Author Topic: Chrono Cross  (Read 2525 times)

PrincessNadia78

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Chrono Cross
« on: April 18, 2018, 07:43:19 pm »
So I'm curious what the general consensus is in the Chrono community about this game. For me, I do enjoy it (even though I hate playing as Lynx!) but I feel like it's more of a spin-off to Chrono Trigger than a true sequel.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Acacia Sgt

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 08:03:35 pm »
Well, I kinda agree on the same.

I mostly like the game. Probably not everything when it comes to Kid, but outside of that I do enjoy it. But yeah, it doesn't quite feel like a sequel to CT. Well, in a setting that involves time travel and the like, defining a "true" sequel would be a bit hard to agree with. But yeah, not a direct continuition of CT's story.

Razig

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 09:06:52 pm »
I love it almost (but not quite) as much as Chrono Trigger. It had beautiful music and visuals, and a really compelling story... Once you had re-played it a couple of times and figured out what the hell was going on. My biggest complaint is the pacing.* A LOT of backstory is thrown at you in the last couple of hours, and in the form of the dreaded infodump, no less.

Unfortunately for me, the game was released right as "real life" was starting to pick up steam, so I've never been able to give it the attention it deserves. I think I've only done three full playthroughs of it in all this time.

* And Korcha. I utterly despise Korcha.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 12:08:05 am »
I'll be honest... It wasn't the sequel I was hoping for. I wanted more of the same - time travel, fun characters, a great soundtrack, and I got half of what I was looking for. Too many characters I didn't care about, a wonky magic system (and no proper level up / exp system), and an incredibly convoluted plot. The Chrono Trigger world was forgotten, the entire game isolated to a small archipelago that didn't exist in Chrono Trigger, and the characters I loved from Chrono Trigger were killed off or entirely absent. I enjoyed the game, but I wasn't enamored with.

Time has softened me, however.

The archipelago of El Nido is probably my favorite jRPG world of all time. The vibrant colors, the coral reefs, the tropical tribal village of Arni -- it's such a unique and refreshing take on the fantasy genre. Many of the characters I once loathed I grew to enjoy -- Funguy, Orcha, Norris, and the others actually turned out to be fairly likable, albeit still a bit shallow. The graphics, the music, and the new additions to lore were worthy of the Chrono titlage. The story line, once it finally made sense, was (mostly) satisfying.

Was it as good as Chrono Trigger? No, not for me. Was it an amazing game, and one I love going back to? Absolutely.

I do wish that there was more Chrono Trigger inclusion, whether in the form of returning characters or locations. Lucca's house and a dead Gato simply weren't enough. :D

All that being said... Man, that brings me back to the Chrono Cross hack we had worked on. Chrono Cross: The Darkness Beyond Time. We had some models of Lucca, Marle, Ayla, and a few others and a story line that would have made minor adjustments to Chrono Cross in order to make room for the Chrono gang. Another unrealized opportunity. :(

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* And Korcha. I utterly despise Korcha.

Was it the banana hammock? In all seriousness, Orcha was the only family member I could tolerate. Macha, Korcha, and his bratty little sister could all bite me.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 11:52:56 pm by Boo the Gentleman Caller »

skylark

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 03:08:00 am »
I am in the camp of those who thought it was a terrific game on its own merits...

...but as a sequel to Chrono Trigger? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. NOPE.

And that's all I'll say. I've already made my feelings for this game (and Kato's direction of it) abundanty clear.

Razig

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 05:06:19 am »
Was it the banana hammock? In all seriousness, Orcha was the only family member I could tolerate. Macha, Korcha, and his bratty little sister could all bite me.

The Speedo certainly didn't help matters. But it was his personality that got to me the most. I guess the writers were basing him on the "stridently earnest guy" anime stereotype, and just took it way too far. Dude has a strong opinion on EVERYTHING—even things that he has no real reason to care about and are none of his damn business in any event—and he makes sure you know it. He's just overwhelmingly obnoxious. The kind of guy I'd probably end up punching in the nose if I had to spend more than five minutes around.

The whole CHA accent was also horribly stilted and grating on the nerves.

Moving on, otherwise I'll be griping about Korcha all day...  :P

Regarding one of the other things you mention, I think "too many characters" is one of the most common—and most valid—criticisms of Chrono Cross. I've softened on the issue over the years, as I suspect the designers sacrificed depth for breadth in order to allow the player to form a well-rounded team in any combination of element colors. Unfortunately, the battles in CC are so laughably easy (except for Miguel) that such optimization is never necessary. The stats literally don't matter. So it comes back to the characters' personalities... And sadly, many of them don't really have one. Since there are so many possible characters you could bring along for any given scene, they can't all be given individual lines to say like the characters in CT were. They all have to share the same generic lines. Luckily the accent generator adds a little flavor to these (aside from the aforementioned CHA disaster).

However, the characters that DO get some development (which is to say, those who actually have a stake in what's going on and have better reasons for joining you than "I'm bored and unemployed") are mostly likeable and memorable.

