Review by Crono99

"A very good story, ruined by a bad, bad game..."

Chrono Cross is the long-awaited sequel to Square's SNES hit, Chrono Trigger. Boy, was I looking forward to it...

And what a bitter dissapointment it has been. And that's a shame, since the story had a lot of ruined potential.

GamePlay 5/10
Remember the cool triple/double techs in Chrono Trigger? All of this is gone. Now there is only attack, defend, run away and element (elements being some sort of mixture between items and magic of traditionnal RPGs). The attack system is quite well done, where your fighter attacks multiple times depending on which sort of attack you order him to do.
Something that killed the game, is that it just dosn't make you really want to continue. The story is loose. You'll just spend most of your time in the world map wandering around what to do (just like the 'good ole' Final Fantasy 1. It sounds great, but slows the story down so much it's very frustrating), and when you find something that might kick the story along, it's just yet another guy that joins your party. Great, isn't it? Well, no. When someone joins your party, it's like if he didn't exist. He just looses all his personnality, but this part is not until a couple of hours in the game.
It killed me when I went to someplace, and the character started talking... and when I went back with different characters they said the exact same thing. It's more of like ''Character #2 says this, then #3 says that, etc...''. You've got yourself personnality-deprived robot fighters here. Great.
Then there are just WAY TOO MANY SIDEQUESTS. It's almost as bad as Lunar:SSSC. The story does not go straight up to a point, it has to pass by so many little whats-it-doing-here complicated labyrinth and frustrating puzzles. One of the example seems you have to hurry up and find a certain person (which I'm not going to spoil here) as fast as possible. Well, if you have to find him as fast as possible, what are you doing in the other end of the world exploring some underground cave with puzzling puzzles? It seems you must find (fictionnal example, but it really looks like that in the game), uh, let's say a flower because the guy guarding the cave where you have to find the other guy won't let you through unless you have a nice flower to give to him. Oh, just wonderful (sarcasm). This dosn't sound so bad, but after 20 sidequests like that you better don't have any hammers around you or you might be tempted to do something stupid with it.

Story 8/10
The story of Chrono Cross is quite good and very deep, while it does not match Chrono Trigger's fast paced action story. It starts like this, you are a young silent man named Serge, and you're wandering around in what seems to be some sort of cave. OK, it dosn't sound so great, but it will have many twists and deepness.

Audio 6/10
The music in this game is, more or less, dissapointing. It looks like Yasunori Mitsuda was out of ideas. There ARE good tunes here and there, but they are (wait for it) remixes of Chrono Trigger's music. Besides those, there are few (and almost none) memorable tunes. Not Mitsuda-san's best work.

Graphics 10/10
Incredible. The sprites are big, the animation is fluid and the backgrounds are incredibly well-detailed. The FMV's are of FF8 quality. Nothing more to ask for, huh? Chrono Cross really excells in this department.

Replayability 7/10
This would probably be described as a ''yes and no'' awnser. The replay would be the exact same story repeated once again, but with slightly minor differences (like different party members, but what does it matter? They loose all their personnality once they join you.). However, there are a couple of parts of the game you would want to replay, and others you would probably not (and a big not, at that).

Buying value
Renting an RPG to see how good it is before buying it gives you an often bad idea. The beginning of the game will mostly be of different quality than the heart (Xenogears is a perfect example). I would suggest to buy it if you can afford it, but don't make sacrificies. I'd personnaly suggest to wait for Final Fantasy 9.

Final verdict: 6/10
Graphics do NOT make a game, don't forget it. They don't ruin it, but they don't magically make it great either.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/26/00, Updated 08/26/00

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