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Author Topic: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog  (Read 292 times)
Dincrest
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« on: December 11, 2014, 05:22:54 PM »

So with the insistence of everyone, I'm making my Chrono Cross journal.  I'm making a Cliff Notes version of my progress so far and will put in more details later.  

With all the talk about classic games and some of our idols wanting to return to form (e.g. Dice playing FF7 and reminding us why we love it and JRPGs in the first place, the news story of Uematsu wanting to do a 2D RPG like FF6, Legend of Legacy), I decided to revisit Chrono Cross on a whim.  I've had a love/hate relationship with Chrono Cross.  I didn't get into it at first, but later on I loved it, but never finished it.  I think part of it was that I like character-driven RPG storylines and many characters in CC get little development.  But when someone pointed out that the game is really about the world/setting, the El Nido Archipelago, I viewed it that way and had a better time with it.  Final Fantasy VII is another game I had a major love/hate relationship with, but I eventually fell into the love camp.

Oh my goodness, I forgot how freaking cool that game was!  The colorful no-holds-barred style and the music.  I could listen to this overworld theme for days:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leFTNSTt1MU  It and FF6 definitely had two of the best JRPG soundtracks ever and oddly enough, the only track I dislike in either soundtrack is the normal battle theme.  Go figure.

Because I'd forgotten a lot of the game so I'm playing it from a semi-fresh perspective.  

I like how in that first sequence of the game in the tower, the third party member who goes with Serge and Kid is always random.  This time, I got Miki.  Dreaming about going through a dungeon with a hot chick and an annoying Kid I kill at the end of the dream?  Sure why not?      

Doing the Arni stuff, all I'm thinking is "Man, Leena is one high maintenance, pushy, and demanding girlfriend who has Serge completely whipped.  He ought to dump her carcass and play the field."  I didn't want to do the komodo scale hunt for a girl I didn't like and tried to pass off a found scale to her, but no dice.  I also wanted to shove the people out of the way of the save point in Arni since they have no use for it.  

So after the Arni stuff, it's dimension-switching time.  Bringing Home World people to Another World (and vice versa) and having them meet is fun.  I did that with Poshul since I had her.  I also later did that with the poetry girl and a bunch of others.  

After that battle at Serge's grave, I let Kid tag along.  

Anyway, to get to Viper Manor... I decided to do Nikki's path since A) Miki was in Serge's dream and that felt "right" and B) I remember Nikki being more plot-relevant than the powerful-but-underdeveloped Guile and useless fop Pierre.  

And when Harle was hitting on Serge, I wonder if he was thinking, "I should've gone out into the world sooner and find cooler chicks who don't have that 'big fish in small pond' entitled mentality like Leena."  Sure, Harle'd probably pump him and dump him, but you know what they say about crazy chicks, so Serge would've had crazymonkeyfun with her for a night.  

After Viper Manor, I decided not to save Kid.  If there was nothing that could be done, I'll cut my losses and more forward.  In NG+, I'll save Kid.  So I ended up with Macha (an underrated red innate), Doc (who sucks), and Glenn (who's Glenn).  It's kinda like the choice in Star Ocean 2.  Do you recruit Ashton, or do you forego him for Opera and/or Ernest?  I've done both, and much preferred Ashton.  In the case of Chrono Cross, if you save Kid you get Korcha (who sucks), Mel (who's usable), and Razzly (who's good).  And since I went the "Ashton" route, I chose Glenn over Razzly.  

I also recruited Greco, so I have an overabundance of red innates.  

...
Pirate ship dungeon was annoying since I got poisoned a lot and didn't have a lot of poison cures.  I recruited the mascot creature thing that I let out of Luccia's lab.  

...

Water Dragon section.  I could have sworn one of the dwarves looked like he was peeing in one of the fairy cave springs.  What a filthy creature.  It was fun to wantonly slaughter them all.  And I like how Chrono Cross went really creative with the dragons' designs.  They don't look like traditional dragons at all.  The water dragon looks like a frog, fire dragon was tiny...

Then I got philosophical:  I can't remember who it was, but someone made an interesting point about Chrono Cross- that the characters who seem like they'd be complete jokes are actually surprisingly good.  Macha and Poshul spring to mind first.  Macha seems like she'd be a joke character, but is one of the strongest red-innates and she can be a beast.  And while Poshul is easy to dismiss as a stupid mascot character, she's quite the tank and she's a yellow-innate, which are underrepresented.  

