Kyle here, gaming aficionados.
This time, our "distinguished panel of experts" will review a long-awaited sequel from Squaresoft, Chrono Cross.
Here's a little primer on Kyle's RPG Roundtable Reviews rating scale:
|0-1 is the lowest of the low. Basically, don't
even touch the game's box.
1.5-4.5 is below average. You might still like it, though.
5 is absolutely average. Most games are a 5, so don't think this is bad. I mean it.
5.5-9.5 is above average. These are damn good scores, even a 5.5. Definitely pick it up.
10 is the ultimate. If you can't afford the game, consider selling body parts.
|Chrono Cross has sort of a hit-or-miss story,
you know? I mean, sometimes I liked
lot, and other times, I really sort
Like, for a long time the game moves
pretty slow, and you know I always
when they do that, 'cause it gives
time to figure out what's goin' on.
sometimes, they would advance the plot
I would totally lose track of what
on for a while! Like they had some
plot twists in the middle, and I never
figure out what they meant! On the
though, I loved the endings, especially the 'easy' one.
I don't want to spoil it, 'cause you'll sure
never guess what it is!
I like 'em all, but this one's a 6.0.
|Well, finally a game that doesn't pay too much attention
to its cast. Although, like most games, it
suffers terribly from not being graced by
my presence, it is otherwise fairly good.
The main character is silent throughout,
which is always a huge plus for me. Most
of the other characters have only a few relevant
lines after their introduction, and are little
more than bit players who can be recruited
into your party. And, in a surprising twist,
even most of the villains are not over-embellished.
About the only minus, and it is a big one,
is that every character other than the main
hero has a very distinctive personality.
I suppose these fellows deserve a 7.0.
|Gau no like! Me no play game me no like this
much since me play Grandia!! Chrono Cross
have avoidable battle, and Gau no like -
me no want miss fight monsters. It no have
so many monster, 'neither. You no get 'sperience
points, just level up when beat boss. That
no fun! Gau no like battle system, 'neither.
It too hard. Me like element screen - it
shiny, shiny! But no like use element in
battle, it too hard to figure out. Stam'na
system hardest, though: me no understand
why me have to not use strong attack every
turn! Gau glad there not so many puzzle in
Chrono Cross, but that 'bout all me like.
Gau give this 0.5!
|Although Chrono Cross' graphics don't sacrifice
quite as much artistic integrity on the altar
of realism as those of Final Fantasy 8, these
are much higher-res and higher-poly. Every
character has a very distinctive look, both
in their in-game graphics and their uniquely
high-res status portraits - Chrono Cross
is even worse than Suikoden 2 for this. There's
no major difference between the in-battle
and movement graphics. They even compare
well with the FMVs. Even the colors are rich
and deep! There's nothing good about these
graphics, except for some pixelation relative
to a Dreamcast game.
If I had to judge, I'd give it a 1.0.
|Whoa, dude! Most of this music is major suckage.
I'm totally not a big fan of Yasunori Mitsuda's
music, dudes, like in Xenogears and Chrono
Trigger. It's just not jammable. Most of
the music in Chrono Cross is this totally
bogus regional stuff - a lot of orchestral
Celtic and beach/island type tunes. I totally
would have given this a 1.0, but it has one
mega-awesomely bodacious track: my very own
radical rock opera! Excellent. Other than
that, it's time to start pounding that mute
button and turning up the stereo, dudes.
I'd crank the volume up to 2.5.
|Well... their opinions basically suck! Here's
If you take their scores and reverse 'em, you'll get a pretty accurate picture.
Like that little dork Gau, he gave the gameplay a 0.5? That is a 9.5, which means it's almost perfect. And Alfonso thought the characters deserved a 6.5 - yeah, right. Try 3.5 and you're closer to the mark.
Now, for the real low-down on Chrono Cross, I'm your man. Chrono Cross is definitely better than the sum of its parts. The plot has its moments, but most of those are just rehashed from Xenogears, anyway. The characters are definitely nothing to write home about, since most of them have about a half dozen lines that actually develop them - tops. The gameplay is pretty weird, the graphics have an odd look, and the music takes a hell of a lot of getting used to.
The thing is, though, when you do get into the groove of it, which usually takes no more than an hour or two, all of that doesn't matter. Chrono Cross is just plain fun. The gameplay, the graphics, even the music - it's all just perfect to give you a good time. This New Game + feature is probably the only one I've seriously fooled around with, because knowing the story doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Chrono Cross plays like a breeze when you get used to it, it looks great, and it sounds great. Trying out the different characters is more fun than in other games like this (Suikoden and Shining Force leap to mind), too.
3B-wise, well, quantity and quality abound, just not in the main female leads. Most of the gals of CC are worth checking out, but there's nothing even close to a Bromide-equivalent, or even FMV shots for the majority of them. Too bad.
I should also point out that, as a sort of Chrono Trigger Gaiden, it's even better than it is on its own - it fills you in on some stuff you probably wondered about.
Put together, it's about a 8.0!