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  • mjpilon 4:13 am on February 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Double Fine, , , ,   

    Okay, finally have a moment to relay my thoughts about Chrono Trigger. Wall of text incoming.

    Initial feeling: Holy crap I actually beat a JRPG! The last one I can remember prior to this was Super Mario RPG (I don’t count the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi Games as they don’t strike me as “true” JRPGs but I will leave that to the experts around these parts). I’m not sure how much the story really kept me going or if it was just my “Goddamnit I finally need to do this” resolve that the Giant Bomb Endurance Run spurned on. Not to say that the story wasn’t engaging (far from it) but there was a time where I completely lost track of what the heck was going on because of all the time traveling and the effects of what my party was accomplishing in each era. The fight with Lavos also felt strangely anti-climatic because I accidentally started the fight when it first becomes available to you, so I knew that in the end, I needed to remember the patterns of the “bosses” I fought previously. The march through the Black Omen felt more like the true final battle because I didn’t know what was coming with the Queen.

    The game mechanics are what really got me. I am amazed at how well the game holds up after 18 years. The active combat system keeps the pace lively but doesn’t rush you through the point where you can’t think about your actions as you go. I never ran into the need to level grind – the game kept things lively enough so that my party was never at a disadvantage with the enemies at any stage. That eliminated a huge sore spot for me that usually dissuaded me from most JRPGs. The armour and weapon selection and upgrade process was also nicely streamlined – there is never a spot where you are really unsure about what to equip. There is always a clear choice which eliminates much headaches and the classic “inventory overload” syndrome that hits me usually.

    There are things from the game that are clearly rooted in 1994 which took time for me to get used to again. First, no clear quest log – I really needed to keep track of my activities and my conversations with NPCs. Second, the need to speak with every NPC because certain mission elements (despite my understanding of where to go without the queue) won’t activate unless you have the right conversation. Third, the translation – the DS version appears to have been fixed somewhat (compared to what Ryan Davis and Klepek dealt with on the SNES) but some of the tech descriptions made ABSOLUTELY no sense. Finally, the DS version saved me with the map that it has on the bottom screen – made backtracking a little less frustrating (but not really – WAY too much of that in this game and unnecessarily so especially given the re-generating enemies that pop up)

    Anyway, I truly enjoyed my experience and finally feel a slight weight lifted off my shoulders. Not sure I tempted to play that many more JRPGs but I’m open to suggestions from you on where to go from here on that front. Next up, I’m going to try and finish Bayonetta because I have unopened copies of Saints Row 3, Revelations, Uncharted 3 and Ico/SotC HD sitting here waiting for me. All the talk on the board here has convinced me to try Katawa Shoujo. Just downloaded it and while I will probably be on the @Feenwager side of this one, I figure why the hell not. Not costing me anything except my time.

    Quick hitters to end this:

    I use this moment to comment on the awesomeness of the Double Fine Kickstarter project. So happy that people (me included – went 30$ although the chance to be in the credits almost got me to 100$) were willing to pony up for a point-and-click adventure game. Beyond excited for this – especially for the documentary that will film the process. Interesting game changer here financially – although I hope most developers realize that this is only possible in certain situations and with a certain long-term credibility attached to them. I can’t wait for “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE” articles that we’ll get in the near future 😉

    Regarding the game scores topic, I have nothing to add to the debate except that you are all awesome and debates/conversations like that one are why I love the Squad 🙂

    Wall of Text complete.

    Off to bed I go…

     
  • bowlisimo 2:38 pm on February 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Double Fine,   

    Double Fine clearly has the love of the people, they raised half a million dollars in ONE day. Fuck you, corporate shareholders. Crowd sourced indie development is pretty cool.

    It’s a brave new world, now someone kickstart a new Freespace.

     
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