Then, I did the Fire Dragon dungeon and got to Fort Dragonia, which got a little annoying in places so ADD got the better of me and I fired up the ol' SNES and played some Chrono Trigger with my awesome save (everyone with levels in the 90s 'cept Magus who's in the 70s).  Still a killer classic.  Bringing Crono's friends home to meet his mom never gets old, especially Frog and Ayla.

And my thinking about Chrono Cross spawned a new discussion thread about sequels and follow-ups: http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=14701.msg350536#msg350536

And I realized that what makes Cross so good is that it's pretty much the opposite of everything Trigger was.

Anyway, I'm 3/4s done with Fort Dragonia now (some of the status effects are a pain in the neck) and my party has mostly been Serge, Nikki, and Glenn.  I like my Serge, Nikki, Glenn team. 
  
And the battles.  I dislike the standard battle theme music, but battles themselves are pretty creative and fun.  Back in the day, I felt like there were too many things to keep track of, but now that I'm used to Idea factory and Compile Heart games from reviewing them for the site, Chrono Cross's battles are quite manageable.  And, so far, the bosses are pretty easy.  Then again, I do have Glenn.  

The graphics have not aged well.  The prerendered backgrounds look fine, but the polygons look rough, even with the PS3's texture smoothing on.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 09:52:55 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 11:03:14 PM »

Again, bullet pointing for ease (I'll try to 'refer' to what you're talking about to make it easier)

= A shame that the consensus hates the battle theme.  Really it's like the only track on there that next to no one likes despite the 'masterpiece' the rest of it is.  I also wasn't crazy for the swamp tune, but whatever.  As crappy as the battle theme is, I like how it seems to fit the fast rhythm of battle, even when you're just skimming through menus.

= I always adored and got excited to meet the next dragon.  I was both happy and a little disappointed that the Light and Dark dragon were a bit more reserved, but that was fine (certainly the white dragon's 'wings' were a nice touch).  Earth was my favourite for its appearance.  Green gave me the hardest time because...

= ...Yeah status effects are weirdly abundant.  I remember having nothing to heal 'sprain' so I was stuck walking an entire dungeon.  That sucked. 

= Haaaa, you went Glenn route.  Good, take that Kid!! >:(

= I oddly liked Norris as the yellow innate, but I think it's because I found his design (and hometown) appealing.  But yeah, Poshul was great, I had her for the intro segment and was sad I didn't recruit her.  Otherwise I think Leena and Riddle as my support most often.

= Not to get off topic, but Opera is now seen as the better choice (for Healing Star).

= I hated BOTH iterations of the SS Zelbess.  between a shitty song or annoying ghost ship....bleh, that think could get lost in the 5th dimension with Interstellar.

= Leena was definitely a bad version of the childhood friend trope...  No wonder Serge went after the equally unappealing Kid.

= What chu' mean you like how the game is different from Trigger?  Of all points you SHOULDA elaborated on it was that.

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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 01:18:02 AM »

I'm glad you're playing Chrono Cross!

Also, I was always TEAM MACHA--GO TEAM MACHA! WOOOOOOOO~~!

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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 03:50:18 AM »

= Leena was definitely a bad version of the childhood friend trope...  No wonder Serge went after the equally unappealing Kid.

I don't care how unappealing Leena and Kid are, I'd tap dem both in a heartbeat (especially since you got good Leena instead of bad Leena). And hey, even if I do pick up fantasy STDs from them (out of Karmic Balance or something), I can rest assured that with a little dimensional fuckery, and some help from a mute protagonist, I can totally walk away from the experience with a clean bill of health.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 09:47:02 PM »



= What CHA mean you like how the game is different from Trigger?  Of all points you SHOULDA elaborated on it was that.



Fixed:P  

Anyway, this editorial expounds on what I mean better than I could: http://kotaku.com/5889433/the-beautifully-melancholy-chrono-cross-was-unfairly-overlooked

It's like dating an awesome girl then dating her cousin or something who's awesome in a whole bunch of different ways.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 09:55:58 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 08:21:20 AM »

It's like dating an awesome girl then dating her cousin or something who's awesome in a whole bunch of different ways.


