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Chrono Cross (Sony PlayStation 1, 2000)
(193 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
If we don't compare it to Chrono Trigger...
Nov 22, 2000 (Updated Nov 22, 2000)
Review by labyrinth
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Unique gameplay, good folk music, graphics, multiple-endings
Cons:NO characterization, cluttering elements allocation, limited character-techs
Before anything else, the release of Chrono Cross is already facing itself with the biggest obstacle of all: Whether or not, it will eventually be compared to Chrono Trigger, quite possibly the best RPG in the SNES platform, or all platforms. So, let's get less critical, let the game stand on its own and compare later.
Recommend this product?
Chrono Cross has one of the most unique battle system out there. It maintains the element attributes and also added the "Field Effect". You can control the strength of element powers by casting the element more frequently. Also, summon elements can only be casted when all field effects are of the particular element attribute. The result? Well, for me, I did not find the field effect making much of a difference. For instance, having NONE of my color attribute on the field effect map and having ALL of my color attribute on the field effect map makes very little differences. UNLESS, the enemy or your own party member is particularly weak against that color attribute, it then makes a bigger difference. Otherwise, unless you are doing a summon, field effect makes very little difference.
Like many other RPGs, Chrono Cross is filled with all sort of different elements. I like the fact that everyone is strong in certain elemental abilities. However, switching party members later became a big hassle. I thought the DRAW and MATERIA system in FF8 and FF7 respectively are already a big hassle when it comes to member change. Boy am I wrong. Switching members in Chrono Cross was even more hectic after you get to more than half of the game. It is a drawback from having a deep gameplay but I think there are just too many useless elements that can be saved to make us enjoy playing a bit more.
There are also over 40 characters to play with in this game. What happens when you have too many characters? You have less characterization. Chrono Cross suffers DEEPLY in this department. Some of the characters in this game gets only a few lines of dialogues in the entire game. Some of them gets minimal storylines and often just a bunch of cluttered story-telling to reveal their past. Also, you probably will need a guide or help to get most of the characters. This is not a game which you can play through and gained at least 70-80% of the secret without a game guide. And frankly, that's BULL.
I like the way Chrono Cross eliminated the turn-based battle system and replaced the stamina-building system. Also, you can choose to place your favorite magics on the upper slots so it can cause more damage. Although the weapon building system is a total rip-off from FF8, but overall the battle system is great.
Multiple endings in this game is just like Chrono Trigger. All alternate endings requires you to play through twice, and the best part is that they make sense. By beating the final boss with different combination of characters will give you a different life story of what happens to them afterwards.
The storyline is sort of like a continuation of Chrono Trigger, sort of, a little bit. It is a mixture of time complexity. However, more on that later...
Chrono Cross is NOWHERE near as good as Chrono Trigger. I think Squaresoft has fallen into the hole of forgetting the fun in RPG. I agree that Chrono Cross has a lot of good elements but I did not enjoy it very much after playing it through once and twice. Most of the time I'm finding myself spending time searching for party members to recruit, elements to buy and all those not-so-important things. If a player's attention is drifted away from the game, you are not doing a good job preserving the fun of the game.
Whatever happened to the double-tech and triple-techs? In Chrono Trigger the most fun thing was the dual-techs and triple-techs of the characters. We live and die by the combos. In Chrono Cross, there are only FEW techs available. I don't know whey they even bother to put them there. On any given day I'd stick with character techs over elements.
Chrono Cross by itself is a great game. It may not be one of the better RPGs out there but it is decently made. The intro FMV of Chrono Cross is perhaps the best FMV sequence of all time. I am not talking about quality, I am talking about the atmosphere it implies on the viewer. It is not a catching eye-candy or any sort, but it gives the viewer such strong impact, you wanna start the game immediately. Of course, there are many things I don't like about this game, but do get it. It's worth your money.
Personal Tilt: 85/100
Other Specific Elements: NA
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