Archive for December, 2008

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It’s That Time Of Year…

December 19, 2008

How Akuma Stole Christmas

Screw Christmas music in all the stores. Every time this gets posted to Shoryuken.com I know it’s the holiday season again. (Click Next at the top to go from page to page.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, etc. etc. to all of you! And thank you for reading!

pat m.

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Chrono Trigger DS

December 2, 2008

I’ve been playing through the Chrono Trigger DS remake lately. Yeah, it’s still Chrono Trigger, with a few new gimmicks here and there to spice things up. Worth playing if you never played it on the SNES or PSX, but if you’ve already gone through it a few times you might want to save your time and money. If you haven’t played it, you might want to avoid reading this, as there are mild spoilers.

- The new monster raising mode seems pretty boring so far, and unless it changes dramatically later in the game (I’m almost at the Black Omen) I wouldn’t really bother with it. Sure, you could probably get some nice items from it all, but by the time you can fight the high-level battles your party is already probably pretty dominating.

- For better or for worse, the game was retranslated. The game reads much more smoothly now (“The finest in defensive equipment for my, daughter!” has been fixed, thankfully) but Frog’s accent has been removed to make him speak more like everyone else from the Middle Ages.

-I had never noticed this before, but the game was almost perfectly designed for handhelds from the start. Even though there is no quicksave option, the dungeons tend to be short enough that you can finish one in ten minutes or so. The game is meant to be broken up into small manageable chunks, and with the exception of the new dungeon, it doesn’t keep you in any one place long enough to really get bored. 

- The new dungeon was thoroughly disappointing for a few reasons. Disappointing Reason #1: It took me a few hours to get through, not because it was particularly difficult, but because you had to keep on walking back and forth between essentially what amounted to the same seven screens or so. I think I climbed that stupid mountain at least fifteen times. What’s more, each screen has an annoying unavoidable fight that does nothing but make the fetch quests you’re sent on even more of a pain in the ass. Do yourself a favor and use a FAQ to save yourself one or two redundant trips, at least. The reward items are nice, but half the stuff isn’t as good as your end-game equipment (which you can get very easily before you do the Lost Sanctum) and the stuff that is good doesn’t really mean much because the game pretty much peaks in difficulty at the Ocean Palace. I never understood why people bothered getting their characters all up to level 99/max statistics in this game because it’s not like there’s anything that really gets hard to kill after level 60 or so. I hear there’s a new ending, and a new last boss. Maybe I’ll need to be really buff for that one.

-Disappointing Reason #2: I found the end of the second fight with the Reptites to be one of the more poignant moments in the game; Team Crono has basically been fighting to ensure the survival of the human race, and the Reptites have all been total jackasses up until this point, but once you beat Azala he reminds you that he was basically doing the same thing for his people, and since he lost, the Reptites were doomed to extinction. Even Ayla, despite the fact that she was engaged in a life-or-death struggle with all Reptite-kind, seems to be surprisingly understanding and even sympathetic towards Azala. Considering that non-human, Other monsters are so easily written as straight evil characters without any particular nuance, I thought that Azala’s send-off was really well done. What’s more, the effects were permanent – the only Reptite you see in the game after that fight is running in the races at the Millenial Fair – which is something unusual for a game that’s all about traveling in time to fix things. You can bring Crono back, you can put Cyrus’s spirit to rest, but you can’t make the Reptites and humans co-exist…

…That is, until you go to the Lost Sanctum and discover there’s a whole town of Reptites left. Guess you just killed the Asshole Reptites.

pat m.

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