Kodokami

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 07:49:14 pm »
Chrono Cross was the first I played in the series, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I understand all its flaws, of which there are many, and there's always the debate of whether it was a good "sequel"... But I still love it.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 01:46:53 am »
I just can't handle the tragedy of the unfulfilled vision, these days. I can play it for atmosphere until I'm blue in the face. Wouldn't we all like to live in El Nido? But the story...we were busy proving that it didn't have robust plot holes, while I personally ignored the greater sin lurking beneath—the sheer tenuousness and convenience of the plot. It's obvious there was something more there, kneecapped by Disc 2 syndrome, and that we're lucky just to have the Belthasar exposition hold it together. By and large, this has become the most usual thing that tanks my enjoyment of whatever media I'm getting into. The more contrived things are; the more things happen amazingly by chance; the more characters are the actors of the author's hand and less their own motivations, the less things become enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it looks like plotting in major media has come to completely rely on this. Skyfall is heralded as an amazing James Bond, yet completely depends on a ludicrous "getting captured was part of my plan" like so many other contrived second acts. TV shows have to layer in so many webs of intrigue and mysteries that one barely can identify a coherent, consistent arc of struggle above the patchwork of constant reactions. The Gordian knot is simply never cut, and Gainax endings prevail as if leaving things unexplained and unsatisfyingly vague is a mark of sophistication. Chrono Cross annoyingly reminds me of this these days, as you see throughout the chapters that you begin the game 26 layers deep beneath the clear overall story and spend time unevenly bursting through them without any idea how they all fit together, or what you were even supposed to be doing. And I don't fault Kato for this. It's amazing when an artistic vision is even realized modestly in a world that celebrates surefire returns on mediocrity.

PrincessNadia78

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 03:46:37 pm »
Well damn I thought I replied to this topic and I didn't. I apparently composed it all in my head, but never did the actual post. Silly me!

I feel like since graphics have improved, to focus has become more on that than an actual good story. IMO, good graphics doesn't make up for a sucky story. Now that being said, I enjoy the Chrono Cross the same way I enjoy Stanly Kubrick's The Shining. That is, I enjoy it as a separate entity. In the case of The Shining, Kubrick's version is merely influenced by the book, overall not even close to the book. I feel the same about Chrono Cross. It's more like a spinoff of Trigger, but definitely not a sequel.

V_Translanka

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 11:25:47 pm »
I personally can't think of it as a spinoff. In essence each game in the series starts in a new timeline/dimension/whatever. CT basically starts in a new timeline w/the Entity's intervention & CC starts in Serge's alternate dimension where he didn't die, spurred by Schala's entanglement with the remnants of Lavos and all that crazy Chronopolis junk (thus making it about as direct a sequel as you can get [with as minimal involvement of the original cast as possible anyway])...and because of it basically retconning the events of RD, it too is basically entirely in its own multitude of worlds.

I enjoyed CC, but it didn't live up to either previous entries to the series. The character development wasn't there and the battle system, while robust, felt like it was a big reason why. I don't know why we needed more than maybe 2 characters of each element, really...and on top of that the new system of elements itself didn't seem like a necessary addition either. Was it all just so they could do the final boss battle "good" ending using the Chrono Cross? It sure felt that forced, anyway. Oh yeah, and a serious lack of Double & Triple Techs, which are almost always a much lauded addition when people talk about CT's battle system...>_>

Also, this is totally in the wrong forum! This is supposed to be non-Chrono discussion! lol, maybe I'll move it later....
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 12:18:38 am by V_Translanka »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2018, 12:45:18 am »
Quote
Now that being said, I enjoy the Chrono Cross the same way I enjoy Stanly Kubrick's The Shining. That is, I enjoy it as a separate entity. In the case of The Shining, Kubrick's version is merely influenced by the book, overall not even close to the book. I feel the same about Chrono Cross. It's more like a spinoff of Trigger, but definitely not a sequel.

Riiiiiiiight?! The television remake miniseries they did had such a weird ending, which contrasted greatly with the Kubrick version. I loved the Kubrick ending; it was ambiguous and sad. It left me longing for more. Then I saw the Steven King version and the ending was completely different; Jack sacrificed himself to save his family and had a special guest appearance at his son's high school graduation. It felt hokey and contrived.

Then, years later, I read the Dark Tower series. This was my first foray into reading the works of King, so I ended up going back and reading a bunch of his original novels/novellas/short stories, amongst them The Shining.

And the television miniseries ending that was so stupid ended up being the one from his book. It was only at this point that I realized it was the Kubrick version that was an outlier and greatly changed the events from the book.

It was then that I realized that we largely favor the first interpretation of whatever we come across (when it comes to fiction).

PrincessNadia78

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2018, 10:24:28 pm »
Also, this is totally in the wrong forum! This is supposed to be non-Chrono discussion! lol, maybe I'll move it later....

