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Tag: chrono trigger

Conversation 009: Shooting the Shit and E-mails

It may take us six months, but we eventually hit you back with a show…!

When we realized (upon gorging on pizza and beer) that the core group was actually all together at the same time and had a free evening, we decided we may as well just go ahead and record a show! Episode nine of the podcast is the embodiment of everything the show aims to be — a bunch of friends sitting around pontificating about video games. Sometimes we say stupid things and sometimes we say brilliant things, but the end result is a good time, and hopefully with a few guys you want to hear from.

Andrew told us about playing everything from DJ Hero and Civilization IV. Jeff has been playing everything from Angry Birds to Boom Blox. Mike has been playing everything from Heavenly Sword to Final Fantasy 1. You all had e-mails with some top ten lists, and questions about everything ranging from English translation ambivalence to relationship advice.

For your amazing convenience, here are some of the iPhone and PC games we spoke about during the show, as well as one article:

Special thanks to all the folks who hung out with us the other night during the live recording of the episode! After you listen to the show to let us know what you think (and chime in on any of the opinions or questions), let us know how you best want to be notified about new posts and live recordings. Does the site warrant its own Twitter feed? A Facebook fan page? What do you think?

Enjoy! Hopefully we’ll see you again sooner than six months’ time! Expect some blog posts from all of us in the meantime, of course!

Seven Things That Have Blown Me Away In The Second 10 Hours Of “Chrono Trigger”

I was very concerned as I crossed the 10-hour mark in Chrono Trigger. Those first ten hours were amazingly good on so many different levels. The game had actually managed to deliver everything I wanted and anticipated. I loved the characters, the story, and all of the artistic elements that brought the package together. I commented that after sequences like the raiding of the Fiendlord’s Keep, I was afraid it had blown its proverbial load already, and while the rest of the game would probably be “good”… it would whimper on to the end like many RPGs of the day, hindered by an ever-growing cast of characters, poor pacing, and extraneous side-quests.

Thankfully, my fears were completely unjustified.

(OK, minus this “Inner Sanctum” area which was apparently new for the DS version. That’s pretty awful.)

To be fair, the second ten hours are not as good as the first ten. The game introduces so many of its iconic styles and mannerisms that even when variations on them are introduced with perfect execution later on, they do not have the same impact as the first go ’round. Do not misunderstand — like I said, the game has been amazing, and a “Not Jaw-Droppingly Amazing Chrono Trigger Sequence” is still leaps and bounds above most of the other garbage I have tried before.

It is with this game that I continue to question my gaming habits and supposed preferences. I have dabbled into so many different genres and play styles in the last two years that I no longer feel like I have any particular allegiance to a type of game, or even specific franchises. I joke to the wife how there was a monkey bridge in Link’s Awakening… lo and behold, monkeys come to the rescue as I watch her replay Twilight Princess. I look around in shock, wondering if I’m the crazy one that does not love the play style of New Super Mario Bros. with its floaty-controls. I compare the two above examples, coming down harshly on one series for recycling an old trope, while simultaneously criticizing another for not being familiar enough, and wonder how I can be so hypocritical.

That may be the subject matter for another article in the future, though. For now, Chrono Trigger is the sole subject of my attention.  I sit wide-eyed on the train, during lunch, and on the couch at home as I clutch my DS. A game from 15 years ago — a game that I should have played and yet continuously overlooked — is one of the reasons I have been questioning my supposed gaming affiliations. With 20 hours now sunk into the game, here is a list of things that have blown me away in those second 10 hours. Spoilers are in full effect.

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Seven Things That Have Blown Me Away In The First 10 Hours Of “Chrono Trigger”

Longtime Akira Toriyama fan. Playing Chrono Trigger fifteen years late. Check. In theory, I like Japanese role-playing games, but ultimately do not finish the vast majority of ones that I actually start. Gotcha. All caught up? Let’s talk about the game, now!

The following discussion will be filed under “Video Game Club” and placed behind a cut to prevent inadvertently spoiling the game for those who have not yet played it. You would think there would have to be a statute of limitations for games this old and discussions like this, but since someone like me is only just now getting to the game, I will be kind to the others who also hold their heads in shame!

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It’s True! I Started “Chrono Trigger”

Alert the presses! Headline of the year, right here: “Toriyama Fanboy Plays Acclaimed Game 15 Years Late“.

Despite running a DragonBall fansite since 1998 (and being a fan of the series for a few years before that), I have many embarrassing stories to tell. While I have read a good chunk of Dr. Slump and own things like Kajika, I have never played a Dragon Quest game, and even worse… I have never played Chrono Trigger.

Despite being a huge fan of its character designer, and despite knowing that it had a “dream-team” of producers working on it, I never played the game back during the SNES days. I had only begun to dabble into RPGs at the time, and would not make any real commitment to one until Final Fantasy VII in 1997. Despite its re-release on the PS1 years later, no matter how many times I told myself to check it out, I never got around to it. Despite receiving it as a Christmas gift from the wife a year ago, it has not had an opportunity to jump into my DS. (Hey, the system saw plenty of action over the last twelve months — Retro Game Challenge was one of my favorite games of the last year.)

Well, that all changed last night. Mike, a.k.a. “VegettoEX”, a.k.a. “Supposed Toriyama Fanboy”, has played half an hour into Chrono Trigger.

Last night the wife and I got home from work, then the gym, and then dinner… and decided we were just too exhausted to do anything. I was planning on playing some more Uncharted 2, but that seemed like it would require more of an attention span than I was willing to give. After putzing around for a while, I decided that an RPG would fill the gaming itch perfectly. I could lounge around and play a game without needing to aim at someone’s head with a tranquilizer gun in an action game, or pull off a frame-perfect counter attack in a fighting game.

I am already enjoying it immensely. Things happen almost immediately from the get-go, giving you a sense of both scale, as well as cause and effect. I dig the music a whole lot, some of which I already know from listening to the included bonus CD a few times over the last year. I have only just reached the point where Lucca meets up with Crono back where Marle had disappeared to (is that vague enough to not spoil any of the first damn thirty minutes?), but that was more than enough to solidify my interest. I am sure you will hear my thoughts on the battle system, character motifs, art style direction, and more as I make my way further into the game.

More than anything else, I am happy to say that I have discovered why I kept accidentally referring to the RPG in Retro Game Challenge as “Guardia Quest” instead of “Guadia Quest” — the kingdom that Chrono Crono (hehe!) comes from is called “Guardia”, which I must have inadvertently run into and unconsciously absorbed over the years.

How about you all? So many of you have playfully criticized me for never playing the game. Without spoiling anything for me, what is it about the game that makes you hold it in such high regard? If you are in the same boat as me, what are your excuses (valid or otherwise!) for never playing it? This is your one chance to give me Hell!

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