Review by hellcat
"The overhyped supposed to be game of the year comes up WAY short"
First of i want to begin by saying that Chrono Trigger was one of the best games made for the snes. The story was super solid, the gameplay was simple and tight, the graphics were cutting edge for the times, and the music was phenomenal. A GOOD sequel to this game would have to at least equal/if not better that, no easy task mind you. Unfortunately CC comes up short in many areas.
Lets start with the easy stuff... the Graphics, yes they are nice, do the job. They are some of the best graphics i have seen on the psx so far, so its hard to complain about that. The only thing, as FF8 showed, is that graphics alone simply do not make a good game. And if you are playing an RPG simply for the graphics well then there isn't much hope for you anyways. ;P
Graphics 9/10 Very well done
Audio is outstanding. Not much to say here... same guy that did CT did this.. kudos. :)
Audio 10/10 Terrific
Well it all goes downhill from here, so be warned if you don't want to have your ideals and dreams shattered close your eyes for the rest of the review ;P.
Next we have the story. The only word i can think of is weak. Up until the end of the first disc there are very few plot details with only one that is semi-interesting. However, by that time i was so dissinterested in the story that it only served as a tease... hoping that maybe you will want to continue playing to figure out what happens, which really you don't. The sub-quests are boring and uninteresting and give nothing to the plot as a whole. At least legend of mana knew that it had no plot... CC tries to have a plot but simply fails miserably.
Story 3/10 I have seen worse...
Another part where CC fails is the gameplay. It goes with a Xenogears style fight system but morphs it with Final Fantasy's Active Time Battle System, simply to give a hardly enjoyable experience. The fights are tedious and bothersome as some normal enemies are more difficult than bosses. Last time i checked normal fights were simply for level building not for me to be wasting hours fighting.
Speaking of level building, again CC fails by implementing Saga Frontier's ''No Exp but hopefully your stats will go up and if not you have no freaking idea why'' system. It is intensely aggravating when you fight what you think is a difficult monster and your stats don't change a wink after the fight. I think that the Square folk are trying to make it so you can't level up so badly that the game is too easy. Well if i want to piss my life away by leveling up and making the game too easy then so be it... you simply cannot do it with this piss poor level system.
Next i must touch on the element system. Much like the materia system (only horribly worse) you can customize your characters to wit's end. First off the auto-set feature is useless, second later in the game it can take quite a while to set-up a character exactly the way you like. Then suddenly you open a chest and you get a new one and then you fight a monster and get another new element... meanwhile you're ripping your hair out realizing that you have to re-customize all your characters.
Ahh the characters, 40+ of them. Suikoden anyone. Actually i liked Suikoden because switching gear between characters not in your party was a breeze. CC simply butchered whatever simplicity this system had making you put the character in your party that you wish to change gear. There is no ''dump'' command that pools all your non-party characters equipment into your inventory. No... instead you have to go and change each one manually. Can you say frustrating agonizing tear-inducing pain anyone???
One of the dumbest parts of FF8 was having to have certain objects to upgrade weapons. Well Chrono Cross certainly improved on this system. The only problem is... ITS A DUMBASS SYSTEM. I go into a blacksmith, i don't bring the materials i want him to make something out of, i tell him i want this sword, this armor, this shield, here's my money now im leaving. That's part of what makes Chrono Trigger, and FF6/7 simplicity where complexity is simply not wanted.
Gameplay 2/10 Again i've seen worse but its still very frustrating
In conclusion, i play RPG's for the story and the gameplay. If its got a great story and a mediocre gameplay (suikoden) i can play it. If its got a mediocre story and terrific gameplay (final fantasy tactics) i can play it. But when we start to dabble in mediocrity all around... games just become weak and not deserving of the time of game players.
It is my opinion that this game was overhyped and of course it was. All you have to do is say sequel to chrono trigger and who isn't going to want to try it?!
Overall Score 3/10 Should've delivered Would've delivered Could've delivered DIDN'T DELIVER!!
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/26/00, Updated 08/26/00
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