Review by Mweapon
"The perfect RPG."
Before reading this review,what do you have in mind about another Squaresoft RPG?AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!Another random battle crap spammed up with eye candy FMVs to lure the gaming mass!!!By the time Chrono Cross has already been released,some pessimists will thought of another FF VIII.Perhaps another soappy love story?Oh,yeah,it promised another Xenogears,FF or Chrono Triggger storyline(it's CT's sequel anyway)?You bet they'll be recycled as you thought Square has run of creative juices(eg:conspiracy,vengence,apocalypse).BUMMER!!!Remember Vagrant Story?It featured a medieval storyline about a Riskbreaker pursuing a notorious cult leader which ended up with an unexpected conspiracy and plot twist.Except the word ''conspiracy'',the graphics,storyline and gameplay gave hope to die-hard gamers that Square is still one of top innovative gaming masters ever.Chrono Cross is going to replace Square's current trend of random battle/recycled gameplay RPG titles.
My ratings will tell you what to expect out of this game.
Mind you,this game isn't like FFIX which still uses recycled and refined FFVIII engine.I've compared FF IX to this one and although the work for FFIX started later,it is a miracle that CC still surpasses it quite amazingly.The pre-rendered backgrounds,although not as impressive from screenshots alone,by playing through the game,you'll be dumbstruck.Even though majority(or all) backgrounds are water colored,it is much more eye breathtaking than FF VIII's,heck even FFIX can't begin to compare.Most backgrounds have infleunce of tropical sea motives,as well as some tribal red indian-african inspirations.The world map is a sheer beauty,but is that all?What about 3D combat battles?You won't believe CC's are 32 bit screenshots,it's so smooth,there's hardly any pixalation seen.The spells are eye-candy as usual,but the enemy attacks are much more jaw dropping.Although,due to too many animations crammed,causing some slight slowdown,it's nothing compared to close ups of characters which is absolutely smooth as if the engine ran by 60 fps.
The sound effects are okay,it sounds realistic and it kics arse hard when played on a home theatre system.Yasunori Mitsuda replaced the FF master Nobuo Uematsu and i'm glad there is a change of composer.He(maybe she,sorry if I made any mistake) chose abstract,modern new age setting with classical influences of East and West,so if you want another memorable ''eyes on me'' or ''one winged angel'',you'll be dissapointed.I agree with most reviewers that his score is a brilliant masterpiece,but there is few ones that are memorable.At least you'll never get sick of boring tunes like Legend of Dragoon ones.I love the battle music,I don't see the reason why it sucked.
Okay,you've heard the usual ''stamina'' system,''elements'' system,I would not waste your time,but to try to convince how fun is to enter combat with an enemy.Random battles are gone,so if you see those wandering monsters in your game,you can either choose to annilate it for the fun of it,or run away when you feel the urgent need of replenishing your supplies.Oh,no this boss is killing the hell of me!!!!Don't touch that reset button,just choose the ''run away'' option and you're out of the mess.That will leave you stuck there,no escape until you beat it up or you can escape to the nearest town until you're ready to face it again.The point is,CC is the only RPG game that does not frustrate you much and you'll be happy to enter the battle over and over again.The additional of 40 over characters are fun,but at the meantime,I fear that it would be a nuisance to have annoying characters in the game or simply,too much or distractive.
O.K,why not a perfect score,you ask.The basic theme about time travelling could be confusing to some players,but I have no qualms.This game's only major bummer is.....WHY THE HELL SERGE WOULDN'T SPEAK A WORD?!He nods and shake his bon-bon whatever occationally when trying to reply and he doesn't give his own opinion,thoughts,ask or anything,except when making decisions(you speak instead).I felt this is inappropriate in an RPG where all characters,including the main ones,talk.Another funny thing is,the characters interacts with him as if they had telekinesis ability,ESP or something.I did not play Chrono Trigger,but does even that blockbuster is like that?
YES!!!!After reading Vagrant Story's text,I wished that CC was handled by the same group of translators.And Square have answered my wish!!!The characters interact with loads of charm,especially the accents are amusing!There are some weird,but catchy phrases that is so funny,like Kid's,''i'm gonna kick your arses so hard,you'll kiss the moons!!!''Let us hope FFIX will be the same as this or even better.
Even though it is a bit complex,RPG veterans will get used to the game system.For newbies,sorry to say,it's difficult because of absence of tutorials,which must be mandatory in RPG games.
The Good:No random battles,innovative new combat system,excellent English translation,smooth 3D graphics.
The Bummer:Serge is ''mute'' throughout the game.
The Total Bummer:FFF IX will not be as good as this one.
Final word:Rent it?Buy it?JUST BUY!!!And if you give this lower than 8,you are lying to say you're a hardcore RPGer.Square has create another blockbuster,and I guarantee,you would not find any other RPG as good as this,for now......
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/19/00, Updated 08/19/00
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