Chrono Cross for the original Playstationis a sequel to Chrono Trigger which was for NES. Unlike in the first game which was time travel, this one is focused on alternate dimensions. In Chrono Cross, you play as Serge who finds himself in an alternate world and he must figure out the truth of what has happened and who is behind this confusing state and prevent the destruction of both the alternate and real world. Serge has other characters to assist him as he tries to reveal his past and confront the shadowy Lynx. Since the game is focused on two dimensions, you will often have to go back and forth to solve mysteries and change and alter events in the story. There is also quite a bit of call backs from the first game and its quite accessible to those who haven’t played a Chrono game.
The characters were interesting especially Kid, who was a pretty fun and charming female main character. There are lots of characters to choose from as you proceed and you can give them any name. You can’t get them all at once, you have to play the game multiple times to get them all. The game has different endings depending on what you do in your playthrough.
The art direction was really good and the character designs were excellent and memorable. The character designer for this game is Nobuteru Yūki who did character designs on anime such as X/1999, Clover, Xenosaga and Paradise Kiss. Each character had their own accents to make them stand out. The tropical atmosphere was really cool and the locales were all unique and vibrant. The differences between the worlds become more obvious as you make decisions as you proceed.
Combat is initiated by sneaking up on enemies. The game doesn’t have the active time based system like the first game as it uses a traditional turn based gameplay style. You can even add a fast forward or slow down time during combat which was something new at the time for 90s JRPGs. There is also a stamina bar in a turn based system which at the time was quite unusual as JRPGS that are turned based don’t really use a stamina meter even today. Each action will use up stamina but it can recharge after a while.
You can find a lot of equipment while exploring in the game and also “magic seals” to help enhance your character abilities. You can also find materials to forge stuff to use in combat. You can run away from all boss fights which is something very much not often seen in JRPGs. The game has an elemental based gameplay system, elements come in a large variety and it encompasses character abilities, magic and items. You can find them in shops or while exploring around the world like dungeons. Elements come in different colors example, red is fire, and water is blue. Each enemy would have a weakness and strength in certain elements.
You can also combine techs like in the first Chrono Trigger to make more powerful attacks to enemies. Sometimes after combat depending on the type of element you have, your party members health can be restored as well. After each battle, your stats like health or strength are enhanced. The level of difficulty was well balanced, challenging and fun. The musical score by Masuda Yatsunori is outstanding. It has a tropical twist along with the usual Celtic style which is quite fitting. The 3D graphics have not aged well but the art style and character designs are great. The 90s user interface may take some time getting used to but I personally had no issue with it since I've played quite a few 90s JRPGs at this point.
Chronos Trigger if a fairly long game with some filler parts here and there. The ending is a bit ambiguous and open to interpretation. Sadly, Chrono Break isn’t going to be released anytime soon so you’ll probably have to wait a while for it to come out. The alternate storyline plot is complicated and difficult to follow.
The feeding minigame wasn’t fun at all and it was more annoying than enjoyable.
Theres also Radical Dreamers which takes place in the Chrono universe and it is supposed to be released on April 2022 but I have not seen a copy as yet. Actually now i don't because the ports i hear is bad so nope.
Chronos Trigger is a great game, challenging without being frustratingly difficult and very enjoyable to play. It gets 5 out of 5 stars.