Review by Psycho Penguin
"It's not the worst game ever, probably, but I really can't stand it one single bit."
A wise man once said, ''Thus you're epic journey into the realms begin, tis a journey only the brave should take.. ''
Yes, you have to be brave to take it. One small problem...
I didnt know CC was an epic journey, but then again I was too busy wondering why I spent so much time and money on this game to care.
Square made Chrono Trigger. We know this. I'm not going to instill into your brain that Chrono Cross is not the same game as Chrono Trigger. I'm not going to compare the two. I'm going to explain to you, straight up, why Chrono Cross deserves to be my most hated video game of all time. Not role playing game, not Squaresoft game, BUT VIDEO GAME.
The game turns on. Psycho Penguin is about to play Chrono Cross for the first time!
Psycho Penguin runs across screen. An enemy darts in the way! And an ugly looking one, at that. Good, he says! He likes to fight! Battling for experience points is good! So, he approaches the beast and the most god awful song he's ever heard plays. Eh, alright, he'll play with the sound off. So, he does so, and he continues through the weird battle that has him do different kinds of attacks. After the battle, he doesn't even get experience points! Some stats just randomly leveled up! Dejected, he figured he could use the gold for weapons and armor, but alas, SQUARE IS STUPID.
I just named to you several of the flaws the game has to offer. If you want bad gameplay in a role playing game, this is the place to be. I at least liked the basic battle setup, to be fair. This game is Xenogears-like in that you get a certain amount of stamina each round. You can do attacks which lower your stamina. The more powerful the attack, the more stamina it takes away. Once you run out of stamina, it's the next person's turn.
Of course, you could also do something else instead of attack, like use magic. When you use an element, your stamina goes waaaay down, and might not recover by next round. You don't get MP, you just get a certain amount of usage of the element, depending on what skill level you put the Element at.
To continue along the theme of Elements, Chrono Cross's magic system is ultimately disappointing, although not as horrible as the rest of the game. This is the weirdest magic system I've ever seen. Not necessarily bad, just weird. You get to buy elements, find them in dungeons, or steal/win them from enemies. You can then equip elements and use them as magic during battle. There are four basic element colors, and each element color is strong, neutral, and weak against other element colors, so knowing the element system is key to survival.
Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into this system. You will spend more time fooling around with your Elements than you will at actually, you know, fighting battles and saving the world and all that jazz. The elements are set up automatically for you if you wish, but good luck getting through any key battles. So, you'll need to check up on your elements all the time just to make sure you can survive battles, and it gets annoying quickly.
I didn't even get to the part that truly makes me hate Chrono Cross yet, so stay tuned, because here comes MR. RANTER!
It's like Square wanted to sacrifice fun in terms of originality. Remember when games could do both? Hell, I just played a new game by Capcom (cough cough) where it's both unique AND fun. Chrono Cross is unique and very BAD. You can make a game unique and still manage to keep in some elements that actually make it worth playing. Not so in Chrono Cross.
Let's say you actually survive a battle in the game without turning it off due to the horrible music or the fact that the enemies seem to take unusual amounts of punishment before dying. You will notice that you don't get experience points. Instead of leveling up by EARNING it, stats are RANDOMLY leveled up. That's right, randomly. I asked the board several months ago and they told me that stats are just chosen randomly to be selected, and that after several battles you won't even get any more level ups until you find another star.
... was all I could say.
This means that basically those who take the time to level up will find themselves just as strong as those who don't by the end of the game. And all I have to say to this is, that's way too bad. Square should know better. I know they're probably mad at the people that spent 300 hours mastering FF7 and then complaining that they could beat Ultima Weapon with 1 hit. I'm sure I'd be mad too. Hell, I'm mad at them too for expecting for a challenge after spending 300 hours. However, they should be REWARDED for their hard work, not punished.
