There comes a time in every robust individuals' life where they feel their abilities wane as they repeatedly do tedious tasks and repetitive routine activities, and, for whatever reason, stress and withdrawal typically ensue. Some people would call this symptom "burning out", and when this occurs, you don't really feel like doing much of anything. In the case of the avid video game player, this sometimes includes not wanting to see or play another game for months on end, give or take. There are some things that can help you with any withdrawal symptoms you might have though. One thing you can do to ease your way back into gaming is to, well, play shorter games, or mini-games. You get a quick fix and then you can get back to your life. If this sounds like you, then you may want to tackle these two VERY short games for a quickie, and they both revolve around the critically-acclaimed role-playing game, Chrono Trigger.
If the game revolves around an RPG, you might be wondering "How can these games possibly be the quick fix I'm looking for?" Well, that's because they aren't RPGs at all. The games in this article won't have you searching for some random NPC or waiting for some bar to fill up. Chrono Trigger Arcade instead presents you with two alternatives. The first game, Zenan Defense, is a game with a definitive likeness to the Taito classic, Space Invaders. However, you also have a few distinctions as well (besides the characters and settings) such as a magic attack needed to defeat a particular foe, a guard system, and different attacks to gain different amounts of points, varying from the adversary. You assume the role of the heroic Frog, who must stop Magus and his minions from breaking through Zenan's defenses. Armed with the mighty "Masamune", you break through the various waves of foes, occasionally taking down bosses. The midis present in this game are nicely remixed tunes from the original Chrono Trigger and the overall presentation is decent enough, with a few nicely animated projectiles and such. You are also rewarded with a few cutscene screens from the Playstation Chrono Trigger (drawn by the loved and hated Akira Toriyama).
What CTA:Zenan Defense has is nice and it's a quick and relatively painless experience. It's also respectable since this was Leotaku's (the creator) first completed game using the "Game Maker" program, so I'll stress again that the first Chrono Trigger Arcade isn't too shabby. However, this brings us to his second Chrono Trigger project, Battle Trainer. Needless to say, this game is also a very primitive yet effective game, but what's it like?
In CTA2: Battle Trainer, your mission is to show just how tough Crono is by fighting every CT fans favorite singing robot, Gato. You basically have to maul Gato and rack up as many points as you can while impressing Marle and more or less mortifying Lucca (the machine fanatic). While this game shares the same movement scheme as Zenan Defense, you can actually pull off a few of Crono's trademark attacks like "Cyclone" and "Spincut" by issuing various commands with the arrow keys and A button as well as pull off a basic combo attack. Depending on your performance, you can get point deductions and multipliers after the end of your bout with Gato. Get the highest score you can! This game uses all the same sprites as those found in Chrono Trigger, though in a way, this game is more crude than Leotaku's first Chrono Trigger project. This game also has a few nice midis that are remixed from Chrono Trigger.
Both games allow you to print screens of your high scores so you can post them on the net and both games are good for killing a second since they are small downloads and quick and easy to play. However, this is not a measure of their quality as a whole. I should make it known that these games don't hold a candle to a lot of freeware games and these two games are perhaps Leotaku's greatest works. Still, you might get a kick out of these games if you are a fan of Chrono Trigger. I look at games like these and really yearn for talented folks to come together and produce a 3D Chrono Trigger remake. Heck, Squaresoft (Square Enix) can make a mediocre recreation of the first Romancing SaGa, rehash Final Fantasy to death and yet, they take a year and a day to make up their mind about Chrono Trigger? Too bad the ambitious team behind Chrono Resurrection failed to do anything of the sort because of corporate legal intervention, because they aren't nearly as indecisive. Ah well...fans can dream can't they?
At any rate, if you're burning out from playing too many of the big games, you might want to go light and play these games. Chrono Trigger Arcade: Zenan Defense and Chrono Trigger Arcade 2: Battle Trainer are for gamers on a diet.
- Written by Bel Cain The Eternal -