Chrono Cross, the second installment in Square's acclaimed Chrono series, is a Japanese-style console RPG developed for Sony's PlayStation. The team behind this title also created the hit game Xenogears. Designed for compatibility with the dual shock analog controller, Chrono Cross requires only a single block of memory for game saves.
One of the most striking aspects of Chrono Cross is its exceptional graphics, which push the limits of the PlayStation's capabilities. The high-quality CG FMVs, while impressive, are not the most notable visual aspect of the game. Instead, it is the in-game graphics that truly stand out. Compared to other titles such as Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross boasts not only superior graphics but also significantly reduced loading times, showcasing a top-tier graphics engine.
The game employs fully renderable polygonal characters and battle backgrounds, with battles taking place on a separate screen. Unlike the blocky graphics often associated with the PlayStation, Chrono Cross's visuals are remarkably smooth and detailed. Even the characters' facial features are well animated, and the 3D graphics are meticulously crafted with precise lighting and fluid animations.
Musically, Chrono Cross is a masterpiece. With a vast number of tracks, the game's soundtrack is as colorful and varied as its graphics. Each tune is carefully composed to blend seamlessly with the game's vivid environments. Sound effects, including footsteps, ambient forest sounds, and magical spells, are all expertly implemented, enhancing the immersive experience.
A departure from Chrono Trigger's leveling system, characters in Chrono Cross progress individually. Post-battle, characters may receive sporadic boosts in statistics, including the number of Element Slots. Significant increases in attributes typically occur after defeating boss battles. Aside from the protagonist Serge, all other characters heavily rely on weapons, armor, and accessories for growth.
To sum up, Chrono Cross excels in numerous areas, offering only a few minor flaws that do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the game. With stunning graphics, a captivating soundtrack, and unique character progression, it stands as a superb addition to the beloved Chrono series.