Review by Comfortably Numb

Reviewed: 01/28/01 | Updated: 05/02/02

One of the most incredible RPG experiences ever!

Final Fantasy. When someone says RPG, that's what comes to your head. Chrono Trigger. That's what enters your mind when someone says amazing RPG. Despite some belief (I'm pointing out to other, misinformed and biased reviews at the site), Chrono Cross is the true sequel to that incredible work of art.

Chrono Trigger was released in 1995, and was critically acclaimed, and remains to this day my favorite RPG ever made. The concept of the game had to be the best, and to this day still is the best. There is no 'legendary hero' or 'fate' really involved in CT. Instead, our hero, Crono, was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he goes spiraling through time. Yes, time. No princesses, no archangels, but time travel is the story there. More so, it was the first RPG where battling was actually very fun and had various endings and paths to choose.

Chrono Cross is not the exception to CT's rule. Read on...

I've been playing the hell out of this game, and I'm in the final dungeon. One problem: Can't beat one of the final bosses. ARGH!!! Well, anyway, I'm trying and I think the final dungeon and fourty gameplay hours is enough to update. Besides, it seems I haven't reviewed a game in years (besides this)

Design Elements

I am now updating my Legend of Dragoon review, for CC already has one thing going for it: Graphics. They're absolutely stunning. No blocky polygons, no close up pixelation, grain-free FMV cutscenes and beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds. There are many character designs in this game, each done very well in both portrait and real-time. They were the best character designs I've seen since Final Fantasy 6. No spiky haired, Michael Jackson look-a-likes, no siree! Old fashioned, good old character designs. The main character, Serge, looks great, sporting a red bandanna and blue hair. There's also a grungy blacksmith with a scar down his eyes and wielding a powerful axe (or hammer), and there are literally tons more, all looking the best since CT. Then I saw characters in real-time, and I was blown away by the accurate detail that went into this simple character. And there a lot of people in this game, too, each with even more amazing real-time designs. They fit the portraits accurately and more. Get close to the camera (try Termina Smithy's screen and head down), check the menu or battle and you'll see what I mean. The pre-rendered backgrounds don't simply take on Legend of Dragoon's, they advance it further. They're incredibly realistic and the characters seem to fit into them as it was in real-time (I'm not saying that in a bad way). Detail in these backgrounds go to the core: cracks in between rocks in a cave, where snow stops on mountain. The wood floors and walls in cabins look truly amazing, and the sky never looked more realistic. Light shines through the windows, the water waves, I was pretty amazed, yet again. The FMV also takes the cake (mmm, chocolate...). They're free of grain and full of polish, with the characters looking more and more realistic every time you see them. Check out Kid's eyes in the intro. Puts FF8 and LoD to shame already, doesn't it?
Rating: 11, yes 11 Beyond Belief

The sound effects are what you'd expect from a new age RPG, with a little something. Weapons make a different noise when hitting an enemy, depending on the weapon itself and the power of the attack. You can always hear footsteps hit thr ground while you're walking. You can hear water running in the distance sometimes, too. There is no voice acting, and for very good reason, too. This is the first RPG in a while that I could change characters names, and it helps since some of the names do kind of suck (Kid? What the hell kind of name is Kid?). Here's the little something, though: The background effects in the background of battling are quite interesting, nothing I've heard in any other RPG before. Crickets chirp, water runs, the sound of the ocean is heard in the distance, ect. especially at the start of a battle. The music is truly amazing. The same composers from Chrono Trigger's beautiful soundtrack win again, too! The opening tune is not only celtic, but it's GOOD CELTIC MUSIC!! That's a landmark in my book. There's also a lot of piano in tunes, like the original CT. Each tune is unique, some having a tropic style, some being festival like (not like a carnival. I mean good music. Celebration music), and some original CT tunes return. Each tune I heard was excellent, and my original score of 9 has become a 10 simply because of the beautiful, if different, soundtrack.
Rating: 10 Incredible

