Review by CVagts

"My LAST review for this game...I promise..."

This is the LAST time. At last, I have finally seen the story of CC unfold (to a certain degree, the review is not likely to change at all), so here it is. The game is not jumping from a 4 to a 6 based solely on the story. Well, yeah, I guess it is. Consider it a ''4.3 jump to about a 6.1'' deal. Well, this is another cut-and-paste review, but I'm not going to write 5 different reviews of this game. That's insane. So here you go, my LAST review of CC. If you don't like it, e-mail me. If enough people complain, I'll change it. (I can't believe I said that)

The official sequel to Chrono Trigger is here, and boy, it's been a long time coming. Chrono Trigger was one of the best RPGs of all time, arguably, the best RPG ever made. However, it comes with a price...$60-80, to be exact. Of course, there ARE ROMs, but they are ILLEGAL. So what do we poor folks do? We wait. And wait. And wait. For a sequel to this fabulous RPG that came from the mecca of RPGs (IMO), Squaresoft. One day, I did it. I found Chrono Cross. The $40 price tag was enough to grab my attention. I grabbed the game and scurried home, eager to play the game that had been the dream of CT fans everywhere. However, I, along with about 4 others, were disappointed this game was not as good as CT, but anyway, here's the breakdown.

The graphics. Well, I only have a few, tiny, unaffecting of the score problems with the graphics. The characters are very well drawn, though not as good as FF8's, but still great, the backgrounds are splendid, though not as good as LoD (god, no more of that game, please!) yet still great, as are the character drawings, and the enemies and bosses are very well done, although they're not as intimidating as LoD or FF8, but the bosses aren't 10 times your size, which was a feature of CT as well. The sound is very good as well, with some great tunes to listen to as you walk through the world searching for where to go. Unfortunately, the sound is not as good as I expected, but I'm not counting off on that. I would've loved some classic CT tunes redone for the PSX, but I also would've loved there to be a little more about the game than great graphics and good sounds. There are, however, some good points, so don't flame me for THAT.

Speaking of which, where to go. Where to go? WHERE?! The game often leaves you hanging as to where to go, so you must find it by yourself. How awful. NOT. Apparently, I was not paying attention when I wrote this. Sometimes, you may undergo a painful side quest to find a character you're NEVER going to use. That's another thing: characters. Too many characters. The characters vary in HP, strength, and Innate color, so you may find it difficult to select just three characters. You may be building up a character who actually is one of the worst in the game, but you'd never know it. Okay, so the characters add some replay value to the scenario. Big whoop.

The battle system. Battles make up at least 40% of an RPG, AT LEAST, so why haven't battle systems been up to par these days, IMO? The system, though original, is not the best I've seen. The system reminds you of Xenogears a little bit, but the attacks are accompanied by percentages. Every attack, no matter what, has a small, or large, chance of missing, depending on the situation. A large, 3 point attack is more likely to miss, even if at 90%, it can still miss, though not likely. Attacks will often be the basis of your battle strategy, so you may want to get as strong as humanly possible, or face the consequences. This, of course, leads me to the Elements system.

The Elements system. I underrated this a bit on my last review, but it's being retouched, don't worry. The Elements, which you land attacks to earn a shot at them, can only be used once per battle. This, of course, makes underprepared people mad, because healing spells are a one-shot deal as well, though it's hard to be underprepared, because almost any boss, up to where I am, can be defeated...with time and patience, but not too many level ups. Anyway, placing Elements is like FF8's Junction system, without the annoying Guardian Forces. Healing, status, and attack magic can be placed virtually anywhere, and Elements pile up in your inventory VERY quickly, making it difficult to pick Elements, almost as hard, if not harder, than picking three characters. This could lead to lots of time planning out a strategy. The Field Effect can be a bit of a drag as well, if you're preparing for a red attack with the full field, but the water monster uses a blue spell, and this, if you are determined to hit the big spell, can and mostly likely will make you a bit mad, before you decide to forget it and pound the crap out of the monster. The level up system brings back haunting memories of SaGa Frontier, which I did NOT like at all; in fact, I abhorred it. All in all, the battle system was a tiny bit, a TINY bit, above average, but it could've been better.

