Review by HollywoodRPG

"Not the sequel everyone hoped for, but still outstanding"

Chrono Cross is an absolutely incredible game. Following in the footsteps of a game like Chrono Trigger is no easy task and it shows with the amount of criticism it receives. Just because the game is not the sequel everyone was looking for, people have been saying how awful it is. It is true that Chrono Cross doesn't feature the same main characters, nor does it take place in the same towns and time period, but this game is still an experience unlike any other.

Story:
So Serge must go out and rescue the world from some ultimate evil huh? So you've heard this one before in basically every other RPG, but like most a new spin has been put on it. Serge almost died in a freak accident many years back. What would have happened to the world if he had in fact died that day? This sets up the great tale of the world split in two through an event that could have gone either way. The plot of course has some twists and turns, and even though none of them are really too hard to see coming, the story still manages to keep you thoroughly entertained throughout. The main story revolves around Serge and Kid, but you can recruit many, many more characters to fight along side you. When I say many, I really mean many. Some see this as a negative of the game since the character development of most of the extra members is severely lacking, but I find it fun to mix and match party members and pick out my own diamond in the rough. 8/10

Gameplay:
Standard run-of-the-mill RPG fare when it comes to going through towns and other points of interest such as caves and the like. The world map is fairly small and it takes next to no time to get from one place to another on and there are no random battles. As a matter of fact, there are no random battles anywhere in the game. You see your enemies around you and it is up to you whether to fight them or avoid them. The actual battles are where this game is unique. You can have three party members at a time. Combat revolves around the use of weak, medium, and strong attacks. Weak attacks are more accurate but obviously hurt less while strong attacks are opposite. Each successful attack landed increases the accuracy for the next attack, so progressing weak to medium to strong is a solid strategy. Each attack also builds up your element 'gauge' which is this game's magic system. Depending on where this gauge is you can cast various elements that you have equipped, but you can only cast one of each element per battle. I found this system to be very fun and pleasantly different from the norm. 9/10

Graphics:
Oh how I hate writing about the graphics of a game. To be honest this really shouldn't matter enough to someone to make them play or pass on a game. People seem to care enough though so I'll put this in here. The visuals of this game for the time were quite good. The cut scenes especially were top notch and I must say I really enjoyed watching them. They have, in my opinion, withstood the test of time fairly well too. That's really all I got on that. 9/10

Sound:
I love the music of this game. I have the soundtrack. I listen to it all the time. The opening movie alone should tell you everything you need to know about the music of Chrono Cross. Each song fits beautifully with the environment that it is played in from the nice calm island themes to the frantic boss battle tunes. As amazing as the other aspects of this game are, I find the soundtrack to be the best of the lot. 10/10

Well, there you have it. Chrono Cross is a great game that should not be passed up. A good story draws you in and, although you aren't saying “I can't believe that just happened,” keeps you entertained. The many characters add an interesting new aspect that despite the lacking character development connects you to the world they are in. The element system can be confusing at first but offers a unique and fun battle experience. The graphics were quite good for the time and have withstood the years relatively well, especially the cut scenes. The soundtrack is absolutely outstanding and almost never gets repetitive or boring. It may not be as good as Chrono Trigger, but really are there many games that are? Chrono Cross is an outstanding game in its own right and will keep you entertained from start to finish…that is to say from the start of your first play through to the end of your fifth. 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/09

Game Release: Chrono Cross (US, 08/15/00)


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