Review by ImOldSkool
"The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle"
Seems people either love this game, or curse it for being an inferior, failed attempt as a successor to Chrono Trigger. I'm here to interject some objectivity into the equation, excuse me if you will. This game is certainly a victim of the success of it's predecessor. I loved Chrono Trigger too. It's my 3'rd favorite RPG of all time. I'm not going to hold this game unfairly against it's merits. No, it isn't Chrono Trigger. It's not as good as Chrono Trigger. What it is is a pretty darn good RPG on it's own merits, with albeit a few flaws.
Gameplay - 7/10 - Not quite as fluid as I like. Some parts without a FAQ it takes awhile to figure out what to do next. It did keep my attention and I was in to it most of the time, with a few lulls in the action that felt tedious.
Controls - 7/10 - Maybe it's just because I was used to FF controls, but it took me a bit to get it down. Found myself hitting the wrong buttons while trying to organize elements. But blame most of that on me. Pretty tight otherwise, and I liked how the battle system was implemented.
Graphics - 9/10 - Very well done for a PS1 game. This game looked better than FF7.
Music/Sound - 10/10 - I won't be handing these out sparingly, but this game has one of the best VGM soundtracks in gaming history IMHO. Even better than it's predecessor, IMO, and I loved the music in CT. I put this games ST up there with the legends like Ecco The Dolphin and the likes. Just wonderful, and always seemed to fit the atmosphere.
Fun - 7/10 - Like I said, I enjoyed playing this RPG but it did feel tedious at times. Certainly not without it's flaws, but I'm glad I played it.
Storyline - 8/10 - I was pretty immersed in it. Not as good as some of my A-list RPG's, like the Phantasy Star series, FF7, or, you got it... Chrono Trigger. Not quite that "like reading a good book" vibe, but solid. The character cliches were a bit off-putting, but I adored a few of them non-the-less (Kid, Harle).
Challenge - 8/10 - This one gives you a pretty decent challenge. It's rather long, and the boss battles require strategy, not just wild unloading. Unfortunately, some of that strategy (arranging elements) lends itself to some of the aforementioned tediousness. Not much grinding required though. Most of it's difficulty is in it's length.
Replay Value - 6/10 - Has some replay value because of the New Game + feature, but going through this game once is a task. Most people probably won't want to do it again for some time. This is a problem inherent in RPG's in general, nothing against this game.
So there you have it. Not a phenomenal RPG, but hardly a disappointment either. I enjoyed it for the most part. Time well spent just for the music & atmosphere's alone.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/25/11
Game Release: Chrono Cross (US, 08/15/00)
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