Review by LegendaryFrog
"The Chrono Series just got this much better"
Soon after I played and beat Chrono Trigger for the SNES, I heard about Chrono Cross. And not to much surprise, it was for my arch-nemesis: The Playstation..... I won't bore you with the details, but the only reason I have a PSX is to play this game. Was it worth it? Oh yeah. (Plus I got Resident Evil 3, whoohoo!)
Here we go:
My god.....now this is what every game should look like... Character models are so big and have so much detail it makes them blend in with the Pre rendered backdrops perfectly. Example: I enter a room, do a little puzzle solving, and I hear a voice. All of a sudden, the little straw doll (Mojo) on the mantel moves! It wasn’t part of the background, it was a full fledged polygon model, and I was none the wiser.
I'm a Nintendo fanboy, and I liked the N64 graphics better than the PSX because of there blocky and pixely polygons. So if your like me, let me tell you something... forget about it. Pure eye candy. The CG movies all look good, as usual. Animation is great; the best I ever seen.
GAMEPLAY and DESIGN 9/10
Magic plays a smaller role in the game, because you can only use each spell once per battle, making it less confusing. Now longer do you press a button and watch the character do the same move over and over... you control the strength of the attack all the time thanks to CC very unique battle system.
A quick and simplified run down. You start with 7 Stanima Points. When you attack, you use up SP. 1 for weak, 2 for strong, and 3 for ferce. Each time you attack, that number of points is added to you Element Bar (Magic) and you can use a element equal or less than the points you gathered. It takes awhile to get used to, but it makes the battles much more fun.
NO MORE RANDOM BATTLES! Thank you, Square. I love you. Marry me.
Story Paths: At certain points in the game, you can choose different paths with different characters. Depending on what path you take, the story is a bit different. The first example is in the town of Termina (Which, oddly enough, is the name of the world Zelda: Majora's Mask takes in...hmmmmm) You can choose Nikki's path, Guile's path, or Parrie's path. And thanks to the New Game + mode, you can go back and enjoy all of them once you complete the game.
Chrono Cross host a total of 44 playable characters.... This means character development is lower than Chrono Trigger. They pretty much fall into 3 groups: The Plot Characters (Serge, Kid, Lynx) the Secondary Characters (Nikki, Leena, Glenn) and the Goofy Extras (Pip, Mojo, and Razzley) Alot of people a going to gripe about the cutesy ones, but trust me, it's not that bad. Besides, Pip rocks! (gotta love that Pokemon wannabe...)
Best soundtrack ever... now, I know the PSX had a better sound quality than the N64, but this game sounds better than most PSX games. Are you sure this isn't all real instruments playing? My only gripe is Frog's theme isn't in there.... (If you don’t know, I have a unhealthy obsession with the Legendary Hero)
The opening movie ''Time's Scar'' is truly on of the most emotional thing I ever seen in a video game. How do I describe it!? Think violins and harps and just a really upbeat sound to it.... download it off PSX.IGN.com right now.
Speaking of IGN, they said none off the music stands out. HA! ALL the music stands out. (Can't stop humming Another Termina's music..)
The battle theme, is...well....ok...I guess. The boss theme, however, rocks.
Another great track is ''Garden of the Gods.'' Unfortontely, telling you how it's so emotianal and perfect will spoil part of the game...dang.
You need not worry. Chrono Cross continues the plot of CT very well, dispite being brand new. Links and ties are scattered about every where, and really adds to the first game.
The overall plot is nice, but feels unfinished. In fact, the plot isn't really a plot until about 1/3 of the way through...Which may turn some people off. Overall a great piece of storytelling, and the messages about humanity and you trying to piece the darn thing together is well worth it.
REPLAY VALUE 10/10
Like Chrono Trigger before it, Chrono Cross has a New Game + mode where you start out with all the items and weapons from the last game. Miss a character you wanted? Want to try another path? Want to see another ending? That's why New Game + is there, my friend.
There is some slowdown when walking around sometimes, but who cares! The insane amount of character lessens the development of character like Chrono Trigger did. (But it's high enough, just not as high)
The plot is confusing at points, and Square didn't do a great job ending it, in my opinion. It just ends...every loose end is kind of thrown at you at the last 10 minutes of the game, and it makes you confused. And when you get right down to it, time traveling is cooler than changing dementions.
Speaking of dimensions, they didn't really have many differences between them, which was kind of a let down. Where's my Reptitred ruled future?!
Chrono Trigger was one of the best stories ever told. A battle though time to save the world from a great evil. Cross' plot is a bit different, and much more complicated, but it's the same idea. The plot is slow moving at times, but always pulls you in.
In the end, did Chrono Cross leave a big inpact on me like Trigger did? In a way, yes. It's nice to see Square making new games that tie so well with the others. Yes, every character wasn't as memorable, like CT, but it had it where it counted. I think CC did a really good job of recreating the CT feel, dispite it's very different tone.
As Solt would say: ''This game is wonderfully wonderful!''
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/20/00, Updated 11/09/02
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