Persona 4: Dancing All Night

“Hey, have you heard that rumor?”

“Huh? Which one?”

“When you look at some website at midnight, there’s this weird video that plays on its own. It’s hard to really make out much at first, but totally see this idol who should be dead dancing in it… When you watch the video to the end, supposedly you get taken away to the “other side…” …and you never…wake…up.”

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After finishing Persona 4 Golden, I knew that one of the things I absolutely loved about it was the music. Honestly, when it comes to video game soundtracks, I’d rank the music from the Silent Hill franchise as my first favorite and the music from the Persona 4 games as a very close second. So when I heard that Persona 4 was getting a rhythm game, I was extremely excited!

I hadn’t really read much else about it other than hearing from a friend that it was really good. I picked it up not long after that and was shocked to find that it was much more than just a rhythm game but that it actually had it’s own story to go along with it. When I think of rhythm games, I think of things like Project Diva F and Project Diva F 2nd where it’s all just songs and maybe a little bit of character interaction but not a full blown story!

In Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Yu Narukami (the character you play in Persona 4), Rise Kujikawa (the idol, Risette) and Naoto Shirogane (the young detective) have returned to the city while the rest of their friends remained in Inaba. Rise has returned to the entertainment industry and is planning her big comeback as Risette but she doesn’t want to do it alone. She decides that she wants all of her friends that she made in Inaba, the Investigation Team, to be her backup dancers for her comeback at the Love Meets Bonds Festival.

Rise has been teaching Yu and Naoto how to dance in the city as well as making frequent trips to Inaba to give lessons to the rest of the team, Yosuke Hanamura, Yukiko Amagi, Chie Satonaka, Kanji Tatsumi, and the beary adorable Teddie.

You start off in the velvet room and Margaret is wondering why you are there, as only people who have agreed to a contract are allowed to enter the velvet room. However, she assumes there must be a reason that you’re there so she decides to tell you the story of the P4 group and their adventure working toward the Love Meets Bonds Festival.

There is so much to love about this game: the music, the remixes, the story, the costumes and accessories! I mean look, maid Yukiko, what more could I ask for? :3

Aside from the dancing done within the story, there is also a free dance mode with more difficulties to choose from. Doing this will also help you earn in game currency that you can then use to buy the costumes and accessories.

Most songs have partners that come in at a certain point in the game and they are customizable within the free mode as well.

I was very pleased with this game. I’m not one to go after the trophies or achievements in games because some of them just seem impossible for me but this was the first game that I managed to get every single trophy for and I felt so accomplished.

There are even add-ons for costumes such as the Gekkoukan High uniforms, bathing suits, Nanako set, the song ‘Break Out Of…’ featuring Marie, ‘Heaven (ATOLS Remix)’ featuring Hatsune Miku, ‘The Fog (ATLUS Konishi Remix) featuring Adachi and more.

I would absolutely love to see more series’ come out with rhythm games that have a real story to them!

What games would you like to see rhythm games for?

 

 

 

 

Persona 5 Impression- No Spoilers –

Hi, hi!

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I was lucky enough to be able to pick up my copy of Persona 5 Take your Heart Premium Edition on launch day and oh man, I do NOT regret pre-ordering it at all. So far I am on the fourth palace and it has been such a wild ride so far and I’m loving almost every minute of it. I could really do without Morgana telling me when I need to sleep though. ;~;

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One thing I really enjoy is the character development, which I have never felt lacking in other Persona games. I’m glad that they kept up with that development. I also like though that there are more adult figures to interact with for confidant (formerly social) links. It gives the game a bit more depth, I think. I’m sure it also helps that the map is larger and there are many more areas to visit in comparison to other Persona games though. The addition of being able to choose a variety of places to hang out with certain characters at is really enjoyable as well.

Some of the situations seem much darker and more accurate to real life as well which makes the game somewhat easier to get into. I say this because I had no problem getting into Persona 4 Golden, however, Persona 3 Portable is much harder for me to get into, so much so that I haven’t quite finished it yet.

