Review by Rocky
"Graphic masterpiece, but a lagging battle system, still a good game."
I have been waiting for a great RPG to come out for a long time. I go online about three times a week just to check what RPG's are due out in the next few days. Unfortunatley I haven't come across a solid RPG that I can put some time into since Final Fantasy 7. Can Chrono Cross break this streak of mediocore RPG's? Let's go to the review....
Graphics: (10/10) Chrono Cross absolutley shines in this catagory. From the magnificent cut scenes to the beautiful world map, even the battle graphics, which are usually pixilated in RPG's, look great. To sum it up in one word. Stunning.
Audio: (10/10) To tell you the truth when I play RPG's I don't really care what the sound or music is like, they don't make or break a game. Although Chrono Cross has nothing new in the audio department the music goes well with the game and the sound effects are done well too.
Story: (10/10) The story in Chrono Cross is another high point. I find that the story is about eighty percent of a good gaming experience. If you don't want to know what happens next why play the game? Chrono Cross has a unique system that has the story branch out into different areas, like a tree. If you follow path one you get to path two but then never get to see what happens if you would have picked path three instead. It isn't your typical save the world kind of game. To go along with the branching system, when you finally do pick a path there are many twists and turns to the path that you pick that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Also, there are a ton of characters that you can meet and judging by what path you take or the things you say to them they may or may not join your party. A great aspect of the game is the NEW GAME + where you can go back and get all the characters and side areas and even some secret boss fights. Squaresoft rarely fails to give it's gamers a unique story, with alot of area to explore.
Gameplay: (6/10) I gave the gameplay a six and I think I may be generous with that ranking. I don't know about you but I like the old RPG game battle systems ( Final Fantasy 2-3-and 7, or Suikoden 1 and 2 ) more than these new games that try to have you string a combo of attacks together by pushing different buttons, ( Xenogears, Legend of Legia) Chrono Cross is more like Xenogears battle system. Here's how it works: Each character has seven stamina points and three choices of attack options, weak, strong, and fierce. Weak takes one stamina point, strong two , and fierce three, and each has a percent of hit rate that goes with it. Ex: weak-85%, strong 70%, fierce-55%. And each time you land a hit those percents go up. To add on to this every time you land a hit you gain a skill level allowing you to perform a special skill or magical attack, that will in turn end that characters attack turn. I found that when I get into a battle I just try to land weak hits to build my skill level up so I can use a special skill or magic attack, it seems to just eliminate the act of physical attacking. I don't even notice how much damage my characters are physically doing just what magic or special skills they have. You may like the system, but for an old school RPGer like me I wish this battle system was different.
Also, I think I should add that in Chrono Cross there is no character levels or experience points. You can gain small stat upgrades after random battles, ( Ex: +2 HP for a character ) but you cannot exceed a certain limit. After certain boss fights you can gain a star level that sets these small upgrades limits higher and give new skills.
I guess that the fact that there are no random battles fits under ganeplay too, you can see your enemies walking around like in Chrono Trigger.
Replay Value: (10/10) Chrono Cross, like I mentioned earlier, has a branching storyline with many possiblities and many characters. Also the New Game + mode lets go back and find everyone you missed or couldn't get the first time through, it also adds things like extra boss fights. You could spend a long time going through and seeing what would have happened if you did things differently.
Buy or Rent?: I would say it is worth buying. I got it for under $40. It is still a good game even though I personally didn't enjoy the battle system or the way you gain stats or levels.
Hope this helps anyone still wondering to get this game or not.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/21/00, Updated 08/21/00
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