Like most of you, one of the best RPGs I ever played on the SNES was Chrono Trigger. The game seemed to have everything: great story, an awesome soundtrack, fantastic gameplay and impressive spells/special attacks, and awesome art work/character design. After getting all of the games endings and trying to get everyone's stats up to 99 (I only had Magus to go before I sold the game with my SNES a couple of years later), I sat in waiting for a sequel like everyone else. 5 years later, that day would come. Or would it?
All that aside there was still plenty of things that bothered me about this game. Let us start with the story. Square decides to do away with the whole time traveling thing in exchange to parallel universes and a confusing story to go with it. The fact that you are alive in one dimension but dead in another and that one of the main bosses (Lynx) is your father and how all these events were pre-determined so that you can free Schala from the Time Devourer that was created when Schala melded with Lavos and how the Time Devourer will *gasp* devour time if not stopped. And that was just my shorthand, craptacular explanation of the story.
Granted the story isn't that bad and confusing as how I stated about but it still seems a bit forced. The great thing about Chrono Trigger was that the story was deep but nothing confusing, especially how Time Travel can tend to create paradox's and such but Chrono Trigger seemed to remain very clear. With Chrono Cross though it seemed like Square wanted some sort of deep, Final Fantasy like story but didn't know how to create it. I still hear from Chrono Trigger fans today that will admit that the story in Chrono Cross is a whole lot better but even playing it a 3rd time recently I can't see what they are talking about.
Then there's the game play. Characters no longer learn spells of their own element, instead you have to buy your elemental spells. This I found very strange since the first game made you rely on what team you wanted to use based on what elemental spells they can provide. Chrono Cross though allows anyone to cast any spell as long as they have the proper spell equipped. Granted, a spell is more potent if the user is aligned with the proper element but why change the learning of proper element spells?
While on the subject of spells, double techs and triple techs were altered in a terribly way as well. I can remember how awesome it was when you first learned X-Strike with Crono and Frog and Antipod with Marle and Lucca. All that changes in Chrono Cross though, where not everyone has a double tech with everyone. Instead, there are only about 8 or 9 of them and a lot of them aren't even set up with Serge. What kind of cruel bastards are these people at square? Ruining the double tech/triple tech system like that?
Main reason why it was set up the way it was could be because of the massive amount of characters you can choose from for your team. And honestly, there are way too many of them. I mean, who really got excited when the Luchidore joined their team? Or Nikki the emo rock star? Or how about the Ayala clone? All these characters were just so lame. I would have rather had 4 or 5 total and all of them have double and triple techs than to have a whole roster of lame and useless heroes (although Starky the Alien was pretty good).
For all these reasons and the combat system that just seemed half assed (the light hit, medium hit, heavy hit system and stamina?), Chrono Cross broke my heart. All and all it wasn't a bad RPG but I thought it to be a poor Chrono Trigger sequel. With a story that seemed force to make sense with the Chrono Trigger universe and the changes to the combat and a roster of useless characters I got a sequel that didn't satisfy the palette at all.
Anyone else agree or was my mind too fixed on Chrono Trigger to enjoy this sequel?