No Alternate Title
|Released By||SadNES cITy Translations|
|Patching Information||Targets BIN/Cue (Disc Based)|
|Game Date||18 November 1999|
|Release Date||03 Mar 2013|
|Last Modified||20 April 2016|
Chrono Cross is one of the oddest birds one can think of when it comes to sequels. Born out of a couple of Trigger team members basically not wanting to do the same game twice (and as a kinda-sorta/not really remake of Radical Dreamers, apparently it takes place in another dimension), it has it’s backlash and it’s fond remembrances. Some even argue about it’s status as a true sequel. There isn’t any real time travel and the game instead takes place 20 years after the events of the original, outside of the entire continent the former game is based on (though not removed from it’s influence). Instead gameplay consists of hopping through two parallel dimensions. In one you died as a child, and in the other you’re alive and well doing normal silent protagonist things.
The look and presentation of the whole game is top notch and memorable. The polar opposite of the “brown and bloom” of many modern-day products is present here; every single hand-drawn background is beautiful and full of as much color as can possibly be put inside. The tropical greenery of the first part of the game immediately hits you in the face as a welcome, and the visuals are worth playing it alone. Even the 3D models do a decent job of holding up to today. The audio matches up to the same quality, with Yasunori Mitsuda returning for one of the best scores ever to grace a video game. Most of the time tracks are very unique and will stay in your head long after finishing the game, from the violin fight of the normal battle scene to the leitmotifs from Trigger and Radical Dreamers. There are also music tracks that accentuate the two parallel worlds, light and dark in tone throughout.
The battle system is just as strikingly different. Most familiarity is cast out completely for a turn-based system revolving around stamina points and Elements. Every player including enemies has three normal attacks: the stronger it is the more likely it is to miss, but when it lands it enables you to cast a certain Element level. Elements are basically magic and items both, and consist of six types. There is also an area mechanic consisting of three rings; cast an element and one ring turns to it’s type, making elements of that type stronger and opposite ones weaker. Another interesting idea is that there is no level grinding in this game. You do sort of level up however: kill a boss and you gain a Growth Point, which gives you better status. After that, for a few battles you will gain some status but not much. Almost the entire game however the only reasons you’ll be killing enemies outside of progression is for material to forage weapons with or money. This also keeps the myriad of characters you’ll recruit on an even keel to you. The absence of level grinding leaves you on an even plane to your enemies, so learning the battle system is key. Unfortunately once you do most enemies end up on the easy side. But then again the previous game was on the easy side as well, so there’s not much to complain about there.
Sporting tons of philosophical navel gazing somewhat akin to Xenogears (but not of the same subject), a bleak contrast to Trigger, and writing where even a normal NPC talks in poetry, you’re going to either love the plot or hate all it’s being. Without spoiling I can say the ties to Trigger are usually what leaves fans up in arms, but this writing isn’t here to tug you in any direction of it. The localization actually sports something of a novel to make the myriad of recruitable characters (45 in total I believe) more unique: a machine was used to insert accents and such, for example Zoah is always yelling in ALL CAPS BECAUSE HIS HELMET ECHOES. This can sometimes lead to odd wording, but none of it is unreadable. Unfortunately outside of some of the wild ideas the creators had for character design there’s next to no development for anyone except for the main two or three that are important to the story. Still if you ever wanted to play as a wrestler exorcist, a turnip knight that talks like Frog, a martian, or a surfer doctor this is your chance. New Game+ returns from Trigger, with the same amount of crazy endings and all the replay value. You even get to fast forward through long cutscenes and bring back characters from your previous saves to actually collect everyone (it’s impossible to recruit everyone in a single run, as choices will bar certain events from happening and there is an enemy which can only stay recruited for a little while).
All in all Cross is a game that’s worth a look. If you’re not a fan of what it does at least you have a lot of pretty stuff to look at.
Complete English to Italian translation, including movies and graphics.
Note: This patch is too be large to host on RHDN and must be obtained from the author’s page.
ROM / ISO Information: