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Games That Defined Me -- Chrono Cross


Chrono Cross is just one of those games that deserve more dissection and more attention from the gaming world even though I'm sure it's been done before by many other contributors and writers here on Destructoid. This was perhaps the final RPG on the PlayStation that I fell in love with, seeing how it was released weeks before the PlayStation 2 was released in the American market.

With Chrono Cross being the sequel / prequel / concurrent-quel to Chrono Trigger (time travelling in games and movies is generally a bad idea), there was an already rabid fan base that was just dying to get their hands on this game. I was one of these rabid gamers. I can recall fondly the amount of time I spent in my youth going on adventures through time as Crono, all of the times I beat the game, and the emotions that were tied to the game's characters.

The feelings that were there as a 13 year old SNES gamer were realized again when Chrono Cross came out. I had hoped that it would be a true sequel to the game that I had grown to love, but as more and more details came out about the characters and setting, I was starting to feel let down. "Who the hell is Serge and WTF is up with the Harlequin character," I mused to myself angrily as I watched and read everything that was posted about Chrono Cross before its release.

Perhaps the best part of Chrono Cross to me, and many other gamers out there, is the soundtrack. There has yet to be a masterpiece made by Yasunori Mitsuda to rival the work that he put into this game's soundtrack. Instead of the midi-sounding music that had become so prevalent on the PS1, Mitsuda took samples of instruments directly and at a very high bit rate. What you end up with are songs that actually sound like they are being played by those instruments. A great example of this is on the song 'Another Ami' where it sounds like the guitar in the song is actually being played (complete with fingers sliding on the frets), not a synthesized version of a guitar...this probably had to do with his fellow Xenogears musician Tomohiko Kira helping on a few of the more guitar heavy tracks.

The gameplay was rich for an RPG. You have the usual suspects when it comes to travel, the overworld map, the in town areas, dungeons, etc. What made this game even more loved to those who enjoyed the original was that there were no random battles at all. The only difference being, that when you ran into an enemy, you would go to a different screen for battles instead of the menus popping up on the screen like it did in Chrono Trigger.

Returning to the game from the original, were the tech attacks that all characters can perform that could also be initiated by tag-teaming with other party members, and you also saw a return of the magic system. The difference being that magic isn't something that you get from leveling up explicitly, you could also get them from shops, treasure chests, and as drops from enemies you fight.

Overall, this is quite possibly one of my favorite games due to the fact that you always feel like you're actually having an effect on the game with each decision you make. Ultimately, not everything you do matters, whether you collect all 40+ people in your party, or if you choose to go up in an elevator rather than down, it really doesn't matter but it gives you the foreboding feeling that any decision you make could be the one that saves the world or destroys it. I would be happy if people gave this game its due respect as a true sequel to Chrono Trigger; to me it is and will always remain one of my favorite RPGs and a game that defines me.
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About Excrementoone of us since 5:39 PM on 07.11.2007

Hey robots, I'm Excremento, but you cool and old skool Dtoiders know that already. I've been a videogamer for as long as I can remember. I have well over 27 years of video game experience that I rely on daily, and a near encyclopedic memory of gaming starting with the Commodore 64 and ending with whatever is the current hotness.

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