Review by Serge
"The greatest RPG of all time? YES!!!"
On August 16, I finally held the Chrono Cross jewel case in my sweaty little palms. I pop in the first of 2 CDs, sit down, and don't budge until 6 hours later, when I look at the clock and realize to my horror that it's 11 PM. This will happen to you too, Chrono Cross is THE most addictive game of all time. You will only stop playing it when you absolutely must. But why, you ask? Here's a brief rundown of the greatest RPG of all time:
Wow! Probably the best looking game on the PS. The environments are all very natural and organic looking, but more importantly, are very interesting and fun to explore. The level design is absolutely fantastic. The battle environments are very colorful and have lighting effects (like the sun shining in your eyes), and motion blur and all that good stuff. And the spell effects are the best you're going to see in real-time on the PS. And unlike FF8 or LOD, they are over quickly, so no more 2 minutes spells to worry about. The FMV is fantastic (what do you expect from the guys who made the FF8 FMV?), and is mostly in the form of visions/memories/flashbacks that keep you guessing about the story. Speaking of the story...
A definite contender for best storyline ever. You ALWAYS want to know what happens next, but unlike some games where there are 30 or 40 minute text marathons, it doesn't bog the game down. It is as concise as possible. The story is full of incredible twists, often making you wonder what the heck is happening (which is good, b/c you'll want to play on to find out). The characters, which are an important part of any story, are very good. They all have their own motivations, pasts, attitudes, and accents. The sheer number (over 40) may seem mind boggling, but they join gradually, and they ALL fit and contribute to the story. Even if you think that is too much, you don't have to most of them, about 1/2 are optional, believe it or not.
Are you noticing a pattern here? I'm not going to go too in-depth, there's plenty of FAQs that do that, but the battle system in incredible. Each character is one of the six elements (black, white, green, yellow, red, and blue). Each element has an opposite element, so you always want to try to have as many opposite elements as possible. For example, in a fire cavern, you should have blue elemental people in your party. More importantly, you should do this for bosses. But how can you know what element a boss is? Simple, you can ran away WHENEVER you want, EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! So you can encounter a boss, see what element he is, then runaway and make your party as strong as possible against that element! About to die in battle? In other RPGs you will have to do it all over again from the last save point, but in CC just run away and regroup! It is a simple yet effective idea. Attacks are composed of weak, medium, and strong. The stronger the attack, the more stamina it uses, but it also refills your magic level higher. The higher the magic level, the more elemental attacks and magics you can choose from to cast, which of course you can assign to each character. Don't like micromanaging? The computer can do it for you! It is a simple yet awesome battle system. Perhaps the coolest thing is that you can heal automatically after every boss battle. No more trips to the menu screen every minute! All of these things make the battle system the deepest ever, but it is still accessible to both novices and hardcore players.
The music and sound in this game is just incredible. The sound effects are all good, and the music is one of the best efforts ever. The opening theme is incredible, and sets the mood for the game that follows. And all the songs that follow don't dissapoint either. Some songs even have chords from the original game's music, and some entire songs are remixed! This will make CT fans tingle with delight as they hear familiar things here and there. The only one that is just a tad grating is the battle song, but overall one of the best musical scores ever.
By now, you've noticed the pattern. Square has done some great translations lately, and this may be the best. All of the characters accents were somehow kept and still fit perfectly. Considering all the text that is in the game, the translator's must have gone insane, but their sacrifice has made this game one of the best translations ever.
You want replay, you got it! Wanna play each character the whole game so you can experience them to the fullest? Let's see, 48 divided by three is 16, that's how many times you'll need to play it. Which would work out pretty good since there are around 15 endings anyway (and NewGame+ is back!). Want to see all the side quests? Better quit your job/school, because there a ton, including one for every character. Speaking of characters, they're quite hard to find. Oh, and if you're one of those obssessed people who has to see EVERYTHING in a game, good luck! There are over 1,500 different scenario's in this beast. Easily the game with the most replay every (well, I guess Star Ocean 2 is pretty close).
Everything is great! I really can't think of anything bad to say about this game. The greatest RPG of all time. Heck, maybe the greatest GAME of all time! If you are an RPG fan, pick this up now. If you are not an RPG fan, pick this up now. If you don't have a Playstation, buy one and get this game now. If you don't like videogames, this game will change your mind, get this game now. If you're a casual player, get this game not. If you're a hardcore player, get this game now. If you were stuck on a desert island, and could only pick five possessions, pick a power outlet, power lines, PS, a TV, and Chrono Cross. Because if you have Chrono Cross, you don't really need anything else.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/20/00, Updated 08/20/00
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