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Radical Dreamers

Text Adventure
  • 1996
B+ 3 total ratings
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Dream Away with thisInteractive Storybook

A Radical Dreamers review Author: Feriad Published: September 30, 2004
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To say Radical Dreamers is the sequel of Chrono Trigger is wrong. It is better to say that it is the prequel of Chrono Cross, but that is also a kind of false statement. Radical Dreamers is the building stones on which Chrono Cross was built up, and that?s why Chrono Cross is so weird. Because, Radical Dreamers is indeed a weird game. Weird, but wonderful.
The game is basically in an interactive storybook format. You are presented with running text, as if you were reading a book, but frequently you have to make decisions considering Serge, the main character. It can be everything from which path to take in the winding corridors of Viper Manor, or which attack Serge is to use next, to if you think it?s moral for a suitor that ran away to come back for his bride. The first time you play the game, your actions have little impact on the story, that follows a set scheme in order for you to see the proper ending. Then, however, the game continues in true Chrono Trigger spirit and you get to play a kind of New Game+, where your actions completely decide the outcome of your adventure, often in quite bizarre ways. That is one of the greatest minuses of the game, that the different endings depends on such trivial matters as which room you enter first, and that make you feel more guided by the game than guiding the game.
The graphics is of course the worst part of Radical Dreamers. The graphics is only a set of 40 or so still images that are shown during your adventure, leaving your imagination to fill in the rest. The images are hardly anything worth looking at however, except for a few gems. But of course this was done intentionally, to give the game a more ?book? feeling, and it succeeds quite well.
The battle is a bit different from the normal. The battle is exactly as the rest of the game built up like a story in text. When initiating a battle, you will hear the blood-pumping battle theme that works way better than in Chrono Cross, and you will be presented with a range of actions that you can choose from your own will. You will have to be quick, making this game a little bit hard to play for the slow reader. Depending on the smartness of your actions, and a little bit of luck, you will exit the battle hurt or unhurt. You can, though it rarely happens, die of course also. I think the damage you?ve sustained is stored and when you reach a minimum low, you die, but this has never happened to me.
One of the best aspects of Radical Dreamers is indeed its music. The moody tunes in Viper Manor are first not heard at all, and when you notice them all the hairs on your neck are already standing. The intro tune is one of the most catchy and at the same time mysterious I've ever heard in a game. Yasunori Mitsuda has really managed to create a soundtrack that captures a wide range of emotions and elements, maybe there's a little hole on the humorous bit, but the humour isn't the important thing in Radical Dreamers. The ending theme is also marvellous.
The game may be short, but then it can be finished in 7 totally different ways, and it has a couple of hidden things for you to discover (which is almost impossible unless you?re a real eagle-eyed Sherlock Holmes).
In short, this game will give you many memorable moments, if you play it on a rainy eve all alone in your house wrapped up in a blanket and with a steaming cup of tea by your side. There you will sit and totally fall in love with Kid, Serge and Magil, and be enchanted by the mysterious tale of the Frozen Flame. After it, you will have to play Chrono Cross, and you will see it from a whole new perspective if you have played it before. And then you can listen to the wonderful tunes, and dream radical dreams of summer, adventure and your innermost secrets.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "The game is a wonderful, cozy, enticing and mysterious interactive storybook, just waiting for you to decide its destiny. Too bad that you decide it by looking into just that corridor at just that specific time. Nothing for the one who doesn't like to read."
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Vapid Buttmunch
Member since May 18, 2003
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