A few weeks ago, I beat Chrono Cross for the very first time. This was truly a momentous occasion, as I’ve played the first several hours of that game countless times over the last thirteen years since its release, always getting to a specific plot point and then unfortunately losing interest. I would then forget everything plot-wise and gameplay-wise by the time I got back to it and just start over, hopeful that that run would be the one to see me to the end. Alas, it never was, but I made a plea to myself this year that I’d beat five specific videogames, and Chrono Cross was the prime target. Well, mission accomplished.
The truth: I love this game. I know many don’t and consider it a failure of a sequel, and I can agree there that this is no follow-up to Chrono Trigger, but as a separate entity I think it is beyond fantastic, boils and bumps included. Yeah, it has its weird quirks and healthy share of problems, but there’s also a lot of neat stuff happening thanks to being able to travel between parallel dimensions and customizing Element slots for battle and gathering a large cast of characters to fight by your side. Plus, the tunes are so dang good. In fact, I believe there’s enough here to talk about to devote a whole week of Grinding Down blog posts to it. Hope you’re ready. Hope I’m ready, too.
Anyways, here are the Chrono Cross topics I’ll be covering over the next handful of days:
- Story, or the thing the writers desperately want to believe is a cohesive story
- Characters, or the craziest accents ever and look who is severely underdeveloped (spoiler: every character)
- Battle and Elements, or learning how to slot properly
- Music, or sounds made by lofty angels using heavenly instruments infused with the glory that is good
- Miscellaneous, or how money doesn’t matter, or forging for that matter, and how I’m terrified of New Game+
Yeah, think that should cover it. If not, I can always add an extra day, because in my world, I make weeks as long–or as short–as I want. So equip your best armor, slot in a bunch of GravityBlows, and bathe in the beauty that is Chrono Cross as we figure out what I love, like, and hate in one of Squaresoft’s defining RPGs from the PlayStation 1 era.