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Point: Chrono Trigger port not worth $40


Dare you to guess which screen is from the DS version

I'm a big fan of Square Enix games, and I rarely begrudge paying the "tax" that pushes the prices of their DS games above the rest of the handheld's library. To me, the games are worth it for the playtime and quality, and occasionally they publish cheaper (and also awesome) fare. When I buy a Square Enix game, I feel like my money -- even the extra bit -- is going to a good place.

But with Chrono Trigger DS, it's starting to feel like Square Enix is taking our willingness to pay the extra cost and throwing it back into our faces. We want the game, and in fact, it's one of the most hotly-desired remake candidates of all time (particularly amongst our readership). It's even okay that it's basically just a port, and isn't getting the updates and gloss that the recent Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest remakes have enjoyed. But to skip any major updates and charge their full price of $40 would be a bit much.

Where is that extra ten dollars going? It hardly seems to be covering the development cost of bringing Chrono Trigger to the DS, because they're pretty much just putting it on a cartridge. What is Chrono Trigger DS bringing to the table? Well, you can use the touchscreen to control the character, but that isn't always better, or even equal to using the D-pad, and this seems to be one of those cases. Navigating the menus via the touchscreen is a nice improvement, but plenty of games include that feature ... for $30. The DS title will also include the cutscenes from the Playstation version of the game ... but you can pick up that version (with, hey! Final Fantasy IV) for less than ten bucks on eBay.

So what would we be paying for, exactly? A single new dungeon? Wireless multiplayer? That's great, if you can find people to play with, who also have copies -- since we're pretty sure it'll be multicard wireless. So, in the end, it looks like we would be paying the extra for the privilege of shutting up about wanting a remake, because we're finally getting it? Oh, except it's not a remake, but a port, so we can keep asking. Of course, history dictates that two or three years from now, Square Enix will remake the game for real, with more updates ... and charge extra for it.

We appreciate that Square Enix is getting the game out so quickly. It was only just announced, and we'll see it soon, at least in the U.S. But if we're going to be charged the full Square Enix price, we'd be happy to wait a year, or even more, in order to see a fully-revamped version. After all, it's not like we don't have anything to play in the meantime.

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