Friday, November 14, 2014

Chrono Trigger DS: Thoughts on Lost Sanctum

Now that I've finished the first bit of extra content that was added in the DS version, here's some thoughts.

It would be apt to say that the Lost Sanctum feels tacked on, because, well, it was tacked on.  However, there's more to this than that.  It just doesn't feel like the rest of the game.  Even entering and leaving the place, the landing spot for Epoch is incredibly finnicky.  Particularly in 65,000,000 BC, where it looks like you have a giant area to land.

Going in and out of the area is also a pain.  You come in through a beam of light, then your characters slowly walk downwards a bit and bunch up before you gain control.  When leaving, you have to answer a confirmation prompt first.

However, it doesn't stop there.  The areas are full of unavoidable encounters.  I know, the rest of the game has plenty of unavoidable encounters, and it wouldn't be an RPG if you didn't fight things on occasion, but...  Lost Sanctum is basically a series of fetch quests, meaning you'll be going in and out of these areas repeatedly.  So you'll constantly have to deal with the same unavoidable encounters over and over again.  It's especially irritating since the rest of the game sets the example that if you avoid making contact with the enemy's sprite, you won't have to battle.

I have no problem with the fetch quests themselves, they're all fairly simple and straightforward, and make use of time travel in one manner or another.  However, you absolutely must talk to the NPCs.  It isn't like other areas of the game where if you know where to go and what to do, you can mostly avoid talking to NPCs, except when that itself gets you something.  Here, the NPCs have to hold your hand and tell you exactly what to do every step of the way.

The enemies in this area have an abnormally high number of counterattacks that trigger whenever you attack them.  Elsewhere in the game, if an enemy has a counterattack, it's a simple issue of being at proper range (Yakra), or a counterattack phase of the battle where you can just heal up instead of attacking (Heckran), or you can hit another part of the enemy to avoid it (Lavos Spawn).  But here, there's nothing to do except eat the counterattacks.

Also, this area is basically a giant plot hole.  The Reptites were wiped out of existence in 65,000,000 BC after you storm the Tyrano Lair and Lavos falls.  This is evidenced by the ending you get if you defeat Lavos before finishing the Tyrano Lair, where everyone's a Reptite.  After you finish the Tyrano Lair, defeating Lavos gives you the next ending, and everyone's human again.  The Reptites are clearly supposed to go extinct, yet this area is full of them, and they survive until at least 600 AD.  Within the realm of the story, it makes no sense for the Reptites to be here.

Last but not least, let's talk about Lumicite.  What is it?  Some sort of fictitious substance that you can turn in to an NPC and get a piece of armor for Lucca.  How do you get it?  By defeating a Wonder Rock, that's a palette swap of the other rock enemies you see throughout the game.  How do you find this Wonder Rock?  By getting extremely lucky.  Its spawn rate is ridiculously low, and it's the only thing that can ever be different about the enemy spawns in each area.  The sad thing is, on one of my first few trips through the forest area, I saw it.  I SAW IT.  But I was already tired of enemy encounters in the area, so I avoided it.  Had I known what it was, I would have definitely fought it.  I haven't seen it since.

Overall, Lost Sanctum gets you some neat loot that wasn't in the original game, and isn't too difficult even with the counterattack-happy bosses you have to fight.  It's kind of annoying to go through because of the unavoidable encounters, but the rewards are worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments because when Blogger originally implemented a spam filter it wouldn't work without comment moderation enabled. So if your comment doesn't show up right away, that would be why.