Publisher: Square Soft
ESRB Rating: Teen Release Date: August 2000
3.5 Stars out of 4
Review by Darvan
4 Stars out of 4
Well I'll admit i never actually played the first in this series, Chrono
Trigger, so I was a little reluctant in picking up this game. Sure I
heard all the hype and all the rave reviews, but i figured this came
from people who played the first one. But considering there was nothing
else I liked on the rack I picked it up.
Well ...... I wasn't overly impressed ..... until about an hour into the
game. In the beginning I'm sure people are going to get put off by the
element system and how the stamina points work, but to these people I
say give it time. The games true glory will show itself and the battle
system will seem like pure genius.
Why the battle system seems confusing at first is because of the way it
throws away the idea of regular turned based gameplay like other Square
games, and most of the PSX rpgs. Instead you start out with 7 stamina
points at the beginning of battle and 4 diff options you can use. Attack,
where by you will be presented with 3 additonal options. A weak attack
and medium attack, and a fierce attack. Each attack is assigned a different
hit percentage. The weak which takes out 1 stamina point has a high hit
percent, the medium has a regular hit percent but takes out 2 stamina
points, and fierce attacks have a low hit percent and take out 3 stamina
points. But as you use attacks the hit percent of weak and fierce will
go up. So this offers a new strategy in the gameplay. Also after you
get one effective hit your element level will go up. So that means you can
use elements. The more levels you get up in battle, the more powerful
elements you can use. Weak attacks make you element level go up one,
medium attacks make the level go up 2, and fierce attacks make your
element level go up 3. So a good strategy earlier on in the game would
be to to make a weak attack, then a medium attack, thena fierce attack,
then use a powerful spell and you renemy has been hurt pretty bad.
The element sysem is also something new to RPG's. Its kinda like the materia
system in FF7 though. There are 6 different types of elements found within
the game which each have there opposite elements.
They are red which is opposite to blue, yellow which is opposite to green,
and finally white which is opposite to black. Red is more fire based,
blue is water based, yellow, earth and lightning based, green is usually
more geared towards plants etc. Finally white is kinda like holy elements
while, black is gravity based. Withing these colours there is tech skills,
summons, and basic magic elements. To be able to use these element you
have to build your grid level up within battle. For instance, a level 1
attack gives you 1 grid level, level 2 will give you 2 grid level etc.
This creates a lot of strategy game play within the battles. For instance
for a very strong attack you could attack with level 1 attack, then level
2, then finally level 3, and then you would have 1 stamina point
left, which you could use for a level 7 or lower element attack. Now
for the different type of elements. The tech skills characters naturally
learn, while summons you have to find. Also to use during batle the whole
field must be the same colour, which can be tough to do , but it is very
rewarding. Thankfully the summons are not that long either, just a short
10 second attack.
The story is very different from what RPG mainstreamers are used to,
very different indeed. With enough plot twists to make the movie the
Sixth Sense a fairy tale. It continueally surprises and amazes. Which
is no easy feat, especially when you consider there is over 40 different
characters able to join your party.
The gameplay is also a really good departure from the norm. There are a lot
of side quests, which in the end make up for quite a long game. It took
me a good 50 hours to beat. The game ranges from easy to overly hard.
Especially on some of the side quests. Considering you only level up
after boss battles aswell can make it hard to beat some of the bosses.
But when you find a good stragety you'll usually comeout on top.
All these aspects of the game add up to be what could be considered
one of the best games on the playstation. Right up there with Metal
Gear Solid, Tomb Raider (the first one), and Final Fantasy 7.
That is why I give this game 4 out of r stars.
Review by Tom Allen
3½ Stars out of 4
Chrono Trigger was the first winner of FOFTV.com's Game of the Year award back in 1995.
Beating out the premiere titles of the Sony PlayStation, Square's classic RPG captured the hearts
of players with its fun characters and intriguing time travel plot. Who can forget the frog
Chrono Cross is the long-awaited sequel that many thought would never come. The game is
successful on many levels and is quite possibly one of the best RPG's ever made.
As in Chrono Trigger, the enemies are in plain view on the field and dungeon screens. You can
avoid battles by simply walking around the enemies. Even better, you can run from any battle at
any time, so Chrono Cross will not make you a slave to combat.
The battles feature other twists as well. Magic is handled through color elements of blue, red,
yellow, green, black, and white. An oval icon is located on the top-left of the screen. The icon is
divided into three sections which are filled with the colors of the three most recent elements used
by both you and your enemies. If the entire oval ever becomes one color, the effect is similar to
the limit breaks of Final Fantasy 7. Basically, your characters become more powerful and are
able to summon guardians.
Perhaps the best battle addition is the choice of three different automatic healing strategies. You
can set the game to automatically use healing items after each battle under certain conditions.
The rest of Chrono Cross is fairly conventional. The art direction is colorful and spritely,
invoking the feel of Secret of Mana or the original Chrono Trigger. The landscapes are
particularly lively in the towns, where small animated objects are littered throughout the screen.
The cartoony look results in a slight lack of detail, however. Some of the majestic towns beg for
more detail and closer views of the architecture. Still, the overhead view retains that classic
adventure feel which is important for this series.
The music features a combination of original scores and adaptations of Chrono Trigger themes,
all of which are composed by the original composer, Yasunori Mitsuda. Final Fantasy composer
Nobuo Uematsu also contributed.
With more than 40 characters, Chrono Cross is truly epic in scope. Each character has a unique
personality, and in that respect, the game certainly continues the legacy of the original, charming
classic. While the premise of the game is not terribly interesting, its execution will convince you
to go along with it, as the game is filled with fascinating plot twists that affect the characters in a
Chrono Cross is clearly the best PlayStation game of the year. With such company as Final
Fantasy IX, Grandia II, Skies of Arcadia, and Valkyrie Profile, Chrono Cross is the final piece of
proof needed to certify that the year 2000 was the best yet for RPG's.
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