I've literally done that. Except, Chrono Cross was better than both of them.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 08:30:21 AM »

I could pull the pizza analogy here too.  New York style thin crust vs. Chicago deep dish.  Both totally different styles of pizza, but both delicious in their own way.  I have my preference to be sure (I grew up in New Jersey so I'm more drawn to NY style), but when in Chicago, I'll scarf that deep dish. 

And, of course, there will be the arguments of "NY thin crust is like cardboard" and "Chicago deep dish is a pie, NOT a pizza!" and all that stuff.  Just like Trigger/Cross on teh intarwebnet. 

Anyway, I'll probably put in a big chunk of playing when I'm off for the holidays. 

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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 12:45:58 PM »

It's been awhile, but I recall that I always picked one specialist in each colour rather than switching my party about all the time. I loaded up my specialist with mainly that colour.

Hero = white
Glenn = green
kid/Draggy = red
mermaid woman = blue
Lynx/guile = black
The younger d00d from Viper Mansion = yellow
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Dincrest
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 03:59:10 PM »

Right now, my main battle/travel party is
Serge (White)
Nikki (Blue)
Glenn (Green)

and my remaining roster is:
Kid (Red)
Poshul (Yellow)
Macha (Red)
Greco (Red)
Doc (White)
Pip (Eevee)

EDIT: And it looks like Nikki will be my main blue for a while.  A lot of people say that Nikki sucks or whatnot, that anything Nikki does Leena can do better (though Nikki can definitely play guitar and apply makeup better than Leena, lol), but I like the guy.  He does not make the strongest first impression, but he does improve at a steady rate and he's grown on me.  For such a flamboyant rock star, he's pretty well grounded.  Plus, he seems to have connections with several other characters, so he feels like a relevant playable character and not a random recruit.  

Intersting little character rating thing.  I'm not sure I agree with all of them, but still interesting http://chronocompendium.com/Term/Rate_the_Characters_of_Chrono_Cross.html
« Last Edit: Today at 10:10:05 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2014, 08:02:41 PM »

...I haven't forgotten about this.  I'm hoping to get some quality play time on this during my holiday break, though that may be interrupted by a potential review project.  

Either way, I've gotten through all four parts of Dragonia Fort, but I want to go back through the top-right area to get the treasure chests I missed.  

EDIT: And it's funny that Aeolus should even talk about boinking the ladies in Chrono Cross.  I'll bet someone on the writing staff was sexually frustrated or stuck in a relationship with a domineering woman (like Rasputia in Norbit) who kept his cojones in a jar.  Because in Home World, all Serge has is naggy-nag-nag Leena whereas in Another World Harle wants to shag him, Lisa in Termina's element shop wants to shag him (this is made clear if Leena's in the party), Miki's probably a slut (it's easy to assume how she "distracted" the guards in Shadow Forest if you choose Nikki's path) and would likely shag Serge out of boredom...  Too bad Serge is dead in Another World, because that is the world where he'd have no trouble getting laid. Then again, because Serge is dead in Another World, Another World's Leena is chill and not an entitled little princess.


« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 10:23:25 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:24:28 PM »

Well, I just completed Fort Dragonia and saw the big plot twist.  Serge and Lynx switch bodies.  O Noes!  And now Lynx is in the temporal vortex, which looks really cool.  Like a really detailed crayon drawing.  I really like how the artist really went crazy in this game, with both the no holds barred character art and the super colorful and uniquely stylish environments.  

And, again, this game is really easy.  I somehow remember that sun boss with the changing faces being more of a nuisance, but I managed to kill it with minimal effort.  Maybe I've just gotten better at RPGs over the years.  Then again, Legend of Dragoon is still challenging to me now, not just due to the finicky timing of additions but because some bosses are merciless (e.g. Grand Jewel.)

Anyway, I just got Sprigg, entered the weird tower, got a lecture by Harle, solved the puzzle, she joined up with us, and we exited the Escher crayon drawing. 

In Home World, we trawled through the hydra marshes, found the Astral Amulet defective at Opassa Beach, and faced some prejudice in Arni (except for the boy who asked if Lynx liked catnip and the girl playing with Poshul who was all like "yay kitty cat!" 

