Retro: VC Weekly #164

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

This edition marks a very special occasion for video-game fans as it's not every day that a spectacular RPG previously unreleased in Europe arrives on the Virtual Console service. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Chrono Trigger

Points: 900
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Squaresoft
Released: 1995
System: SNES

While here in Europe we have been graced with a DS remake of Chrono Trigger in recent years, when it comes to the original we've never actually had the pleasure of playing this wondrous game owing to its release only in Japan and USA; until now that is. Yes the game that is considered by many to be not only one of the best SNES games ever made but also one of the greatest RPG's of all time is now available in its original form for the first time in Europe and it's all thanks to the Virtual Console along with Square-Enix finally seeing fit to release it.

After all these years I'm sure that many of you are wondering just how good the game is, assuming of course you haven't imported the game by now � which I did myself a few years back � well let me state right now that it is quite honestly one of the finest and more importantly most memorable RPG's that I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. There's just so much to love from the fantastic cast of characters, lavish locations, tightly scripted story and much more besides that all comes together in a uniquely charming way.

Breaking it down your party travel across a world map but unlike Final Fantasy there are no random encounters as these are saved for when you enter each area and though it's undeniable that time travel plays a prominent part in the game it's the battles themselves that really make the adventure. Utilising the ATB (Active-Time-Battle) system as a base there are some notable improvements namely the ability to use Techs which are specific moves that can do epic amounts of damage to enemies, these can be combined across party members for double and triple attacks which you'll be using a lot as there are some particularly fierce battles later on.

Many games within the genre are guilty of including random encounters at alarmingly annoying rates but here you can actually see the enemies before either battling them or choosing to avoid some; this is most refreshing also there isn't a huge amount of grinding needed, only if you so choose to which also speeds things along. Not that you'd want to rush through of course because you'll want to get strong to a point plus there's plenty to discover in the games vast world throughout the various time-zones plus thirteen different endings that are obtainable; this is an epic in the truest sense of the word.

From a visual standpoint Chrono Trigger is easily one of the most beautifully crafted games of its generation featuring a lavish amount of detail accompanied by colours so rich and vibrant that they make the world believable, taking it from being just 'another RPG' to an experience like no other. But of course this would still be all for nought if the music wasn't up to scratch but thankfully this never even enters your head for the aural accompaniments are astounding and the score - composed mainly by Yasunori Mitsuda along with Nobuo Uematsu � is nothing short of a modern-day masterpiece which becomes the heart and soul of this unforgettable adventure.

Quite simply this is one of the most memorable RPG's you are ever likely to play on any console and for that reason alone it comes highly recommended, it's so well polished in all the areas you'd expect but also manages to surprise and delight in ways that you wouldn't have thought previously possible. This title is responsible for raising the bar within its genre far beyond reach of any who try to imitate it and remains testament to its excellence to this very day; if you've yet to play this then you should consider yourself fortunate that there is an experience so spectacular just waiting for you to download and enjoy, don't even consider the price-tag for the feeling of reward gained from playing is priceless.

Verdict : A truly terrific and timeless classic.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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