Chrono Cross
Reviewed: 08/03/2003


“Yay! A sequel to Chrono Trigger….huh??…what’s this?…Where’s Crono? and Lucca? and Frog? and Dorothy? and the scarecrow? and Pluto??” That’s right! You’re not in Kansas anymore. Chrono Cross is the long awaited sequel to the popular game of the past Chrono Trigger, except this time through it’s a whole new ball game.

The story starts off with our main hero, Serge waking up from a wickedly nasty nightmare. After that, he meets up with a friend Leena who asks him to go to lizard rock to collect some komodo scales. When he makes it there, he suddenly gets drawn into a parallel universe by some unknown force. He meets up with a strange girl from his nightmare earlier named Kid who needs his help to find a special artifact. Flashing forward a bit, Serge finds out that in this time period, he was killed ten years ago. Confused and wanting to stop this from happening Serge sets out on a quest to figure out what happened. This leads him to a mysterious demihuman named Lynx who has all the answers he’s been looking for….

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Look at the pretty lights!

Square did an excellent job with this game in terms of graphics. The cinematic scenes are very good and passionate to watch. Even though there is no dialogue with the cut scenes, you’ll still understand the importance of them, because they are implemented at all the right times. The environments in Chrono Cross have a very unique style to them, which set it aside from other square games like Final Fantasy VIII. This game’s artistic look is very tropical. It’s filled with lots of bright colors and shiny effects. It gives you that “island” feeling quite well and pulls you right into its lighthearted yet mysterious world. When in battle the animation effects for magic attacks are very good to look at and flow like water. Even though the characters aren’t as smooth as most games and seem kind of rough around the edges, that doesn’t subtract from its overall appeal. This game has the most special attacks ever seen to grace a playstation RPG. There are around forty characters set with three unique special attacks each.

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Chrono Cross has a very unique battle system that relies heavily on elements. But before we begin with that side of the combat system, we’ll start off with the basics. All characters in Chrono Cross have stamina points that go up to seven. These stamina points serve as the amount of times you can attack a bad guy. There is three degrees of attacks: Weak (takes of one stamina point), Strong (takes of two stamina points), and Fierce (which takes off three stamina points), and each level of attack has its own hit percentage. After at least one attack is performed and successfully hits, it gives you a Power Level. The power level in Chrono Cross reflects the type of elemental attacks you can do and the amount of times you can do it. The magic spells in this game are called “elements”. They can be found learned and/or collected throughout the game and are deadly to use in battle. Each element in Chrono Cross has a power level associated to it that corresponds directly to where you can place it on your element grid. This element grid is a row of bars side by side that have different levels to it like level one and then next to it is level two. Since the elements have levels on them, where ever you place the element on your grid affects the strength of its attack. In battle now, the power level raises as you attack and then as that number increases you have the ability to use an element magic attack based on what level it is. Confused yet? Don’t worry after lots and lots of practice you’ll get it. There’s much more but I’ll stop here for sake of not giving you a complete brain seizure.

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Chrono Cross is fun game to play but one of the biggest problems plaguing it is the fact that there are too much characters and not enough attention to character development. Since the game has just about forty characters (which you can’t get in just one playing) don’t expect to see as much character development like other RPG’s. There is too much people and not enough time to explain their real purpose for being there. On the flip side of that every time you play through the game you’ll always experience something new. If you’re a major Chrono Trigger fan, you’ll also like the fact that this game has plenty of different endings and a lot of moments where there are slight references to things from Chrono Trigger. If you don’t have this game in your library, what are you waiting for?

-Q Jets

Score Breakdown
Very Good
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Very Good
Story Very Good
Graphics Great
Sound/Music Very Good
Replay Value Great
The Verdict: 7