Chrono Cross

Where Angels Lose Their Way

This game is truly a masterpiece! Everything about it: the story, the cut scenes, the background music, the battle system is magnificent and well-polished.

Chrono Cross is the epic sequel of Chrono Trigger. No, it does not contain the character designs present in Chrono Trigger and The Dragon Quest Series. The creators of Final Fantasy II and VII, and Xenogears made this game. It retains the original elements of Chrono Trigger including the whole time-travel and different dimension theme. It can be a bit overwhelming but don’t worry almost every question about time travel and different dimensions will arise after you end the game. If you already finished the game and you are still confused about the whole time travel stuff then I suggest you read this:

http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Theory_%28Principles_of_Timelines_and_Dimensions%29.html

Without further ado, let us see why I really enjoy this game!

 

Introduction

The opening song will just make you want to play the game! There is much emotion embedded into the opening song Scars of Time. The cut scenes and the journal add to the overall effect of the introduction. Do not worry since almost every cut scene shown in the opening has no spoilers present. One of them isn’t even found when you play the game.

Conveyance

The questions of “what do I do” and “where do I go” are not directly addressed in this game. It is expected because this is an adventure game. The creators want the players to explore the game by making the path to the goal unclear. They want you to explore every corner of the world and talk to every NPC. The game’s lack of conveyance isn’t a flaw but rather a feature.

Game mechanics

There are many things I like about this game’s mechanics so I will talk about each one:

No Random Encounters

Yes, there are no random encounters in Chrono Cross. You don’t have to fight multiple random enemies just to explore a particular area. Random encounters always bug me when I play adventure games and I see them as a punishment for exploring the world map. This game rather justifies itself when you fight a monster. It was your fault that you touched that monster, so fight it.

No Grinding

Even with the presence of monsters in some areas there is no grinding here. It doesn’t matter how many monsters you fight, your stats will never increase unless you beat a boss. When you beat a boss, you gain a level as well as a new element bar. In no way can you gain levels by defeating smaller monsters over and over again although you do gain a small stat increase after you beat at least 3 monsters after every boss fight but this system removes level grinding in the game.

Feeling Like a Pussy?

Then run away! This game enables you to run away from any fight be it small monsters or bosses. It allows you to rework your strategy and try again. Take note the damage you received while fighting will be retained and the boss will be back to full health once you fight it again but who cares! You can run as many times as you want but you have to kill the boss in order to advance and you are not allowed to leave the area unless you defeat the boss.

Music

Every village, town, area and boss fight’s background music fits perfectly. It makes you feel more immersed to the area. A jungle’s background music really makes you feel that you are in a jungle. Boss fight BGM really makes you feel the terror and despair that you will encounter if you are ever faced with such a beast. I enjoyed the music so much I even bought the original soundtrack and I still listen to it to this day. This is not my nostalgia talking, the music really is breathtaking.

Multiple Endings

Now if you finish the game, you are given a choice to create a New Game Plus (NG+) which will pass on every item and element you won from the previous save game excluding all summons and key items or send all your items to a non-NG+ save also excluding summons and key items. Now what’s special about this feature is you are given two new items which enables you to speed up or slow down your game and an item which switches the main character when a battle ensues. Now the third item given when you start an NG+ is the time egg, an end game key item needed to battle the final boss. Well now that you have the time egg at the beginning of the game you can now battle the final boss anytime with the reward of multiple endings. Kill the final boss at specific times of the game and the game will reward you with an alternate ending.

This game is really old, so compared to new games its graphics pale in comparison but aren’t games supposed to be played foremost for their gameplay? Give this and Chrono Trigger a try, you will not be disappointed. The only thing that made me not like this game is the fact that the story was supposed to be better. The game developers had a hard time to integrate some of the elements of the previous game into Chrono Cross, so yeah, this game’s story was originally intended to be more connected to the previous game Chrono Trigger.

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