I love the sim aspects of the Persona games so much. I’m having such a difficult time deciding who to romance in my first play through though! Who did you guys choose or who will you choose?

I also really enjoy the comic-like art style of the All-out attacks and the ending of battles. It’s a nice change of art style within the game. I find the groups “code names” to be a fun aspect of the game too.

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I do have just a few complaints about the game though. I feel that the camera work when you are trying to hide can be poor at times. There are a few times that the camera work was off, suddenly moving to another hiding spot or I accidentally roll out in front of the enemy. It doesn’t happen very often but it is just a bit frustrating when it does.

Another complaint I do have is the music. It’s not nearly as catchy or as exciting to me as Persona 4 Golden.

I may be pretty lame, but I also really don’t like the whole fusion process. 🙁

And my last complaint is that when the game switches over to the animated scenes, the volume drops so drastically that I have to quickly turn the volume back up so I don’t miss out on the conversation that is happening.

One of my worries about the game was that after watching Persona 5 The Animation- THE DAY BREAKERS- Episode 0-Prequel- was that we weren’t going to get to learn about how some of the characters came to know their personas. That worry was quickly quelled and I’m very much enjoying getting to see the characters discover their persona and themselves as well.

I’ve still got a long way to go before I finish the game but I can’t see my enjoyment of it declining between now and the time I actually complete the game.

So, with no spoilers, what do you think of the game so far? Who do you want to romance within the game? Do you think the Phantom Thieves are doing something just and moral or unjust and immoral? Oh! And what do you think of the Wardens? Honestly, I’d much rather have Margret or Elizabeth back. Let me here or on facebook!

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Nintendo Switch!

So, last night we got a release date for the Nintendo Switch (March 3rd 2017), a price ($299.99USD not bundled with games), explanations on how the system works and GAMES!

Out of everything I saw last night I can’t think of anything that I saw that warranted a meh reaction from me. It all looked so fantastic!

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Let me start off with the small stuff. While, I enjoy a good rpg, I also enjoy simplistic games. I won’t lie, I loved Wii Sports. So when I saw the demonstration for 1-2 Switch I thought it looked pretty awesome. Party games are always fun, even if they are super cheesy!

And come on, Arms looks insanely fun as well! I honestly think it’d be a good thing to play to vent out frustrations from a stressful school or work week! ^_^ It’s probably not something I’ll play all of the time but I do think it will be a good game to get to learn how the controls for the Joy-Con.

This one. When I saw this one I thought it looked so amazing. I was surprised by the environment they used and the mechanics of the game seemed a bit nostalgic. Super Mario Odyssey!

Okay, this one I’m slightly disappointed in but only because of the title choice. Splatoon 2! I’m excited for the game, don’t get me wrong but come on, Spla2oon or Spla2n would have been more fun. I was also hoping for playable Octolings 🙁 but maybe it will be there and just wasn’t shown! Who knows!

Also, what’s with only Marie being seen? :O Where’d Callie go!?

There was, of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This game looks phenomenal! The art work is what caught me the most though. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and that story looks damn feelsy too! I’m glad that one is coming out at launch to keep me busy until other games come out!

Okay, for this one, I’m going to be completely honest. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I was going to post that it’s cool, but I’m not a huge Mario Kart fan because I’m not good at it, but I hadn’t seen the video until just now and guys….IT HAS SQUID KIDS! My hype for this game just went off the charts!

I think my next biggest hypes though are, I Am Setsuna for the switch, the new Shin Megami Tensei project, and Fire Emblem Warriors.

Some other games announced include:

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (I need to play the first D:)

Sonic Mania

Super Bomberman R

Puyo Puyo Tetris

Skyrim was also announced for the switch which will be a fun experience I think! Which games are you most excited for? Which switch will you get? The base colored or the one with the neon Joy-Con’s?

GAMESIR-G3s Review

Hi, hi!

I was recently contacted by GameSir and asked to review the GAMESIR-G3s Game pad. This controller is designed to be compatible with PC, Android, iOS, Smart TVs/TV Boxes, and the Playstation 3. It can be used using a cable or wirelessly.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in return for an unbiased review. This post may also contain affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure policy here.

