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Final Fantasy Chronicles

Publisher: Square Developer: Square
Reviewer: Hanley Chan Released: 6/29/01
Gameplay: 95% Control: 95%
Graphics: 65% Sound/Music: 95%
Story: 100% Overall: 90%


I wasn't too thrilled when I first heard about Final Fantasy Chronicles coming to the Playstation game console. I am not a big fan of classics (well I wasn't before I played Chronicles anyway) nor was I hooked on RPG's before I tried Final Fantasy VII. I mean, come on, this game is two console generations old, how could any game like that even compare to the games released today? How could anyone stand those old, ugly, and muddy graphics? Or those yucky sounds?

Boy, was I ever wrong about this. This great game is just as good if not better than most RPGs released today. It can easily stand alone as one of the greatest RPG's in video game history. This game brought back memories of why I started playing RPG's in the first place. The real question now is, can this outdated game be for everyone?

Final Fantasy 4

To many, Final Fantasy IV was the greatest Final Fantasy ever released, with perhaps the most memorable characters of any FF game (who could forget characters like the Dark Knight Cecil or the powerful twin mages Porom and Palom?)

There are many added features between In the Playstation version of the game. The addition of the sprint feature helps you run around places faster to quicken the game play. The game's dialogue is also improved from the old version to better understand the story. The greatest new feature is probably the addition of CG sequences.

Final Fantasy IV's gameplay is not like any other Final Fantasies'. For one, the battles are a lot harder. My party was annihilated many times by regular monsters, and I had to start all over again from my last save. This game is very difficult and takes a lot more strategy and skill to kill bosses when compared to today's Final Fantasies.

Final Fantasy IV introduced the revolutionary active time battle system (ATB), which was used in a lot of later Final Fantasies released. This game has a feature that allows up to 5 people in a battle at once, with many different character classes. There are many familiar spells and summons available in the game to help you in your journey.

The graphics for this game are very outdated. You might be shocked at the graphics if you are used to newer games. There is not much improvement in graphics, if any, in the Playstation version, but then again the great storyline easily makes up for it.

The sound effects for Final Fantasy 4, although outdated, fit in the game perfectly. The music that the game uses is perfect for every situation.

Unlike newer Final Fantasies, the story of Final Fantasy 4 is mainly told through dialogue and not video scenes. The story starts out when The Dark Knight Cecil, who is the captain of the Red Wings of Baron, takes the crystal from the people of Mysidia for the king. Cecil feels guilty about taking the crystal and asks the king what he plans to do. The king feels that Cecil has become disloyal so he strips him from command of the Red Wings and sets him out to deliver a package to the village of Mist, beginning an epic adventure. Final Fantasy IV is a beautiful story with what every Final Fantasy game has had, including love, revenge, and betrayal.

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger was released in 1996 near the end of the SNES's life. Back then I used to play this game all day and all night; whenever I had free time you'd see me playing this. This game was so addictive that one time I played through school. Replaying this classic adventure on the Playstation helped me realize why this game was so much fun. It wasn't the graphics or the sounds/music, but the great storyline and memorable characters that kept me playing. The storyline always kept me guessing what was going to happen next. This game is well deserved to be re-released.

As with FF4, the Playstation version of Chrono Trigger also includes a whole lot of new features. One really cool addition is the "extras" mode where you can have access to the theater, art gallery, music box, tech showcase, monster data, boss data, endings, and treasure map modes. The only thing bad in the game that's not featured in the SNES version is the loading times. The loading time isn't that bad, but it can really get frustrating at times.

Chrono Trigger's battle system is very different from most RPGs'. There are no random battles; instead, all the battles are fought on the overworld map. The awesome combo system is what makes battles really shine. Your party can work together by chaining up attacks to perform some really badass combos.

At the time, Chrono Trigger had some of the best graphics that the SNES had to offer. It really pushed the system's power to the limit. Sadly, just like with FF4, Chrono Triggers graphics are really outdated when compared to today's standards.

The newly added animated video scenes help the player understand the story a lot better. It starts in the year 1000 A.D. in the village of Truce when the local Millennial Fair is about to begin. A young teenage boy named Chrono, who is a resident in Truce village, with his newfound friend Marle, visits Lucca. Lucca has just finished building a teleporting machine, and Marle wants to give it a try, which turns out to be a big mistake. Marle's pendant somehow reacts with the teleporting device and she is sent into a portal, leaving her pendant behind on the pad. Chrono decides it's all his fault, so he takes the pendant and goes in after her. So begins the adventure of Chrono.

Chrono Trigger packs one of the best soundtracks for a SNES game. There are many memorable themes, and pretty soon you'll be humming some of the songs in your sleep just like me.

With all the good being said, Final Fantasy Chronicles isn't for some because with all the new technology nowadays some people expect better. For others, this game really packs a punch, with two solid classic RPG's that both show how outdated graphics can easily be forgotten with a great storyline and memorable characters. If you are a die-hard RPG fan, a Final Fantasy completist, or just looking for a game with a great storyline and don't mind the old school graphics then you can't go wrong with Final Fantasy Chronicles. Otherwise I suggest you stay away from this one and stick with the newer games.

Hanley
Chan

Beautiful cinemas are part and parcel of the redone Chrono Trigger.

Finally, gamers will get to play the long awaited true version of Final Fantasy IV.







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