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Dincrest plays Chrono Cross (and Chrono Trigger DS) PlayLog

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Dincrest:
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.

Dice:
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.

Wild Armor:
I'm glad you're playing Chrono Cross!

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

Aeolus:

--- Quote from: Dice on December 11, 2014, 11:03:14 PM ---= Leena was definitely a bad version of the childhood friend trope...  No wonder Serge went after the equally unappealing Kid.

--- End quote ---

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.

Dincrest:

--- Quote from: Dice on December 11, 2014, 11:03:14 PM ---

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



--- End quote ---

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.

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