Hey, it’s a book! About a game!
Chrono Trigger, by Michael P. Williams, is the second installment in a Kickstarter-funded series about video games (following Earthbound, of course). This book is not a dry recollection of the game’s development or storyline, but rather a glimpse into Williams’ personality, as told through the many ways that Chrono Trigger has influenced his life, and in turn how his life has influenced his reading of the game.
Now, you might be thinking, “What the hell do I care about this guy and what he thinks about Chrono Trigger?” In any other case you would probably be right, but Williams manages to convey much more about the game than just his own personal brand of fanboy love. In this book, Williams combines thorough research with his very-relatable thoughts and experiences centering on the main themes presented by the game, such as issues of race, gender, politics, and religion. Having lived in both the US and Japan, Williams is also able to personally relate to the large issue that looms over most Japanese-produced RPGs: the fine act of balancing literal and cross-cultural translation for western audiences. This is complemented by the book’s chapters containing interviews with two of the game’s translators.
If you’ve experienced even just a passing interest in Chrono Trigger, then this book will be a fun and interesting read. It also makes for a good arguing point when faced with those annoying (and obviously boring) people who think video games are at best, worthless, and at worst, soul-sucking generators of evil.