Crap I’m sorry! I try to be really good about that....

Quote
Now that being said, I enjoy the Chrono Cross the same way I enjoy Stanly Kubrick's The Shining. That is, I enjoy it as a separate entity. In the case of The Shining, Kubrick's version is merely influenced by the book, overall not even close to the book. I feel the same about Chrono Cross. It's more like a spinoff of Trigger, but definitely not a sequel.

Riiiiiiiight?! The television remake miniseries they did had such a weird ending, which contrasted greatly with the Kubrick version. I loved the Kubrick ending; it was ambiguous and sad. It left me longing for more. Then I saw the Steven King version and the ending was completely different; Jack sacrificed himself to save his family and had a special guest appearance at his son's high school graduation. It felt hokey and contrived.

Then, years later, I read the Dark Tower series. This was my first foray into reading the works of King, so I ended up going back and reading a bunch of his original novels/novellas/short stories, amongst them The Shining.

And the television miniseries ending that was so stupid ended up being the one from his book. It was only at this point that I realized it was the Kubrick version that was an outlier and greatly changed the events from the book.

It was then that I realized that we largely favor the first interpretation of whatever we come across (when it comes to fiction).

See for me, I read the book first. I’ve been reading King since my early 20s and The Shining was one of the first ones I read. After reading it, I was excited when I found out there was a movie and the first time I watched it I HATED it. I then found out about the miniseries and since I read the book first, I LOVED it. Ha ha! I learned to like the movie but it took me a long time. I watch it fairly frequently now. Also, if you are interested, there’s a documentary on the hidden messages of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shiningon Netflix. It’s interesting but I do think some of it is looking into things too much. I still liked it though.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 03:48:10 pm »
I want to keep this on topic, but I totally think the Stephen King conversation could become it's own thread. :D

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By and large, this has become the most usual thing that tanks my enjoyment of whatever media I'm getting into. The more contrived things are; the more things happen amazingly by chance; the more characters are the actors of the author's hand and less their own motivations, the less things become enjoyable.

This. I'd like to call back to this original thought from ZeaLity. This is a very, true point, and goes far beyond just the video game medium. I enjoy a contrived plot where things comes together at the end -- movies like Donnie Darko, Wicker Park, The Prestige, and countless others execute this flawlessly. So do some video games and novels. But making a story complex for the sake of complexity can lesson the impact and uniqueness of the story.

Take the most recent Lost in Space series on Netflix. People have complained that it was too simple, that it's plot twists were too predictable... Although that may be true, I found it wholly entertaining for the seven or eight hours I spent with the Robinsons. I understand that the colonial family drama isn't for everywhere, but it shouldn't be discounted simply because some thought it wasn't cerebral enough.

There's a fine line to walk on that front. I mentioned Donnie Darko -- it's definitely a cult classic for good reason, but to understand the whole tangent universe and really understand the storyline, you sort of have to take a step back and do some research outside of the film itself. At least that's how it was for us when it came out in the early 2000s (holy crap, was it that long ago?!).

A convoluted plot can be fine, but I do agree that it ultimately hurt games like Xenogears and Chrono Cross.

kolt54321

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 12:08:05 am »
I'm surprised to hear that people are disappointed in Chrono Cross as a sequel. The interviews all show that it was never meant to be one - it's a new game entirely, with some tie-ins to the series. Are we still making this mistake 20 years down the line?

You can't get atmosphere like Chrono Cross anywhere else. I don't need a perfect plot in disk two - I'm content living my life in El Nido, speaking to every in-depth, thoughtful NPC disk one has to offer. I can do that for as long as it takes.

Convenience is annoying when games aren't innovative enough to distract from it. Not every fairy tale is stale because "what are the odds". There's a beauty to some things that bending the rules lends to.

This game offers me something I can't replicate. Chrono Trigger's story - sure, it'd be really hard to beat, but it's possible. It's the same concept we know, just done better and better until we perfect it.

Chrono Cross's atmosphere... I don't know where to begin. How do we even create such a thing? There's been plenty of games before and after, but I can't give advice as to creating art like this.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 12:12:58 am by kolt54321 »

maggiekarp

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Re: Chrono Cross
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 01:13:47 am »
IT'S DIFFERENT AND IT RUINED MY CHILDHOOD AND IT'S THE WORST


That aside, it's really aesthetically beautiful even today, and a good half of the characters I really liked/wished they were more fleshed out, or even just used as archetypes for characters in modern games/comics/etc. Like if games latched onto Macha or Sprigg as a stock character type, that would be awesome.

But it is bizarre to me that games from that era are judged on a completely different scale than anything made before or after. It's fine to like it, but to say the problems don't matter at all is... weird.

I wish that when Square made remakes and rereleases and such, that they had focused on rangling in Cross's plot instead of making Trigger's more convoluted to suit it. Being dark or different isn't the main problem (RD is nice) but making you wanna throw your hands up in frustration trying to understand or explain it.