Veterans of the Super Nintendo have always held a spot in their heart for the time-play classic Chrono Trigger. It remains one of the most highly sought-after titles for the vintage system and has carried that hype over to the Nintendo DS in style with its recently announced and dated dual-screen iteration. Chrono Trigger is sure to be a big hit on the DS for several reasons, not least of which is the massive install base that Nintendo’s diminutive handheld has garnered over the years. The DS steadily outsells all its opponents on a fairly consistent basis and when you have the highest install base of any handheld currently in production, every title has its fair shot at success.
Another factor that is sure to contribute to Chrono Trigger‘s eventual domination is the sheer amount of demand that the title manages to maintain a full 13 years after its initial release on the SNES. Chrono Trigger set an extremely high standards for sprite-based role-playing games when it burst into gamers’ lives, that some say has not been matched to this day. Used copies of the Super Nintendo version regularly sell for $60 or $70, with sealed copies selling for hundreds, no questions asked. This is the result of a combination of nostalgia on the part of older gamers and the desire of younger gamers to try out a classic. Add to that the fact that most individuals who already own the game have no intention of letting it slip out of their grasp, and you’ve got the recipe for an extremely sought-after cartridge that was just begging for a handheld remake.
RPG’s have already met with impressive success on Nintendo’s handheld and with remakes of several Final Fantasy titles already bringing role-playing lovers in from all over the world, it should come as no surprise that developer Square Enix saw an opportunity to bring another one of their classic franchises back to prominence. The success of the genre might actually comes as a bit of a surprise to some, considering the very nature of role-playing games. In general, RPGs require a seemingly endless amount of time and patience in order fully enjoy, so porting them to a system that thrives on short bursts of enjoyable gameplay seems to fly in the face of tradition. Still, the DS manages to make its way over that hurdle by a simple hardware design choice that dates back to the console’s original launch. Nintendo designed the console with the ability to pause any game in an instant, simply by closing the case. This allows every RPG fanatic the ability to throw themselves into the world of Chrono Trigger, and then effectively stop time (pun intended) whenever they see fit.
The DS itself has reached some truly ridiculous sales figures since its release and it seems like every adolescent in the US and Japan must own at least of the handhelds in order for such numbers to be possible. Nevertheless, the system continues to sell at an astronomical rate and amongst the countless pet simulators and movie tie-in titles, Chrono Trigger is sure to set itself apart and find its audience with little trouble.