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  • mjpilon 4:13 am on February 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , endurance run, , ,   

    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…

     
  • mjpilon 6:43 pm on February 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Chrono Trigger Completed

    Longer post to come but it’s Super Bowl Sunday… I have other things to attend to 😀 and for @feenwager, I’ll be rooting for your Giants as my Bills fandom prevents me from picking the Patriots.

     
  • mjpilon 3:52 am on January 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    Guess me and JRPGs still have a chance together: I am now 11.5 hours into Chrono Trigger on my DS (Start of part 29 for those following the Giantbomb endurance run) and am still inclined and motivated to keep going which is quite something for me – especially for anyone who knows my experience with JRPGs – i.e other than Super Mario RPG, there isn’t any because I usually quit within a couple of hours.

    Not ready to fully discuss my thoughts yet – other than to say, this is one JRPG where the mechanics hold up incredibly well for me and where the need to grind levels, other than on one occasion where I really needed a group heal tech I hadn’t acquired yet to beat a boss, has never presented itself. I have simply played through the game and the leveling has followed the increasing difficulty of enemies the whole way through. Well impressed so far…. more thoughts to come.

    Quick question to those who have completed the game: Anyone remember the approximate time for completion?? Just to get a sense of where I’m at exactly…. somehow I don’t think I’m very far :p

     
  • mjpilon 2:53 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    So I’ve taken the plunge and decided I will play Chrono Trigger alongside Giant Bomb’s endurance run. 2 hours in so far and it’s got me interested… we’ll see how far I can go with this.

    Also to @shingro you are a gentlemen and a scholar, good sir!! Totally un-necessary!

     
  • RedSwirl 10:27 pm on December 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    @bowlisimo @feenwager @mjpilon I say go for it. I didn’t get to play Chrono Trigger until the DS version came out either. Even though I only made it a little ways into it until taking an indefinite break (that happens a lot with me and handheld RPGs), that game made me wonder what the fuck was wrong with every JRPG that had come out since.

    Seriously. CT on the DS felt like a JRPG that had been made that year (2009 I think). It wasn’t just the care with which they ported it to the DS (touchscreen UI is perfect), but a lot of the core design felt more progressive than most of the JRPGs I played on the PS2, and this game came out in 1995. The combat system feels fluid, the exploration is smooth, and the narrative is quite dynamic with around a dozen endings. When people keep talking about how JRPGs are old fashioned, they commonly talk about how most of them still haven’t surpassed Chrono Trigger.

    I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here, but one of the issues with JRPGs (and maybe Japanese games in general) is that they don’t iterate off of their peers a whole lot. Over here, Halo will come out and now every shooter since follows that game’s basic UI framework – regenerating health, grenade button, etc. Gears comes out and we got cover systems and horde mode everywhere. Our developers recognize an evolving general “language”. If JRPG developers had all learned from CT and iterated off of that game back in the 90’s we wouldn’t be complaining about them so much today.

     
  • mjpilon 6:30 pm on December 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    @bowlisimo I am facing the same conundrum – I have the DS version just sitting next to me but just haven’t started it yet.

     
  • bowlisimo 5:59 pm on December 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , endurance run   

    @unmanneddrone lol, love your style, man.

    @squad Giantbomb is a few episodes into their Endurance Run for Chronotrigger; a game people never shut up about. Am I doing myself a disservice on this one? Man up and play it? Or sit back and enjoy Ryan Davis as “Brono”?

    @angryjedi DD Sunday sounds good.

     
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