Platform: Game Boy
The third and final game in this series makes some significant improvements in game mechanics, making the game more user-friendly. It also has a time-travel plot, which should be golden. Unfortunately, a rather dull story weakens an otherwise solid game.
While the plot is similar to nearly every RPG at the time (one evilly evil evil wanting power because he’s evil), it does throw in the dynamic that nearly the entire world has been flooded, and you have to go back and forth through time to set off various events that will eventually return things back to normal. Somehow, this isn’t as exciting as in the Chrono series. I think the main reason is that there is no alternate choices the player can make to alter events. You are pigeonholed into each choice, and when between each choice is eleventy thousand random battles, the story loses its hold.
Unlike the previous two games in the series, you no longer select your party. Your characters (all humans and mutants), all with names and back stories, are scripted. and can transform into beasts, monsters, cyborgs, or robots depending on upgrades you choose (if any; it’s not mandatory). This freedom is a welcome relief for some players, stressful for others. While I don’t prefer such choices in transforming my characters (especially since they’re scripted), it wasn’t that difficult to come up with an optimum party. Also unlike the previous two games, all weapons and spells are permanent. You don’t have to carry extra equipment in case something breaks. It does reduce some of the stress.
The game is translated very well from Japanese, making it more accessible as well. While not my favorite game in the series due to the uninspiring story, it would probably be the best game in the series for more casual gamers.