When Chrono Trigger for iPhone was announced at the Tokyo Games Show back in September, RPG fans rejoiced! How does this port compare to previous Square Enix re-releases? The answer may surprise you.
“Journey to the forgotten past, the distant future, and even to the very End of Time. Whether you’re a first-time player or a longtime fan, this epic quest to save a planet’s future promises hours of enthralling adventure!”
At first, I was super excited to start playing one of my favorite RPG’s of all time. After playing for a few minutes, the 15 year old game looked dull of my phone and the 2D visuals were blurry at times. Comparing this version to the DS release, it’s clear that the DS version is much crisper and the colors are more vibrant. Overall, compared to other Square Enix re-releases, the presentation on Chrono Trigger was a disappointing.
The only problem I really had with this port was with the controls. The description says that this iOS port features “intuitive touch screen controls making the experience smoother than ever.” I disagree with the smoother than ever, the DS and Wii versions were much smoother than this iOS version.
The game uses a virtual stick that can be placed wherever you press on the screen, and you can also tap anywhere to interact with NPC’s/skip text. The stick is not fully analog however, and I found myself running into walls quite often. I also had a terrible time trying to speak with NPC’s as I couldn’t line up next to them. In combat, selecting a target requires you to drag on the screen to select a target. This either has you attacking the wrong enemy or missing a command and taking unnecessary hits. The controls were absolutely abysmal.
Ok, the controls aren’t the best and I’m afraid that the gameplay will suffer a bit because of it. What Chrono Trigger did when it was released, was remove the random turn-based battles and replaced them with semi-real-time encounters. Unfortunately the touch-based controls aren’t the best for the frantic gameplay. In addition to time travel, the game also features eras of the game world’s history, and past actions will affect future events in the game.
I think hardcore fans will still appreciate the gameplay, but casuals or those new to the game may be turned away before they experience the great RPG elements offered in Chrono Trigger. The DS version featured new dungeons to explore that have also been included in the iOS edition.
Is it too late to fix the controls? I hate for players to be turned away because of frustrating controls.
Seeing how well Sonic CD and GTA 3 were ported and optimized for iOS devices, I had high expectations for Square Enix’s Chrono Trigger. The graphics and controls were a huge letdown, comparing them to other ports( Nintendo DS, Wii console). There is still an experience to be had with on iOS, but you’re much better off playing one of the other ports. 7/10