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The box includes the controller itself, a charging cable, a two sided micro usb cable for connecting to mobile, a wireless connector, warranty information and instructions for how to connect it to each device.

I tested this controller on PC, the Samsung Galaxy S6, and the Playstation 3.

I immediately tested the GameSir-G3s on my PC, after charging it, using Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with the Heavensward expansion.

My PC runs:
OS: Windows 10 Beta
Processor: Intel Core i7 870
Memory (RAM): 16 GB DDR3
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
Storage: 2TB
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard-Asus

At first this controller worked really well and the only issue that I had with it was that it’s a little too long for my hands which made it hard for me to reach the center buttons such as ‘home’, ‘start’, ‘select’, ‘clear’ and ‘turbo’. It is so much lighter than the XBox One controller that I typically use.

Note: I did make sure the game pad was fully charged each time before use.

After using it with Final Fantasy XIV: ARR for about 15 minutes wirelessly, it stopped working and I had to manually exit the game. I wasn’t too discouraged at first. I thought ‘Maybe there is just some interference between the controller and the wireless connector.’ So, I grabbed the USB cable for it and plugged it in. Again, I had about the same results, but this time with a bit of stopping for a second or two every now and again.

This time I decided to record my results to show exactly what was happening and you can view it below:

You can catch the sudden stop for a second here.
You can catch just when it turns off and I have to use my mouse to finish the FATE here.

‘Okay,’ I thought. ‘Maybe it’s just not very compatible with FFXIV: ARR or any MMO’s. I’ll try another game.’ I then searched my Steam library for a game I thought would be a good game to test it out on. First, I tried Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. No go. Then, I tired Left 4 Dead 2. Nope.

3rd time’s a charm, right? I gave Bastion a go, again with the wireless device. It worked extremely well, even if my game play wasn’t so great. That is until I hit about 11-12 minutes in. There it was again. It just stopped working. There weren’t any pauses causing my character to stop like my FFXIV: ARR game plays though. It just brought up the pause menu on it’s own and wouldn’t let me move any further using the controller, it also would not let me reconnect the controller. When it stops each time like this, the controller’s lights start flashing like it’s trying to connect to something, even though it had already been connected and had seemed to have been working perfectly fine.

Luckily, I had planned ahead and recorded this one as well in case there was another game play issue so I could again catch what exactly happened in game when the game pad disconnected. You can view it below:


The issue, though, starts right about here.

‘Alright…maybe my PC doesn’t like it!’ I thought to myself, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and remain positive. Next up was the PS3 with the wireless connector. I had the perfect game in mind for this one: Katamari Forever!

I sat down for about a good 45 minutes trying to get past the campfire stage (I’ve beaten the game before but on an older PS3 and now I’m rusty X_X ). I had no lag, no sudden stopping for mere seconds at a time, no issues whatsoever. I thought it was going great until I was about to beat the stage and then it went off on it’s own again and wouldn’t respond to any movements or buttons being pressed. I tried connecting it via USB and re-configuring it again according to the proper commands but I got nothing. Sadly, I couldn’t record my PS3 game play as I don’t have the proper recording device at this time, but the same issue occurred in this game as with the others that have videos above.

Now I was getting a little bummed because I was really, really enjoying how lightweight it was. The only other option I had was to try connecting it to my Samsung Galaxy S6. That was a quick and easy no. It would not connect via blue tooth at all, nor would it recognize the controller being plugged in via the dual sided micro USB.

I think this controller has great potential for sure. The games that it did actually work with, it worked very well for the most part and as I previously mentioned, it is very lightweight. It also has a bit more texture to it than the XBox One controller so it doesn’t slip as easily when I’m holding it.

I think this controller could use some improvement in the way of connectivity and compatibility.

This controller would probably be something I would use very often if the connectivity issues could be addressed in some way. One of the worst things that can happen in the gaming world is a controller disconnecting or dying in the middle of a fight.

