Review by felixrush
"I tried to like it but, ultimately, couldn't, to be perfectly honest, it was a terrible experience."
Chrono Cross is a sequel to the fabled game Chrono Trigger. This game tried a different approach from most sequels by changing the focus of the story and characters completely. Like all Square games, the battle system attempts to be unique and original to stand out.
The story is horrendously executed. There is just no way around it. Chrono Cross fails to hold the players attention. Normally in role-playing games created by Square it becomes captivating and keeps hold of the player's interest with mystery and character growth but unfortunately this game utterly fell flat in that regard. Often times you're told to "keep moving" with no understanding of where, how, or what you're even suppose to be doing. Characters will randomly tell you vague hints on what to do sometimes but half the time you have to look through just about everywhere to find out what you're suppose to be doing. It's tedious and just plain annoying to go through. The game simply fails at giving direction half the time and the times it does are basically "Oh hey! You know, we should go to X location! We might find something their at X location! Let's go to X location! Come on!". It simply isn't given enough explanation on why.
Issues that the game tries to focus on such as racism just degenerate to "All humans are at fault for everything!". There is just nothing more to it at all. No explanation of why, how, or what humans even did. The only explanation you will ever get is: "Everything in the entire world is the entire human races fault!".
The turn based battle system is just a horribly executed waste. Random encounters are rendered useless with no leveling system apart from boss battles and any items or magic moves you may obtain is pointless because boss battles give you enough money to simply buy these items in towns. Participating in more than one or two of these random battles per dungeon will yield a wholesome supply of raw materials for forging items.
The magic system, which attempts to be stand offish and unique, is just a downgrade from the standard turn-based rpg battle system. How many normal attacks you accurately hit on an opponent determine the level of spells you can cast and there is no restraint to stop you from using your strongest spells all the time. In fact, the more of the same spell type you use, the stronger it becomes on the field making use of different spells rather useless for normal battles.
The physical combat in battle is just a drag. The weaker hits are more accurate and for every hit all of your attacks will become more accurate. Unfortunately, it's poorly executed. It really just means you have to click the attack button three times instead of just once for normal enemies to go down. Accuracy against weaker enemies never does increase so you'll have the same accuracy against enemies no matter what because there is no leveling outside of boss battles.
Out of 44 characters only 3 or so of them get any real development as characters. Most of them are just given funny accents to appear unique. The problem, of course, is that when all of them try to look unique they all end-up looking bland. The characters outfits and accents don't really fit well with the story or even the world around them. For example, what is a Mexican wrestler doing in a circus and why does he suddenly want to join you just because some child died in an accident? It really makes no sense. Worse yet, you can only have three characters in battle so you won't even be using over half these characters.
The equipment system is rather poorly implemented. To create armor and weaponry you must find raw materials to forge them. These materials, however, are very easy to find and you may wonder, as I did, why such requirements even exist instead of the standard and more efficient "buy and wear" in standard rpgs.
The story itself, or rather whatever bits and pieces you are given, didn't seem bad at all. It appeared to be interesting enough when it showed itself when ever it was there but they're far too apart from each other and none of it apparently will make sense at all until the near the very end. You just aren't given any understanding at all on what the events mean, why they're important, why you even need to be their, or what your actions have caused.
It honestly won't make any sense until the very end. Some of them you have to do extra side quests for extra explanation but unfortunately, some of these side quests don't go in-depth on why these events happen and you'll still be left with unanswered questions.
These apparent gaps in the story were suppose to be explained in a sequel but unfortunately the sequel, called "Chrono Break, had been cancelled within three years of it's announcement and Square Enix gave no word on any further information about any future Chrono titles that would take place after the events of Chrono Cross.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 02/17/09
Game Release: Chrono Cross (Greatest Hits) (US, 12/31/01)
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