Title: Chrono Cross
Genre: Traditional RPG
First, let me being this review by saying that although Chrono Cross is an excellent game, if you have not played Chrono Trigger yet, put down Chrono Cross and play its predessor. You'll thank me for it about 20 hours into the game.
Now, assuming that you've played and enjoyed Trigger, you may as well begin Cross. Unlike Square's Final Fantasy franchise, Chrono Cross is a sequel, and definately a worthy successor to Chrono Trigger.
As far as plot goes, Chrono Cross is much deeper than Chrono Trigger. However, as anyone who's played both of these games can tell you, there are plot inconsistancies between the two. Not to mention that it can be rather confusing. If you plan on playing this game, plan to tackle it alone, rather than simultaneously with another RPG.
Chrono Cross has a huge cast of characters (even larger than the immense team of Final Fantasy VI), but you can pretty much forget about character development outside of Serge and Kid. Luckily, their development is so outstanding that the rest of the shallow characters are almost forgivable. Too bad Serge talks about as much as Chrono. Unfortunately, none of Chrono Trigger's playable characters can be added to your team (and no, Glenn is not Frog, Guile is not Magus, and despite the name similarities, Harle has absolutely nothing to do with Marle), although the gamer will eventually find out why.
Gameplay wise, Chrono Cross is fairly good. The no wait battle system is innovative, as is the magic system. Unfortunately, the game is extremely easy and a seasoned RPG veteran should have no trouble, with the possible exception of Ozzie, Slash, and Flea, who are optional and cannot be fought until the second time through. Even the Crisosphinx proves to be no real challenge. Additionally, the dialogue is terrible, almost reminiscent of poorly translated SNES RPG's, and the game is short and can be finished in 30-40 hours.
Graphically, Chrono Cross is good, but not wonderful. The characters and villians are bright and well animated (although some of the animations were downright silly, such as Kid's pilfer attack), and the backgrounds are nice, but like any other PSX game, Chrono Cross suffers from jaggies. There is also slowdown which is present. However, like its predessor, Chrono Cross may be too bright for some, making it seem rather lighthearted for the dark tale it attempts to weave.
Chrono Cross suffers in the music department. The battle theme was extremely cheery and had poor sound effects to go along with it. The victory fanfare was a badly warped version of Lucca's theme from Chrono Trigger and the town and ship themes are just bad. The world map theme was decent, but it was not enough to help Chrono Cross's terrible soundtrack.
To make up for its shortcomings, Chrono Cross has amazing replay value. With its huge cast of characters which cannot be completed in less than 3 replays, and multiple endings as numerous as Chrono Trigger's, this game should be able to hold your attention for a fair amount of time. Different frames, while solely aesthetic, also add to the replay value, as well as the ability to forge rainbow equiptment. The Bend of Time and bosses behind the door also add replay.
Ultimately, Chrono Cross is a good game that will keep you preoccupied for a while, and also has a plot that will satisfy even the most hardcore gamers. Chrono Cross's pros will allow a gamer to overlook its ease and length, at least for the most part, and the game will cause nostalgia waves in the 16-bit fanbase. However, if you're one of the few who didn't like Chrono Trigger, or can't remember the difference between Schala and Belthasar (who both make an appearance) and don't care to play the classic again, you may as well skip this one too.
Replay Value: 10.0
Reviewer's Tilt: 9.0
Dark Mistress' Reviews
Chrono Cross Reviews
This Page © Copyright 1997, Brian Work. All rights reserved. Thanks to Sax for his help with the layout. Do not take anything from this page without my consent. If you wish to contact an author, artist, reviewer, or any other contributor to the site, their email address can be found on their index page. This site is link-free, meaning you don't need to ask me if you'd like to link to it. Best viewed in 1024x768.