I would use it for sure with mobile gaming if it were compatible with my device. There are many mobile RPGs out there that I would enjoy playing but I have a difficult time holding my phone up and tapping over and over again. Also, it would be great if it worked with more games. I would love to have used it for Hyperdimension Neptunia;Rebirth 1.

Thanks again to GameSir for allowing me to review this controller!

Persona 4 Golden

I originally wasn’t interested in touching the Persona series because I had heard things about it that just didn’t seem to appeal to me but one of my friends told me I should give P4G a shot. I figured I was already paying for Gamefly so what could it hurt? I added it to my Q and put it at the top of the list and had it sent to me.

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Persona 4 Golden also known as Persona 4: The Golden is the remake of the PS2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 which was released in Japan and North America in 2008 and in Europe in 2009. Persona 4 Golden was released for the PS Vita in Japan and North America in 2012 and in Europe in 2013.

The protagonist is traveling to the fictional town of Inaba to live with his Uncle Dojima and younger cousin Nanako while his parents are working out of the country for a year.

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As soon as the protagonist arrives there are a string of murders. The protagonist quickly learns that he has the ability to confront monsters, known as ‘Shadows‘, within the TV world where the murders seem to be happening and that he also has the ability to use an ability called ‘Persona‘.

The protagonist along with his two new schoolmates and friends, Chie and Yosuke, meet Teddie who lives in the TV world and they vow to help Teddie by solving the mystery and confronting the culprit. Due to the fog that covers the TV world, the protagonist and his friends cannot see well within the TV world so Teddie makes them special glasses that can be used to see through the fog.

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Throughout the game, you will help many people face their own Personas. Most of these characters will become part of your ‘investigation team‘.

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This game is an RPG style game but what I really enjoyed about it was that it also has ‘sim‘ elements. For instance, you can increase certain traits such as: knowledge, courage, diligence. On top of that you can also increase something called ‘social links‘ with people you encounter. These social links will be beneficial in creating new personas as well as teaching personas new abilities. Each character has a unique story that you can learn about by interacting with them and building their social links. There are also many options for girls to date within the game.

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Within the ‘Velvet Room‘ you can hand in cards which will allow you buy those abilities later to give to any persona. You can also fuse your personas and buy personas that you have previously registered to the compendium. These cards are gained through a card shuffle you get at the end of some battles and there are many other cards to choose from as well such as: extra exp, new personas, slight health and sp recovery, more money, etc.

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Aside from the compelling story line, there are many other things I enjoyed about this game. The story is dark but there is enough lightheartedness between you and the people you can interact with to help keep the game from being so dark that it’s constantly depressing.

I also LOVE the music of Persona 4 Golden and I am so, so, so happy that they made Persona 4: Dancing All Night with remixes of the music from the game. Not only is the regular day to day music fantastic but the battle music and dungeon music is worth listening to as well. It does a wonderful job of getting the player pumped and in the mood to play.

Another thing I enjoyed about this game was the option to take on part time jobs to raise your status (academics, diligence, courage, etc.) as well as earning extra income. Some of the jobs you will have to take on in order to obtain certain social links as well.

An additional perk to this game is that you can change your outfits in the dungeons to anything from school uniforms, to bathing suits to maid and butler outfits!

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This game had me going from the very beginning. I was constantly thinking to myself ‘oh this guy seems like the culprit’ ‘well…no….maybe it’s this one’. I was on my toes the entire game and the end result was a shocker!

There are a variety of different endings and a new game plus feature as well. I am currently on my second playthrough on new game plus.

I was very satisfied with this game. It stands as one of my favorite games now. It’s re-play value is high, the music is fantastic, the story is suspenseful and the character interactions are memorable and well thought out. In all honesty, I’m playing through Persona 3 Portable for my first time and I’m having a rough time with it because the character stories aren’t as compelling and the game just has an extremely dark aura to it with no breaks for humor.

If you haven’t played a Persona game and are thinking about it, I would highly recommend P4G and P4:DAN as well.