Chrono Cross is not the every man's game. Those who want to fight and enjoy the somewhat unique and enjoyable battle system will suffer at the lack of reward they are receiving. Those who like to be challenged will be, because you can't fight all the time and expect to get anywhere. However, every RPG should either follow a ''This game will be easy or hard because you will determine it'' type of game, or a ''You can still level up, but the enemies level up with you, but other than that, we won't punish you for it'' type of game. Why can't Square figure that out already?
But you can get gold and items to make weapons and armor! Too bad it sucked just as bad as it did in FF8. Here's an idea: steal Legaia 2's idea. Make weapon combining and modifying items easy to come by, except for the truly rare ones, which you earn by doing insane side quests. Don't make me go to some rat tat island and fight for a while so I can steal six bolts.
OH BUT GOOD NEWS! You can see the enemies. But you can't avoid them! Because they can see you, and they'll run after you. Sometimes. Most just stand there. You know, I hated how Lunar just put enemies in front of all the doors and stuff, but at least those enemies actually pretended you were there...
At least the storyline is somewhat marginable, sadly I can't tell you any of the good parts because they're all spoilers, but some parts of the game will make you wonder what Square was thinking, and others will generally interest you, especially when the main character starts going through some weird changes. The storyline wasn't all that great, and it certainly didn't do its job of holding this shoddy game together.
Another major complaint? The insane amount of characters. 44. 44 freaking characters. It's too bad all of them sucked. The main characters were so boring and cliche that I thought I was watching a B-rate movie from the 80's or something. Character development is so bad, it's almost negative. Of course, how are they going to actually DEVELOP anybody with 44 characters in the game? They only focus on a select few, and the rest are just along for the ride.
I hate to harp on a point I made above but I *must* here before moving on. Why put 44 characters into a game where your statistics randomly level up? It's seriously unfair to do that to an average consumer who just wants to have a good time through a RPG without having to level up stats on several different characters, without actually having a choice as to what stats level up.
Ahem.. sorry about that.
Sure, the game looks nice. However, graphics have never made much of a difference to me and the prettiness of the game can't hide its flaws. Battle graphics are beautiful, some of the best I have seen on the Playstation, by far. The enemies are well designed and the backgrounds are well detailed and colorful for the most part. Some of the scenery is a tad too bright and colorful, but I'll take what I can get, as I ALWAYS TRY TO FIND GOOD POINTS IN GAMES!
The rest of the game seriously does look wonderful, unless you look really closely at the screen and see all those pixels and crap like that. But if you look at it from a normal distance it'll look pretty good!
I'd like to comment big time on the music now! Haha. The battle system sounds like my dog farted into a tuba where a fat man was eating a tuna fish sandwich, and the funa fish came alive and started playing guitar. The fat man then exploded, and the sound he makes while exploding are the sound effects. Thank god they made the Lucca theme from CT the victory theme, but it's not like you'll last long enough to actually hear it.
Oh, and the rest of the music is pretty good. I liked that opening song a lot, I got it on a burned CD. It was pretty damn impressive. I still hum to it. I wish it would have gone in a better game, but it's THE FIRST SONG. I liked the boss battle theme a lot, as well as the town theme and the overworld theme. The victory theme, like I stated, is awesome because it is one of Chrono Trigger's best songs, Lucca's theme.
Chrono Cross is probably in the top 10 easiest RPGs of all time category. The battles don't mean much in the long run, so the bosses are always pretty much going to be the same challenge, depending on what elements you have. Boss fights come down to using the same elements over and over, so strategy really does not play much of a role. The game is also pretty linear, so you won't have too much of a challenge figuring out what to do next.
If I ever feel the need to play a game with no character development, mediocre music, good graphics, awful battle music, a magic system from hell, and no normal leveling up, I'll play Final Fantasy 8, thank you very much.
In the lines of the immortal comic book guy... Worst. Game. EVAR.
I don't know what I'd do without Chrono Cross in my life..
I'd probably be happier.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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