This is my favorite video game of all-time. Just like its plot, I’m full of contradictions: it’s story is a mess, there are too many characters, non-boss fights are useless. While Chrono Trigger avoided pedantic discussions about time travel, Chrono Cross does the opposite by twisting so many convoluted plot devices in a knot that you could read gobs of timelines from fan historians and still not get it. I’ve never seen a sequel so irreverent of what came before it.
Thankfully during the Summer of 2000, I only vaguely knew about Chrono Trigger, so I was able to enjoy Chrono Cross in a vacuum. It’s a game of amazing atmosphere, music, and imagination. If you are able to float at a superficial level without trying to run everything to ground, you are treated to wonderful philosophical questions about free will, meaning, and fate.
Also, this is the best video game soundtrack of all time.
Memory is a funny thing. I didn’t play Chrono Tigger until college, the days of Xbox360 and PS3. I only did so because of the insistence of my nerdy friends — they wouldn’t let it go that I never played it. So I borrowed their copy and spent my first Spring Break traveling through time.
Whenever I recall playing it, though, I always recollect the wrong things: I envision playing as a kid in the basement of the house I grew up in. It’s easier for my mind to classify it as a childhood experience rather than an adult one. Chrono Trigger perfectly captures the spirit of imagination with its craving for adventure, wonder, and sense of importance. You too will be sent back to an unbounded childhood feeling.
Featuring the Mario cast in an RPG format, this game is a throwback to when Nintendo and Square were on good terms and more so when Square was THE company for anything Role playing.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #5/100 My Rating:
Mario was once just pixels on a screen — he moved from side-to-side and displayed a powerful red and blue sartorial combo, but you couldn’t really say you knew anything beyond that. The early Mario games were point A to B side-scrollers, and like how chess pieces have unique moves but no personality, you simply were scooting your square of pixelated art across the screen.
The Final Fantasy franchise made a killing on the Super Nintendo by turning those mundane patches of color into meaning. Final Fantasy 3/6 was the pinnacle point of characterization for the SNES (and maybe video games in general): there were 14 playable characters, each with their own motivations, fears and personalities. At the end of those games, you almost felt like you were saying goodbye to your friends since they had done such a good job at fleshing out those characters.
So who else would Nintendo trust when they wanted to turn their silent movie star into something more?