Best Game Ever: Chrono Trigger

Note: Best Game Ever is a series of posts I’ll be doing dedicated to the best games ever made. Each game I profile will be a game I’d accept as someone’s answer to the question, “what do you think the best game ever is?” So please, do not email me and tell me I’m stupid for posting about game X when game Y is clearly superior. And you never know, game Y might be the next game profiled. For more in the series, check out the “best game ever” category in the side bar.

Chrono Trigger. Back in the heyday of the 16-bit era, RPGs were one of the most popular genres and Japan was producing nearly all of the top titles. Square was one of the top companies during the era, producing the illustrious Final Fantasy series and other popular RPGs. Among those big hits was the fan favorite, Chrono Trigger, originally released for the Super Nintendo.

Chrono Trigger stood out for several reasons. First, the story was very engaging and the storyline could be altered depending on how you played the game. There were several possible endings to see, and some items could only be collected at the sacrifice of missing out on others. It was a fantastic game to discuss with friends to find out how your ending or order of events played out.

Another big reason that Chrono Trigger was so popular was due to its fantastic battle system. The game didn’t have random encounters, so you could skip fights if you wanted, but once you got into fights, they were tons of fun. Chrono Trigger allowed you to combine character attacks, and those attacks varied based on what characters you were combining. Most of the rest of the battle system was pretty standard, but each character was quite unique and it allowed for lots of experimentation and fun. As far as the standard JRPGs go, Chrono Trigger is still a game that provides an enjoyable battle system under the modern lens.

Finally, the other big memorable aspect of Chrono Trigger is its music. From its joyous victory fanfare to its moody and slower tracks, just about any old-school RPG fan can recall multiple musical selections from the game easily.

Luckily, Chrono Trigger is available widely these days. There are re-releases for the DS, the Virtual Console, PSN, and some older consoles. The game holds up very well, and it’s a game I seem to go back to at least once a year for a revisit. There was a sequel released for the PSOne, called Chrono Cross, but it didn’t quite have the same magic as its predecessor despite being a very good game in its own regard.

For these reasons and more not stated, Chrono Trigger is the best game ever.

Best Game Ever: Streets of Rage 2

Note: Best Game Ever is a series of posts I’ll be doing dedicated to the best games ever made. Each game I profile will be a game I’d accept as someone’s answer to the question, “what do you think the best game ever is?” So please, do not email me and tell me I’m stupid for posting about game X when game Y is clearly superior. And you never know, game Y might be the next game profiled. For more in the series, check out the “best game ever” category in the side bar.

Streets of Rage 2.

Released for the Sega Genesis back in 1992, Streets of Rage 2 was the follow up to the popular Streets of Rage. Very much a product of the early 1990s when beat ’em ups were a dime a dozen, Streets of Rage 2 still managed to stand out in an insanely crowded genre.  Like many brawlers of the era, Streets of Rage 2 suffered from generic names (Mr. X, Max Thunder, etc.), repetitive enemy types, and a world right out of the beat ’em up template set; but these couldn’t drag down the addictive and enjoyable gameplay offered. In a big improvement over the original Streets of Rage, each character in the sequel had their own unique set of moves and special attacks. The different play styles offered by each character lends to repeat plays through the game, especially in multiplayer.

The music in Streets of Rage 2 was also quite good for the beat ’em up genre. Rather than simple loops, we were treated with varied and fancy beats. One of the first things always mentioned when Streets of Rage 2 is brought up is that the soundtrack was one of the best on the Genesis. Obviously, I would agree.

If you were ever a fan of the beat ’em up genre, and you want something more than Final Fight or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Streets of Rage 2 is a great way to get your fix.

For these reasons, Streets of Rage 2 is the Best. Game. Ever.

I’m going to buy every NES (NA release) game ever made

Yeah, it’s a stupid thing to try and do, but dang it, I’m going to try. Over the next few years I’m going to try to collect the entire run of NES cartridges that were officially licensed and released in North America. By my count that is 731 games that I’ll need to collect, though I already have around 100 of them. I’ve done some looking around and there are some rare ones that might give me trouble, but for the most part it isn’t too hard to do this sort of thing. The real challenge is just staying focused enough on it to make it happen. Obviously I’m not concerned about tracking down the games that only saw 4 or 5 copies leak to market, I’m talking about full scale releases.

I’m not aiming to do this as quickly as possible, so I’ll be pretty casual about picking stuff up. But be on notice used game stores of Utah, I’m going to be like a bloodhound each time I see NES carts for sale. Obviously resources like eBay will be a big help as I go about this, so if you have anything particularly hard to find, let me know.

Over time I’ll post updates about how this little project goes. I might set up a site to allow people to more easily track my progress, but we’ll see about that. I wonder how my wife is going to feel about this one…

The Best Game Ever: River City Ransom

Note: Best Game Ever is a series of posts I’ll be doing dedicated to the best games ever made. Each game I profile will be a game I’d accept as someone’s answer to the question, “what do you think the best game ever is?” So please, do not email me and tell me I’m stupid for posting about game X when game Y is clearly superior. And you never know, game Y might be the next game profiled. For more in the series, check out the “best game ever” category in the side bar.

River City Ransom.

The NES saw many beat ’em up titles, but in my opinion not one of them was better than River City Ransom. Yes, I’m quite comfortable saying that RCR (as it’s known by it’s hip fans) is better than Double Dragon, the Ninja Turtles titles, and anything else released for Nintendo’s first home console. River City Ransom is quite unique, and incorporated features that wouldn’t become standards for years later. The game featured RPG elements, the ability to backtrack, upgrades to individual moves and character attributes, and the ability to continue playing through areas that have been previously completed.

Aside from the cool blend of RPG and beat ’em up elements, River City Ransom also offered some pretty quirky and funny dialog. Upon defeating enemies they’ll often yell out, “barf!” before dropping money for you to spend on upgrades to your attack, defense, or health attributes. Somehow this never, ever gets old.

River City Ransom really is hard to describe, but it’s easily found in a variety of formats, including Nintendo’s Virtual Console service on the Wii. If you like beat ’em games or if you’re just looking for a good co-op experience, River City Ransom is an easy pick. For these reasons, River City Ransom is the best game ever.