Gameplay Elements

Chrono Trigger was time traveling. Chrono Cross is dimension traveling. No complaints here. We start out with Serge (or whatever), Kid (again, you can change it later in the game when you receive the character) and a random member (I got Orcha, what'd you get? I'll start a poll! Write that one down, CJayC!) in a large mansion, searching for something. They are transported into the sky where they encounter a large door. Suddenly the door kind of grabs out for Serge where he is suddenly in a room, with Kid dead on the floor while his (Serge) weapon in covered in Kid's blood. Serge wakes up in his hometown, then, and does a favor for his friend, Feena. She wants to get her hands on some Komodo Scales for a necklace, but she’s not going out on the beach pathway with those monsters. After collecting the Komodo Scales and facing a boss for Feena, they go to the beach. Apparently there was an accident here ten years ago where Serge almost died. A large tide comes and the world seems to expand and he falls unconscious, unwaking in a world different from his own, but the same. A world where he is dead...and that is just the beginning.
Hell, I don't know what you think, but I thought that was pretty damn cool. And while there are some bizarre creepy plot twists during the first ten hours or so, the story gets even creepier and has a LOT to do with the original Chrono Trigger later in the game. The best story on the Playstation I've seen, by far.
Rating: 10 Incredible

Battle System
There are two games where you actually want to fight. Chrono Trigger and now Chrono Cross. This is definitely a different battle system then CT, but all the same original and done well. Very well. You have three attacks, 1, 2 and 3. 1 is the least powerful, but has a higher percentage chance of hitting the enemy. 2 is more powerful, but has a lower percentage chance of hitting the enemy. 3 is the most powerful, but has the lowest percentage chance of hitting the enemy. The percentage is shown to help. You have 7.0 stamina. 1 takes 1.0, 2 takes 2.0 and 3 takes 3.0 (or 4.0, why did I suddenly forget? I was playing this little more then an hour ago...oh, well). You'll regain stamina each turn or whenever another teammate hits an enemy. Element magic takes up all 7.0, and if you don't have enough (1.0-6.0, 0.0 won't be accepted) your stamina will go negative. It never really mattered, since usually the stamina is completely restored by the end of the turn. You may be thinking, ''Oh, elements like fire and water''. No, elements like red and blue! What in the name of God am I talking about, you ask? Well, each area you fight in has a field effect. Yellow, red, blue, green, ect. Let's say you're underwater. It will mainly be a blue area, so blue elemental attacks do the most damage and red does the least, unless you build it's power up. Each character and enemy has a main element (and a gender, just to tell you, I thought that was pretty cool, too). If they're yellow, green will do the most damage. If they're white, black does the most damage. Geddit? It's easier than it sounds, and it probably sounds pretty easy. There also is no leveling up, but the increase of status attributes instead. After battles you can gain +2 HP or +1 Strength, ect. Most boss battles give you a growth level, which increases your limits of status attributes. I was going to say I thought it was pretty cool, but that's a bit overused now, don't you think? But you have to play it to believe it, because even I was skeptical at first. But then I tried it out.
Rating: 10 Incredible

Awesome story, addictive and original battle system, how's everything else? Well, it makes people want to enjoy life, or if they still hate life, play more of this game. Chrono Cross is the best game on the Playstation, and if you're not a big PSX fan, it's the best game released in the past five years. The last best game? Chrono Trigger, of course. Only two games compare, Chrono Trigger, of course and the best game of all time, The Guardian Legend (no, you haven't heard of it). Think of CC as a non linear linear game. Huh? Well, on one path you can do various things. You can recruit different characters, and do different things, like CT, and get various endings for your actions. And if you've played CT and know what I'm talking about, it goes further in CC. 40 playable characters. Yes, you heard me, 40 playable characters!!! There's replay value for ya! When I realized that, I nearly fainted, which you should have by now. If not, congratulations, and keep reading! You can’t get all 40 characters in one game, though. That’s why Chrono Cross, like CT before it, implements New Game +. With this, you can start the game with your stats and characters, so you can take new paths to get new characters. If any of that data is wrong, please tell me, as I still have yet to beat Chrono Cross (I lost it recently during moving :( ).There are also several 'window frames' to find, that you read the game text in. The default is the best of what I've found, though. But this replayable gameplay and original ideas makes this RPG a truly unique one. I loved it so much that I give it...
Rating: 11, yes I said 11 Beyond Belief

Final Rating

Good Points
40 playable characters, non linear linearaty, awesome storyline, addictive battle system, original ideas, breath taking visuals and music, blah, blah, blah, blah...

Bad Point
A wha?

Final Rating
Chrono Cross has been long anticipated by RPG fans, and it truly is worth the wait. CC is an adventure to remember. A unique, brilliant RPG. Perhaps one of the best games ever made. One of them, at least. Of course, I don’t believe I’ll see the day a Playstation game will be better. The only RPG that comes close is CT (or if you still consider Shenmue an RPG, well, that too).

Final Rating: 11 Beyond Belief

Round to Gamefaqs score: 10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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