Review by roadkill
"Another on of Square's finest"
A Sequel to the highly popular Chrono Trigger for the Super NES, Chrono Cross in my opinion will always stand out as one of Squaresoft’s best achievements. Chrono Cross is actually the second sequel to the phenomenal game that is Chrono Trigger. The first being Radical Dreamers which appeared for a short time in Japan for the Super NES (Famicom in Japan) satellite uplink service. According to Square, a lot of the gaming elements from Radical Dreamers have been passed to Chrono Cross.
Graphics – 10
Surprisingly among the best graphics I’ve seen in a PlayStation RPG. One the field, one might compare the graphics to Final Fantasy Tactics. Try to imagine a 2-dimensional map looking down on it from atop and you’re characters in there are just tiny little sprites. And that’s basically the world map in a nutshell. Now, on to the battles. These remind me of Final Fantasy 8 with better graphics, a lot better graphics.
Sound – 10
This has perhaps some of the best music I’ve ever heard in an RPG. This game has some pretty memorable tunes that come on a three-disc sound track. Most if not all can be downloaded and listened to off of the Internet, I’m not going to list any specific sites here though.
Storyline – 10
Excellent. One element I really like in any RPG is that right from the start, you’re in the action. This is somewhat true of Chrono Cross, within 30 minutes of starting a new game; you’re into the storyline. And what a storyline! In most RPG’s, you’re this guy who holds the key for saving the world. Not this one, in this one you’re this guy (Serge) who holds the key for saving two worlds. You start the game out in a really funky temple and you beat up some guys, after an FMV sequence, boom, you wake up in you’re bed in you’re home town, the funky temple was all a dream, or, was it a sign of things to come. I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story for you, just play it.
Characters – 10
This ain’t you’re usual RPG where you only get 7 to 10 characters to choose from, no, you get 40. Each with their own abilities and attacks, some suck at physical attacks but magic attacks more then make up for it, some are the exact opposite, some do good in both areas and some just plain suck. Getting the right characters is a bit tricky, so I recommend a strategy guide or at least downloading a FAQ from the internet somewhere, don’t exactly know what website has FAQs, you might want to try something like videogamefaqs.com. In case there is any doubt, I am only kidding, I know that there is no videogamefaqs.com, maybe try just simply faqs.com, just make sure you don’t type fags.com.
Concept – 10
One thing you gotta love about Squaresoft games, every game has it’s own little strategy to it. In to name a few, in Final Fantasy 5 and Final Fantasy Tactics, it was the job system. In Final Fantasy 6, it was espers; Final Fantasy 7 had the concept of materia. Well, Chrono Cross has something somewhat similar to materia called elements. If you are familiar with materia at all, it’s easiest to picture it this way, an element is like materia, but you can’t link it to another piece of materia. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, I’ll try to explain it as best I can. Oh, one important thing before I start, if you’re the type that like to level up so that your enemies stand no chance against you (like me), well, that’s not how this game works. An element is a piece of magic that you can equip to an individual. But, it’s not that simple. All elements have levels to them such as tablet (a curative agent), which has a level of 1 +/- 0. Now this element can only fit into the level 1 slot, which you start the game out with I believe two of. You gain levels by defeating bosses. Say you have an element that’s a level 5 +/- 3, well, the +/- 3 means that you can either place this element in a level 5 slot, or up to 3 levels down or three levels up. Get it? So, you can place this element into levels 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8. One thing to remember when allocating elements is that if you go any levels lower then the recommended, the element starts to loose it power, and the opposite, if you go higher then the recommended, the element gains power. One more thing, (well, actually, one of many) if you think you can cast these elements right from the start, think again. When you start a battle, you start with level 0 (that means you can’t access any of you’re elements). The way you gain levels in battle is by fighting, see, every move adds a number onto you’re levels in battle. You got three moves, weak (adds 1 onto your level), normal (adds 2) and fierce (adds 3). The thing is, the higher up you go, the less your hit% (likelihood that you’ll actually hit the enemy), so, number 1 rarely ever fails, 2 there’s a chance it’ll miss and 3, pray to god. Unlike the Final Fantasy series, these battles are not real time, when it’s your turn to attack; you have what’s known as stamina. Once a characters stamina runs out, you have to wait till your next turn to attack again. OK, here’s my cheap explanation of stamina as to not confuse you more then you already are. Each turn, you get a stamina of 7. What this means is you can do a fierce attack twice then do a weak attach once (remember those numbers) so that’d be 3,3,1 or 7. You can do any combination of attacks, but it can’t exceed 7. To cast elements takes at least 1 stamina point, so you can do two fierce attacks, the cast an element. One more thing about levels and elements in battle, I’ll give you an example of an element in the level 4 place here to make this easier for you. Say you just started the battle; you current battle level is 0. You somehow manage to pull off two fierce attacks; your battle level jumps up to 6 (3+3). You decide to cast a level 4 element. You cast it and your battle level drops down to 2. You see, your level was at 6, then you cast a level 4, now you’re at 2, see a pattern here? Ok, I said one more thing about elements and levels, well, I lied. You can only cast an element once in battle. That level 4 element you cast in the previous example, well, for the rest of the battle, you can’t use it. There’s more things about elements and what’s known as the field effect, but I’m not going to get into that here. I think that the game explains these very well, and lets face it, if you’re not going to buy this game or at least rent it, you’re not going to want to read anymore then you already have.
Controls – 8
One of this games best features, analogue and dual-shock compatible (well, sort of). I found that if you use both the analogue and the rumbling features, the first rumble, and the analogue goes out. What I recommend is to turn off the rumbling feature when playing, or if you like the rumbling feature, then use the digital pad. Another weird thing, I never knew this fact before this game came out, your maybe noticed on the dual-shock the you can press the analogue sticks in just a little bit, guess what, these are actually buttons!! Known in this game as the L3 and R3 buttons. This is no BS.
Overall – 10
Buy it, buy it now. Don’t forget the strategy guide, I strongly recommend it. This game is no FF7, but it ranks up there.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/31/00, Updated 08/31/00
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