Chrono Trigger DS Review

Posted By | On 17th, Sep. 2009 Under Reviews | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

On September 27, 1995, the original Chrono Trigger was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  Thirteen years later a port has finally arrived in the form of Chrono Trigger DS and is almost an exact one which I view as a good thing.

Battle menus can be navigated with the touch screen or D-pad and buttons.

Battle menus can be navigated with the touch screen or D-pad and buttons.

Back in the day, Chrono Trigger was a pretty good looking game for the SNES.  Character designs were by famed Dragonball and Dragonball Z artist Akira Toriyama, the environments were done well along with the enemies, and the attacks looked fantastic as well.  Luckily all of that goodness is back but slightly better.  All of the edges to everything in the game are silky smooth and everything else I mentioned above looks just as great as it did thirteen years ago.

As far as gameplay goes, Chrono Trigger DS contains the ATB (or Active Time Battle) system that debuted in Final Fantasy IV.  Each character in your party (three at any one time) have a bar next to their health and magic that fills up over time.  Once the bar fills up, your character gets a turn.  It is a battle system that has stood the test of time to become the de facto battle system of the traditional Japanese RPG.  While the party is not dueling to the death with a group of bad guys, it is moving around either an overworld map or a local map that all look great and have people who can say some very interesting things.

The single-player of Chrono Trigger DS is fantastic.  The story revolves around a young hero named Crono who has stuff happen to him which eventually leads him on a journey through time to save the future.  Is that last statement very general?  Yes it is but the story is amazing so I do not want to spoil it.  But there has been almost no story (especially back then) where I have cared about the characters as much as I do.  That is a testament to the timelessness of these characters.

Much like The World Ends With You, the multiplayer in Chrono Trigger DS is nothing to write home about.  It is something completely different from the main game in which you raise monsters to fight and gain loot and levels ala Pokémon.  Its nothing special but its decent for what it is and is kind of superficial in the end.

This is a game where the music will get stuck in your head.  It is MIDI music at its finest.  From upbeat tunes, to battle music, or to somber melodies Chrono Trigger DS is awesome.  While there is no voice acting in the game (it originally came out in 1995 for goodness sake) it does not detract from the game experience whatsoever.

The game takes anywhere from 15 to 30 hours depending on how much you level grind and how many sidequests you do.  Also on top of that there are 13 endings!  Yeah, I said ‘HOLY CRAP’ too when I found that out.  Yes some of them are not as good as others but if you want to talk about replay value, look no more.  Chrono Trigger DS has you covered.

The bottom screen is often used as a map with normal pause menu options lining the sides.

The bottom screen is often used as a map with normal pause menu options lining the sides.

You cannot get a much better RPG than Chrono Trigger DS.  From its amazing story and lovable characters to the immense replay value Chrono Trigger DS is worth every penny.  If you are an RPG owner and have a DS, you owe it to yourself to buy this timeless classic.

This game was reviewed on the Nintendo DS.


Fantastic characters, enthralling story, Good character design, A ton of replay value, memorable music


Multiplayer seems tacked on and unnecessary

Final Verdict

Chrono Trigger was a classic RPG on the SNES and hasn't lost a step in this DS port.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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