Oh, yes, I should tell you one thing: enemies/bosses are not as great as I would think. Two guys even make it impossible to lose seemingly. HOW?! BOSSES SHOULDN'T DO THAT!!! Bosses will get a few strong hits on you, and you'll think that you are not ready, and then you realize you have ONE great healing spell left. Oh joy. You can also RUN from EVERY battle. Even bosses. I have never seen the CC party fail to run from a battle. Even a giant tank let me run, take a step back, heal, then run and kick its butt from here to the End of Time. This section of the review, of course, is brought to you by the ranting, bias side of CVagts, and it will have no effect on the review itself. Back to reality...

The story, which takes place twenty years after Chrono Trigger, is not too interesting for a while. I prefer an in-depth, intertwining, fabulous story, which I can't think of any, except for Xenogears, which had a GREAT plot, but then again, who knows? This game could be more difficult to dissect than good ol' XG itself by the end, and judging by what has happened, it very well could. The crossing dimensions deal? That's an original yet not-to-earth shattering idea. I was kind of hoping the time-traveling would be revived for CC, but nooo, it wasn't. There ought to be some time traveling in CC too! I would love time-traveling. And time-traveling across dimensions? The thought of it makes me salivate. Awesome idea. Too bad only I, maybe a few other people, but not Squaresoft thought of it. One of the great parts of the story is the fact that it ties in to Chrono Trigger on a few occasions. I love that idea. So, all in all, the story is great, and if a part of that little passage said otherwise, it was something I overlooked.

The challenge of this game is not that hard at all. If you fight a few enemies in every area, beat all of the bosses you can, because they're your only big area of experience, you can beat this game easy (big assumption, I haven't finished it yet). The replay value is not bad either, with all of those characters keeping you searching through about 3 or 4 different games just to find them all. And deciding what to link to their Elements slots? Whoa. If you can beat it once, you don't need to do it again, right, unless you really loved it? Also, I haven't found many good side-quests yet. Will someone point some out for me?

Weapons, armor, and accessories. My, oh my, this is not a good system IMO. You have to receive/find items from various battles and treasure chests, collect some good money, and find the appropriate blacksmith in order to forge the perfect weapon/armor. The sheer thought of having to fight for hours for some Mythril would make the average RPG player go nuts IMO, and he/she would forget about the whole thing.

Hmmm, is there anything I've forgotten? Oh yes, the world map. No battles, that's good. There is, however, a small island for you to navigate on for a period of time, containing only a handful of playable areas, until you get a vehicle to travel some more, and even then, there isn't even that much room then! Well, I'm not even into disc 2 yet, so I bet/hope there is more to come. If not, I will be sorely disappointed. Oh, and there is one thing I am REALLY thankful for: no voice acting. Did we really need all those dumb accents? There is one person with a British accent, one with a Swedish/German accent, one with a French accent, and one who sounds like a pirate. There are some others, but I shall not go into them right now. This is a bad thing IMO, letting your characters have dumb accents, when most of them come from islands where the other citizens, if any, may or may not talk in ways differing theirs. Huh?

This game is probably worth the $40 based on the replay value (kind of), story, and the fact that it is a ''good game.'' It's not the best game ever, NO DOUBT. Anyone who says so is most likely either a new gamer, a HUGE CT fan who believed the CC hype, or one of those people who loves their opinion. It's not the best RPG ever IMO and in others, FF7, Xenogears, FF3, Tales of Destiny (yes, you read right), to name a few others I think are better. It's probably not Game of the Year (Perfect Dark, FF9?), and might not even be RPG of the Year (FF9?, Valkyrie Profile, Vagrant Story?), but all that aside, Chrono Cross is definitely worth a look if you love RPGs. Good, but not great.

In closing, just for kicks, I will leave some of my anonymous messages from some flamers, whether they be justified or not.

'' just need to shut your dumb*** up when it comes to reviewing RPGs.''

''You have no concept of rpg's and how to rate them.''

''...certainly any game that has any redeemable qualities deserves better than a 3...''

'' must be 5 years old and not know any better...''

''yea chrono cross was a bit overhyped...but u know
wat? Chrono cross is one of the best rpgs there is...''

Here, in the real closing, I would just like to say this about my flamers and such: You can't please all of the people, all the time, and all those people read my review.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 09/07/00, Updated 09/07/00

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