Review by chandlerbing
"A welcome complicity to the Chrono Saga"
Chrono Cross is a much-anticipated sequel to the highly-acclaimed Chrono Trigger, a game that debuted on the SNES way back in 1995. Chrono Cross takes place twenty years after the events of its predeccesor and this time, you take the role of Serge who mysteriously finds himself linked with a complicated web of time and space parallelism.
If Chrono Trigger introduced the concept of time travel possibilities, Chrono Cross extends this concept and presents the players with ominous consequences associated with time travel. In the world of Chrono Cross, there are no time travelling into a specific past or future but you are presented with an alternative world similar to serge's home world. People who have played Chrono Trigger will find many links within Chrono Cross, explicit and implicit that are associated with Chrono Trigger. So how does this game fare?
The battle system consists of entering a fight Final Fantasy-style. There is a new elements system where every characters can equip a wide variety of magic associated with the following: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Darkness and Light so no single character is restricted to use a single element only, though each character do have an innate element that they specialize in and can therefore deal more damage in a particular field than usual. Entering battles is much the same as that of the Final Fantasy games which is a shame since the Chrono Trigger done it better by allowing you to fight in that particular spot rather than take you to a fixed screen.
A welcome feature from chrono Trigger is the double/triple combo system. There is nothing more satisfying than kicking enemy arse with a well-timed combo. Unfortunately though, there is a glaring lack of combos available even though there are 44 characters! The ones that are available are very nice indeed. Triple combos were welcome and neatly designed in the prequel that this game sorely lacks.
We will now analyse the fact there are a total of forty-four characters in the game. The obvious advantage of this is allow you to try out many different characters and to customise your party with your favourite characters. But there is also a disadvantage with this that will annoy many of the fans of the original game - the lack of character development. Because there are so many characters put into the game, most of them do not have any form of role in the story whatsoever and have no real motive for joining your party. In Chrono Trigger, all 7 characters play an important part in the game storyline but most of the characters look out of place in the sophisticated storyline that Chrono Cross possess.
Nicely done but nothing too spectacular. The FMV sequences are clear, crisp and straight to the point and are well thought out and are powerful in their emphasis on the story itself.
A nice soundtrack accompanies this game with various tunes that emphasizes the change of mood in an effective way. The battle music is boring but there are some really catchy tunes that will get you humming along, especially the boss battle music. Doesn't really compare to Chrono Trigger's soundtrack but the music in this game are still very cool and fits the game well. Overall, the soundtrack doesn't really compare with the brilliant scores of the prequel.
Yes! Like Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross has several different endings available. These can be gotten through playing the New Game+ option that is made accessible after you've completed the game once. Also, it is impossible to collect all 44 characters in one game so you may wish to play the New Game+ to try and collect the missing ones. This is especially ideal for perfectionists, don't worry, you will be rewarded for your efforts. There is fun to be had to be able to beat the crap out of early monsters with your overpowered party!
RENT OR BUY
If you are a fan of the original, you would want this game in your collection to continue the Chrono Saga. There are aspects of this game that may disappoint Chrono Trigger fans notably the 44 character issue but that aside, this game is very worth buying as it furthers the story of Chrono Trigger of which no doubt you will find engaging and interesting. Those who have not played the original may want to rent the game first and see what you make of the story which do make occasional references to events that took place in Chrono Trigger. Hopefully for the next game in this series, Square will address some of the complaints and faults of this game. But very well done for creating a story line that is complex and mature that really does add a lot to the perhaps simplicity of the story of the prequel.
If you are new to the series, then I would strongly recommend playing the Chrono Trigger before playing this game because there will be cross references to the older game that you will not understand or fully enjoy unless you have played the previous game. Of course, it is not essential to do this but to get the most enjoyment out of Chrono Cross, I suggest you play the older game first.
Here's a list of the Pros and Cons with this game:
A very sophisticated storyline that neatly advances on the story first introduced in CT.
44 characters at your disposal - allows for customizing for your style.
Lots of secrets and side-quests extends total game play.
Many endings gives you an incentive to play through the game again.
Character development suffers from the presence of 44 characters. Most of the characters should have a story to tell and the significance of their roles in the grand schemes of things explained or developed but quite sadly, this is simply not the case. Some characters almost seem too generic and the addition of accents for different characters does not really help.
Lack of combos means that the fun of experimenting with possible combo combinations is ultimately limited and disappointing.
Ultimately an easy game which is a breeze.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/02, Updated 11/22/02
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