Reviews for Chrono Cross
Alright, I knew this game would be good, but I wasn't expecting THIS - the best game ever created. Let me start off by saying that I had extremely high expections for this game, and this game met and surpassed them. I was mainly looking for a lot of a Chrono Trigger tie-ins, like learning more about Schala's mysterious disappearance and what happened to Lucca.
I actually wanted to see Lucca's house more than anything, because I had heard it was in the demo. That scene actually happened very late into the game, and I won't spoil anything, but knowing Lucca's fate is just something you have to know and watch.
I'll start off by explaining the story. The story takes place 20 years after the events of Chrono Trigger. It is on the same planet, but a different area. You control Serge, an adolescent living in the somewhat primitive village called Arni. Life is normal - he has a girlfriend, Leena, and everybody in the village knows who he is and they all like him.
Leena soon decides to send him on a task to collect scales for her necklace. Eventually they meet up on the beach and have a talk. All of a sudden, a giant wave quickly travels to the beach, then Serge becomes unconscious. A man sees Serge lying on the beach and thinks it is a dead body washed up on the shore. Serge wakes up and the man tells him to be careful. Then Serge heads over to Arni, and nobody recognizes him. He goes to his hut and his mother is no where to be found, and another person is living there. He meets up with Leena, and she vaguely recognizes him, and says that he sort of looks like a boy she knew, that drowned ten years ago...
That's as much as I will say about the story, so I will talk about some unique features. The battle system is like Xenogears (I barely remember the game), but it includes stamina points. The battle starts with everybody at stamina level 7. You can choose from three attacks: weak, strong, and fierce. Weak requires 1 stamina point, strong requires 2, and fierce - 3. Using these attacks build up your element level. This gets complicating but I will say that the higher your element level is, the better the elements are that you can use.
There is also the field. The field is an oval-type diagram that is dispayed in the top-left corner of the screen. Using different colored elements determine the field color (the field is divided into 3 sections), so, for example, say the field is red for the majority. Using a red element damages a lot more than when the field was any other color. This is getting a little difficult to explain, but I will say it is very easy to understand when you actually play the game.
Another cool feature is the fact that techs have returned from Chrono Trigger! There are single techs (Dash & Slash, Pilfer), dual techs (X-Strike, W-Steal), and even triple techs (Z-Slash, Delta Strike). It's really cool that those have returned, since the battle system is completely different now.
Now I will start the actual review. That other stuff was just explaining the many features and such in the wonderful game of Chrono Cross.
First up is the graphics. I must say that I was very impressed. Some areas will have you make Serge stop moving for a minute, and you will just look at the backgrounds. I often wonder how long it took them to create just one area because there is so much detail. I also found it impressive that EGM said that they played the game on a Playstation 2, and the character models looked no better. That is impressive. When I compare the graphics to, say, Final Fantasy 8, it just makes me realize how dull and drab the colors were in FF8. The graphics in CC are so colorful and...they just don't bore you to death. Also the FMV's are amazing - the best I've ever seen.
One part that I was a little worried about was the sound and the music. It seems as though Square hasn't been making the best music lately. Let it now be known - CC has the best music in an RPG since FF6! Although some themes won't make you hum them after you finish playing, and the regular battle theme can get repetitive after a while, the music simply can't be beaten. You just have to listen to the tunes in this game to truly appreciate them. Also, the sound is great too, like in battles. The slashing of swords, shooting of guns, and punching of gloves, all have solid sound effects. It's hard to put my impressions of the audio in this game into words; it's flawless.
I've pretty much explained what the gameplay is like, but I left out a couple things. First off, usually in RPG's nowadays, when you have the choice to make a decision, it has no effect. In FF7, Tifa asks Cloud, "Did you sleep well?". Your choices are something along the lines of: "Barret's snoring kept me up," or, "Next to you, who wouldn't?". Sure this is funny, but yet it has no major effect on the game! If you refuse to let Kid join you in Chrono Cross, however, she won't keep endlessly asking. She seriously won't join you! Instead you will get two characters to join you. There are also choices you must make that have certain outcomes, some that are hilarious. In one scene, if you give an answer to Kid that she doesn't like, she will deliver a swift kick to Serge's crotch which makes him double over!
The control is great. It's pretty cool that there is analog and dual shock support. Also, something that is new to Square RPG's - you can skip FMV's! Sure it isn't that great (FMV's are really cool), but there is one FMV that you will see repeatedly, so you will want to go ahead and just skip it. It's also better that the battles are a LOT more interactive compared to past Square games where there was more watching than controlling.
Now, something that every RPG lacks - lasting appeal. That is, every RPG except Chrono Cross. It will probably take the average RPGer around 40 hours to beat CC, but New Game + makes it a completely different experience. Some parts of the game are only accessible through New Game + (the door in the Bend of Time). And so far it has been recorded that there are 9 different endings in the game, so you will definitely want to see all of them. I've seen 4 so far, and they are cool!
Now for fun factor. Do I really need to explain how fun this game is? I enjoyed every minute of this game and continue to enjoy it! Go buy the best RPG ever!
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