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!