Chrono Cross is perfect in every way and should be a part of the greatest games list alongside Chrono Trigger.
Looking back at the game systems of old is a look into the future. I decided to take a look at some of the RPGs and great games from older systems and believe I have found the Gem of Gems. From the opening, Chrono Cross stole my heart and filled my senses with what Squaresoft had become legend for. A plot that will shake you. Twists, turns, and spirals. The music is emotional and majestic. The graphics (although dated by todays standards) were the best for their time.
Chrono Cross continues the storyline of its predecessor, telling a long and enjoyable tale of time travel, sacrifice, and friendship. The game allows for over 40 companions, each with their own attitudes, strengths, and weaknesses. It should take an experienced gamer over 40 hours to complete. Most of the norm from RPGs is represented here, except for the battle system, which is fun and strategic. The game is spread out among two discs and contains several beautifully rendered cutscenes which do not detract much from gameplay.
This attention to detail is staggering for a game that was released almost 10 years ago. Today, it seems that a game cannot pass QA unless it has passed the eye candy test. I think everyone likes good graphics -I do, but good graphics do not always make a good game. For those that attempt to play CC, they will want to play it on a PS3 where it seems to display a bit better. Otherwise, it will be quite jagged to the eyes after playing most of today's HD games. There are parts of the game where a character would walk by a mirror and their reflection is shown in detail, or shadows are displayed. The color palette is dark and moody where it needs to be and colorful and bright in others.
Gameplay wise, a lot of newer RPGs have become interactive stories rather than games, and playing CC made me feel like the decisions I was making were actually FOR something. I have caught myself at times actually feeling emotionally caught up in the story. The ability to name each character whatever you desire and the story being so well put together will test any gamer's mettle to NOT get personally involved. Of the games I have played, this title is the ONLY game to integrate true skill to a battle/magic system. The battle system is turn based, but broken into different aspects that the player must take into account. Each character has a set number of moves that are allowed in a turn which are broken into different attacks. Light, Medium, and Heavy attacks are assigned point values and each player is allowed so many points per turn. Each character is assigned an area of magic he/she is inherent to. Magic is broken up into the usual air, water, earth, fire, light, and dark categories and each plays a major role in the actual defeat of the major character enemies. While using certain types of magic, the player must keep the "field" in mind as to not change it to a color that would cause the enemy to take advantage of their inherent magics. This adds an element of strategy to a pretty well schemed battle system.
This is also one of the best and most endearing adventures I have seen on the Playstation or any 1st generation system for that matter. Without a doubt, games like Chrono Cross implore PS2/PS3 owners to continue their journey and explore the past to see what the future has to offer.