**All Screenshots were taken in game by me**

Dear Esther

I have played many video games and many different genres, but one I had never experienced until just a few days ago was a game type often referred to as minimalist. It’s something I had sort of avoided for the silliest of reasons, it didn’t make sense to me. I had some sort of weird idea that a minimalist game had to be super scary like Silent Hill. After speaking to a friend and talking about their play through of a newer minimalist game, I informed them that I’d never played one and they then were kind enough to gift me a game called Dear Esther.

Dear Esther was developed by a game development studio called The Chinese RoomThough, it was originally developed as a mod for Half-Life 2, it did well enough that it was later released on its own.

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I say this is a minimalist game but it is also known as a first-person exploration game. I would actually even venture to call it sort of a Visual Novel. In Dear Esther you start off as an un-named male character, right out of the ocean, in front of a lighthouse. The point of this game is to venture around toward specific areas which will then trigger dialogue from the main character, unfolding the reasons as to why he is on this island.

It is an extremely short game. It took me only about 90 minutes to complete from start to finish and there are 4 specific chapters, or areas, which will delve deeper into this man’s story.

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You can only walk around and when in certain bodies of water, swim upward to get out of the water. When dark areas are entered, a flash light will automatically turn on, allowing you to further examine and explore these areas. Other than that, there is no other sort of interaction that occurs within the game.

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While it is a short lived game and there is no real interactive gameplay to be had, the graphics, the music and the story itself make it incredible.

The music flows so smoothly with the exploration of the island as well as the heartbreaking story that comes with the character. To me, the music within Dear Esther is sort of…majestic.

Example

As for graphics, I’m not one to throw a fit over whether graphics are great or poor. I like to enjoy games for what they are and for their stories, but for a game such as Dear Esther in which the scenery, the music and the story being told are the only things there, I paid a little more attention to the detail provided in the graphics of this game and felt that they were incredible.
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As for the story, I don’t want to give away too much, but you follow a man on a heartfelt journey of self-realization and acceptance. It’s a very spiritual game in that sense.

Overall, though, I am very glad that I took the time to play through this game and I’m very sorry that this post isn’t longer, but because the game is so short in itself, speaking about the story would give away many potential spoilers, so I hope you enjoy the sample of music as well as the visuals and I hope that you will give this game a chance if you ever want to delve into this sort of genre.

Thanks for reading!

***All pictures were screenshots taken by me, in game***

Chrono Trigger

What do you get when you join together an average boy, a princess who doesn’t want to be a princess, a girl following in her father’s footsteps as an inventor, a frog, a robot, a girl from 65,000,000 BC and time travel?  You get an amazing RPG from the SNES era known as Chrono Trigger.

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Chrono Trigger characters”. Via Wikipedia – Artwork by: Akira Toriyama Characters from Chrono Trigger published by Square (now Square Enix)

Now before you steer away after seeing that this is a game for an older console, hear me out. The newer versions do have animated cut scenes in some areas and the game is still pixelated and in sprite form but the storyline is brilliant. Okay, I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like JRPGs and time travel, it’s worth a go.

Chrono Trigger was developed by Square (which has since become Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and released in 1995. It was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999 in Japan and packaged with Final Fantasy IV for the PlayStation in a compilation called, Final Fantasy Chronicles in 2001 in North America. It was again ported to the Nintendo DS in 2008 for North America and Japan and in 2009 for Europe and Australia. It has since been ported again to mobile devices, Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s virtual console as well.

Chrono Trigger starts with our protagonist, Crono, in the year 1000 AD during the millennial festival of his kingdom in Truce. There he goes to see his friend Lucca at the festival where she and her father will be unveiling their latest experiment, a transporter of sorts. He runs into a girl named Marle (Crono at this time doesn’t know she’s really the princess) who asks if he will spend time with her at the festival.

After agreeing to let her join you (no, you don’t have a choice) you can then venture around the fair some more as Crono and Marle. You can check out one of Lucca’s experiments, a battling robot named Gato. He will recite you a cute song about beating him up to earn 15 silver points (which can be redeemed later for the games currency). Other things you can do include, betting on a race of characters that runs in a square when you enter Leene Square, strength test (ring the bell), dancing to prehistoric music, a button mashing soda guzzling contest, and if you have enough silver points you can venture into Norstein Bekkler’s Tent of Horrors, which you will need to visit later anyway.

