Who could forget one of Squaresoft's masterpieces, Chrono Trigger? Despite the fact that its series doesn't possess nearly as many games as their other iconic series such as Final Fantasy and SaGa, Chrono Trigger manages to be every bit as popular and has nearly as huge a fan-base. In an effort to praise one of the games he loved, CyberSoul X (AKA Rob Johnson) created a game based around Chrono Trigger called Chrono Killer and to the excitement of some and the disappointment of others, the game breaks free from its traditional roots and plays like an action brawler. Chrono Killer is not just a game for fans of Chrono Trigger though; The game also introduces characters that theoretically don't belong in the Chrono Trigger universe. Who could forget Trunks (Future Trunks), from one of the most famous animes of all time, Dragon Ball Z? You also must not forget Link, the legendary Hyrulian (or Kokiri OR whatever-Nintendo-wants-him-to-be) from The Legend of Zelda. CK also brings a surprise entry in the form of Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky's character who stars in an Emmy-award winning American animated television series with the same name. While some might not think about it, I can see the characters (Link, Samurai Jack, Trunks) being in the Chrono Trigger universe since all of them experience time travel in some way and in different instances.
I've heard numerous things about this game. While CK is generally well-received, some see several aspects of the game as forced and unnecessary. I will say that the game provides some serious fan-service. Not only is Jack, Link, and Trunks within the game, so are robot foes from Mega Man X, Mega Man X himself as well as Zero, Samus Aran from Metroid, Zonk from Air Zonk, the Golden Fox hovercar from F-Zero, and...even Fei Fong Wong from Xenogears? Okay, he just appears to be in the game for the sake of being there. You'll also encounter various Chrono Trigger characters (obviously) and CT related monsters. The areas you travel through are also places from the CT universe and include places like Magus' Castle as well as other locations.
Basically put, the game is a mish-mash of various related and unrelated concepts. Because of this, some people may think that this game bastardizes everything that Chrono Trigger stands for. The story deals with a mysterious figure known as Chosen who, with the help of his subordinates, hatch a plot to defeat the heroes of CT because Chosen believes that they possess some special power after defeating ____ (name omitted). Thus, Chosen and his followers are known as Chrono Killers. I could tell you more, but in the off chance that you have never played Chrono Trigger, I won't state everything. However, even as one who hasn't touched his original cart of Chrono Trigger in over half a decade (and one who isn't exactly a hardcore fan), even I can see that there are some notable inconsistencies from the original CT's story and the game possesses numerous typos that make things more difficult to understand (but undeniably funny).
Granted, the game now plays like a Beat-em-up and not an RPG (and the story isn't meant to be too connected to CT), so the story is strangely more appropriate though the dialogue needs some work. At any rate, taking one look at CK might give off the impression the game is awesome. Indeed, most areas in the game look nice as you fight in various areas from the original CT. Some areas don't look that great though (I'm guessing due to difficulties of converting the original areas into the game) and lack the style of the finer areas. Overall, the game still looks good and there is some great special effects to go around. Many of the special effects and graphics are borrowed from other games...for example, Trunks' "Burning Attack" looks like Ryu's Shinkuu Hadouken (seen in games like "X-men vs Street Fighter"). The game can also throw large waves of enemies at you without any slowdown, which is definitely a plus.
The music is pretty good too if you go into the options and change the bit rate to 16-bit as well as the sample rate to either of the two highest settings. The sound volume can also be adjusted, though you will mostly hear constant enemy explosions and the like, so the music may not stand out too much. The game uses music from various soundtracks such as Final Fantasy VII, Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, and more. Some characters possess voices and some such as Ayla and Marle are hilarious because depending on their actions, they end up screaming like Street Fighter's Sakura Kasugano. Some other monsters possess sound clips too.
While the game looks nice and sounds equally as good, I must confess that this game (like several fan games) fall flat on their face when it comes to game play mechanics because many are too absorbed in seeing their favorite characters in one place to focus on what really matters in these kinds of games. The game uses the "Beats of Rage" engine (a funny renaming of "Streets of Rage"), but just having that engine isn't enough. I'm in no shape, form, or fashion trying to bash the game, but here is my constructive criticism from one who sees the game as a game and not a game solely for fans. The game has a nice roster of characters and while many HATE that Samurai Jack (in particular) is in the game, that doesn't really matter at all. The game is, however, almost entirely broken and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
The game tries to remain somewhat balanced by giving characters different characteristics. Some are stronger than others, some are faster, some have more stamina than others, and other factors such as range. One big problem right from the gate is that, in my eyes, you should never have RANGED fighters in a beat-em-up. You have ultra cheap characters like Magus, Marle, and Lucca who just fire off ranged attacks. Magus is, by far, the worst offender of the three with downright overpowered ranged attacks and is nigh invincible. Other characters, like Trunks and Frog, possess good close range fighting, but some characters are only good for cosmetic appearances and don't really serve much purpose. Samurai Jack, a character I was hoping would get more love, is by far, the most undeveloped character...I mean, his special attack is the same as his dash attack expect with SHORTER RANGE and LESS SPEED, not to mention (like all special attacks) it takes a small portion of his life every time he does it.
Every character has one special attack, a dash attack, a combo of some kind, a throw, and a couple of air attacks. In the end though, none of it really matters. If you want, you can use nothing but dash attacks and special attacks and breeze through the entire game. Actually, you can do that regardless because of the generous amount of extra credits that you have and you'll be using both of them a lot anyway since the hit-detection is pretty off at times. The game has a few support items as well, though they only appear during major boss battles. About the only things I can really say are a treat is the two-player mode and the few hidden story scenes in the game, which depend on what character you're using at the time. It does add to the replayability of the game. If you play from the beginning of the game, the game actually has some length to it, but if you don't want to, you can start on different areas. You'll miss story events if you do though.
The faults? The game is ridiculously easy and could benefit from some clean-up. I won't say much about the story itself, though it really needs to be run through a spell checker, if nothing else. The dialougue certainly isn't a deterrent, though working on this site has made me more observant of common errors like "your/you're", "Its/It's", etc. More items would be nice in the future as well. In the end, despite all that I have said, the game was enjoyable enough for me to finish it and it is a blast to play with a friend. Honestly though, without a friend, the game may seem very boring. The download is also larger than one might suspect from looking at the screenshots. Chrono Killer is (as of this writing) one of the few major Chrono Trigger fan projects that was completed. If you like this game, you should go to Rob Johnson's site here to see some of his other stuff. Mega Sonic looks pretty interesting and I might give that one a whirl too, if that is at all possible. Note: If you download this game, you will want to go into the soundfixer folder and install VDMSound2.1.0 that's in the folder. I don't know about others, but I needed it to increase the sound quality of the game and to play in 2 player mode. Some may not experience this problem, but just putting it out there. When installed, right click the OPENBOR.exe and run it with VDMS.
- Written by Vyse the determined -