I always find there’s nothing like a dearth of new games to send you rushing back to the classics, and it always seems to happen in that long drought between Christmas and…well…the next Christmas. You wonder whether or not it’s those damn rose-tinted glasses making you remember your SNES as the paragon of gameplay and see all modern stuff as commercialised shit, and then you remember that, as great as the SNES was, it had its fair share of utter crap, too. Still, we can still look back and remember, right?
Anyway, the fact that there’s little of note to play at the moment (although I might start on Guild Wars if it can bring back those halcyon days of Phantasy Star Online) has driven me back to finish some of the classics that I didn’t complete the first time around and, unusually for me, I’ve been playing traditional RPGs.
The first one to pull me back was Chrono Trigger which I spent much of last week playing having lost interest at the (possible spoiler) first battle with Magus. That annoying thing where you’ll struggle with something and then come back months later and finish it first time happened, and then I found myself pretty much walking through the rest of the game up until you (spoiler) get Crono back from the dead. Now I have to complete side-quests to power myself up for the final battle and I’ve lost interest again, so I’m probably looking at finishing the game around May 2010 when the cycle of disinterest finishes again.
Nonetheless the game has some of the best music and art that I’ve seen in ages, and some of the later locations are beautiful. The character designer of Chrono Trigger, Akira Toriyama, is returning to the RPG fold with Blue Dragon on the Xbox 360, so I’ll be interested to see how his designs transition to such meaty hardware where he won’t be so able to rely on the two-dimensional visuals of Chrono Trigger and arguably his most famous work, Dragonball Z.
The other one that I started on today when I picked up a used US copy was most people’s introduction to the RPG, Final Fantasy VII. I never got off the first disc in this one (I got bored around the introduction of Cid) but I’m hoping that my current RPG ardor and the fact that I plan to actually level up will carry me through. It looks positive when the good memories came flooding back as I replayed the opening moments, but it will have to wait until I buy a memory card tomorrow because my PS2 won’t recognise my crappy old PSX card…