We convinced Serge's mom that Lynx was Serge, Radius challenged us to a fight, and joined the party.  I replaced Sprigg with him because while I get a Yoda vibe from Sprigg, her element grid is pathetic and Radius's is much better so I choose him as my green over Sprigg.
« Last Edit: Today at 09:02:03 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: Today at 09:42:46 PM »

Well, I just completed Fort Dragonia and saw the big plot twist.  Serge and Lynx switch bodies.  O Noes!  And now Lynx is in the temporal vortex, which looks really cool.  Like a really detailed crayon drawing.  I really like how the artist really went crazy in this game, with both the no holds barred character art and the super colorful and uniquely stylish environments.  

And, again, this game is really easy.  I somehow remember that sun boss with the changing faces being more of a nuisance, but I managed to kill it with minimal effort.  Maybe I've just gotten better at RPGs over the years.  Then again, Legend of Dragoon is still challenging to me now, not just due to the finicky timing of additions but because some bosses are merciless (e.g. Grand Jewel.)

Anyway, I just got Sprigg, entered the weird tower, got a lecture by Harle, solved the puzzle, she joined up with us, and we exited the Escher crayon drawing. 

In Home World, we trawled through the hydra marshes, found the Astral Amulet defective at Opassa Beach, and faced some prejudice in Arni (except for the boy who asked if Lynx liked catnip and the girl playing with Poshul who was all like "yay kitty cat!" 

We convinced Serge's mom that Lynx was Serge, Radius challenged us to a fight, and joined the party.  I replaced Sprigg with him because while I get a Yoda vibe from Sprigg, her element grid is pathetic and Radius's is much better so I choose him as my green over Sprigg.

Yeah. Unfortunately, Sprigg is kinda crap during the first playthrough since her Forget-Me-Not Pot takes way too long to show up (and even then, you still can't get her best transformations until NG+). Which is too bad since she's otherwise fantastic with some prepwork, much like FFVI's Gau is.

Harle is of course, totally worthless. Especially since you've already got one Black Innate in your party (at all times no less with Lynx), on top of her endgame shenanigans.

Radius is pretty good though. Even when he starts falling behind to better Green Innates, he'll get his Dual Tech partner by then, at which point Radius will be able to coast off his partner's gimmicks (until you get tired of them and bench both).


Also that tier list you posted earlier is total crap. The Viper Manor guides are all too highly overrated, along with both Kid and Harle, and Macha and ZOAH are way way too underrated (Sneff beating out anybody short of Korcha is complete bullshit, his gimmick is crap and he's an accessory to the worst segment of the game), among other issues.
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« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:32:12 PM »

In Termina, I recruited Van and Zappa.  Got through the Viper Manor stuff and recruited Norris.  I immediately swapped Harle out for him because I didn't need two black innates and Norris is a yellow, and yellow gets no love.  The only other yellow I had was Poshul.  

Selectable entourage right now is Lynx, Sprigg, Harle, Radius, Van, Zappa, Norris.  My party right now is Lynx, Radius, and Norris.  I've docked at Marbule.  

Yeah, that character rating list is far from perfect since there's a lot of biased "reviewers tilt" in there.  I agree with you that Macha is a wholly underrated characters (she's actually one of the strongest red innates).  As for Kid, I never used her and she's never in the party long enough to even *be* useful.  I do like the Nikki love in that list, though, since everyone seems to think he's crap and I think he's solid both in battle and in the storyline.  He's one of several characters whom I thought would be stupid or pointless but ended up growing on me and being pretty good on my team.  I also agree with some of their choices on who would be better off as NPC rather than PC.  

But that's a whole 'nother discussion for another time since everyone who's played Chrono Cross has something to say about what characters are best and who should stay on the sidelines.  I'm sure there is even a soul out there who likes Korcha.  I'll admit, I like that he has a righteous streak and genuinely wants to help people but he winds up being more of a hindrance than anything else.  EDIT: And for a first time player, Glenn can be conflicting too.  Yes, he's one of the best characters and anyone who's anyone will agree, but he doesn't start out all that good.  In my game, he missed more frequently than he hit.  But with nurturing, he became pretty darn good. 
« Last Edit: Today at 10:59:52 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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