Eventually, you will hear that Lucca’s experiment is ready to be viewed and you can then head to the top of Leene Square with Marle. Crono is volunteered to try out the new invention and is teleported from the pod on the left side of the screen to the one on the right. Impressed by this, Marle decides she wants to try but something goes awry with the teleportation devices and the pendant she is wearing and a portal is opened sending Marle to another time period.

Crono journeys after Marle while Lucca tries to figure out what went wrong and this is the start of Crono and his friends’ adventures through time.

Throughout the game, your party will change certain parts of the fictional history set in place by venturing all the way back to 65,000,000 BC and all the way up to The End of Time after accidentally traveling to the year 2300 AD and witnessing, on a computer, the destruction of the world by Lavos and realizing that they can then prevent this from ever happening.

Throughout the game you will battle dinosaur like creatures from the prehistoric era, you will battle robot and robot like enemies, and magical beasts.

Each character will have a special type of weapon they will use, as in most RPGs, but most of them will also acquire magical skills later on in the game.

Chrono Trigger uses offers both an active and wait mode to choose from in the beginning of the game. The difference, from what I have seen is that in wait mode, while you are choosing which special skills, or ‘techs’ as they are called in this game, enemies won’t attack you, whereas in active mode, they are capable of attacking you.

As for running into enemies, this game is a little different than a lot of RPGs. You do not run into enemies on the world map while you are traveling. You only run into them within the dungeon, forest, or wherever you have specifically chosen to travel. Also, enemies are almost always completely visible, allowing them to be avoided at times. However, every once in awhile, the monsters will jump out from a bush or fall from a tree.

CronoToriyamadesign“CronoToriyamadesign” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – designed by Akira Toriyama

Moving on to character weapons and techs. The protagonist, Crono, uses a katana and will later wield the magical power of lightning. Marle battles with a crossbow and learns to use ice as well as healing magic. Lucca uses a gun and hammer and will learn to cast fire magic. Frog will use a broadsword and learns water (perfect for a frog, huh?) and, like Marle, healing magic. Robo, because of his technological composition cannot actually acquire magic but his laser attacks mimic shadow magic and he is able to mimic fire, lightning and healing magic as well. Ayla uses strength alone as she does not wield a weapon of any sort and she cannot use magic either because she was born well before humans were able to use magic. There is one more optional character that you can recruit to your party, but  for the sake of not spoiling anything I will leave that character out.

You might notice that the character styles resemble familiar characters from popular shows such as  Dragon Ball or also that they resemble characters from a game called Dragon Quest and that is because they have a few of the same team members, Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama. Other familiar aspects from games like Final Fantasy may be noticed as well and this is because of a few different reasons. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy both were developed and published by Square as well as having some of the same team members including: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy and Nobou Uematsu‘s (who has composed music for many Final Fantasy games) compositions can be heard in some of the game’s tracks.

Chrono Trigger has a beautiful soundtrack. Each character has their own unique theme. The entire soundtrack is immensely powerful weather you are listening to the main theme, the battle music or the world map’s music. It does an excellent job of getting you pumped up for whatever may be coming your way and making you feel the emotion that is conveyed inside of the game.

Example: Crono’s Theme

 

I have an extremely hard time picking lists for anything, top 5 or 10 anime or books, things like that, but this game is not only nostalgic for me, it never gets old and this game is my #1 game while all of my other favorites are tied. So if you like powerful RPGs that have some feels involved and you want a game where you can feel like you can change the world, I highly recommend this game. You can go original nostalgic and try play it on the SNES (which, by the way, is extremely expensive), you could go for wanting the nice animated cut scenes and a cheaper version by buying it on the PS1, you can go mobile by finding it on the iOS store or GooglePlay (that’s up to you, but I personally do not like playing good RPGs on mobile, or you can check out the DS version which has the animated cut scenes as well as a bit of extra side story line and extra dungeons.