virtual Console download service. The PSN version was released on October 4th. Finally, comes the iOS release just about a week ago (December 9th). It costs $9.99. Compatible with iPhone 3Gs and above. Users of the 2nd generation iPods can’t play it in their iPod because it is only compatible with iPod 3rd generation and above. It includes the Dimensional Vortex and the Lost Sanctum. The description says that the Chrono Trigger will have optimized graphics for iOS. And the so-called “optimized” happens to be only user interface. The control is awkward and seriously not comfortable. Even though it will eat your drive space about half a gigabyte, the graphics even seems to be worse than the original.

Gonna spend your hard-earned money for the iOS version? I suggest you don’t! Buy another platform version or at least wait for Square Enix to fix the issues. After all, Chrono Trigger still is a high-quality game.