Game Review: Chrono Cross

Geek Specs:
Title: Chrono Cross
Platform: Playstation
Genre: RPG
Developer: Squaresoft
Publisher: Squaresoft
Release: August 16, 2000

Introduction: Squaresoft is known for the most long-lived RPG saga ever created, Final Fantasy. But many people don't know that Square made many other games; one of these is the great Chrono Trigger, surely one of the best games ever. Although it had discreet success, it never reached the popularity of any chapter of Final Fantasy, but many people wanted a sequel to it. So Square decided to relase Chrono Cross, a game that is not rather a sequel of Chrono Trigger, but it is ambiented in its world and has many relations with it, although it doesn't require the playing of the previous chapter. This angried many Chrono Trigger fans that wanted a proper sequel with all the old characters (Crono, Marle, Lucca, Frog, Robo, Ayla, Magus) but, anyhow, this is a great game, almost as good as many Final Fantasy's and maybe at the level of the old Chrono Trigger. Let's get in the review.

Review: After you turn on your Playstation, you immediately become charmed by the really impressive introduction video. It shows well the quality of the game and what you will be getting from it. By playing this game, you will get mainly a story that is not "sentimental" as many Final Fantasy games but is equally fun and enchanting. You will take the role of Serge, a boy that lives in the world of Chrono Trigger and that is suddenly teleported in a parallel world, equal in many ways to the one from he came from, but where he died ten years before! So here begins the fantastic story of Serge, that will be followed by more than twenty-one party members that often exist in both worlds (this often creates funny scenes).

The graphic uses pre-rendered backgrounds as seen in the Playstation's Final Fantasy chapter, drawn from Square's designers. The character design is realistic, their textures are detailed, and altough the PSX doesn't have Bilinear Filtering, the textures are pixelated to the minimum possible; the same is for the battle locales. The FMV' are quite impressive, and the sound deserves a full 5.0 for its quality and its perfect adaptation to the ambients.

The battle/equip/status system is really revolutionary and I don't know why it hasn't been used in other games. It uses Chrono Trigger's system to equip weapons and armors, but it does not have the Technics; you'll use "elements" of different color, each attributed to a nature element (Fire, Water, Earth, Grass, Dark, Light). You'll collect these elements by finding them in battles, in the field, or by buying them in apposite shops. There are elements that are more powerful and others that are worse. You will equip the elements in apposite slots that will grow up by number when you gain levels. These elements can be used once in battle and you will not be able to use them until the next fight. Also, there are elements called "consumables" which can be used more than once in battle. However, as the name implies, you only have a certain number of these consumables and you must buy them again when you've finished them all.

Conclusion: Chrono Cross is a very nice game. Many don't like it because "it is not Final Fantasy" but it is, in many ways, better than it. This game almost deserves to be the sequel of the great CT. I'm sure that Chrono Cross will remain in the hearts of many gamers together with Chrono Trigger.

Ratings: (scale of 0.0 - 5.0)

Gameplay: 5.0 Graphics: 4.5
The battle system is rather good and although it's focus is on turn-based battle it is still exciting. The story is fantastic and full of surprises. How could you not give a five for gameplay? Textures are well done and the graphics are realistic. The quality of the backgrounds could be better, but they still compete with the Yoshitaka Amano ones.

Sound: 5.0 Overall: 4.5
The music accompanies perfectly the gameplay and surrounds you and puts you in the game even more. This game is a rather nice sequel for Chrono Trigger and it nearly grazes its level of excellence. It can't lack in the collection of any RPG lover.

Written by Coolvortex


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