Chrono Cross | Sony Retro Video Review

Chrono Cross is a beloved classic video game that has captured the hearts and minds of gamers for decades. Developed by Square Enix and released in 1999 for the Sony PlayStation console, Chrono Cross has left a lasting impact on the gaming industry. This iconic game has received critical acclaim for its immersive gameplay, memorable characters, and intricate storyline. As video game enthusiasts, we felt compelled to delve deeper into the world of Chrono Cross and explore its many layers, from its background and history to its gameplay, graphics, and story. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview and review of Chrono Cross and give you an honest and detailed assessment of its features and capabilities as a retro video game experience. Our mission is to help you better understand what makes Chrono Cross such a beloved classic, and how it can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages and backgrounds.

Background and History

Chrono Cross is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. Developed by Square (now Square Enix), the game was released for the PlayStation in 1999. It was created as the sequel to Chrono Trigger, one of the most influential games of all time.

This role-playing video game was directed by Masato Kato and produced by Hiromichi Tanaka, both of whom worked on Chrono Trigger. The team was passionate about building upon the revered franchise, and they achieved that goal with flying colors.

Upon release, Chrono Cross was a commercial success, with over three million copies sold worldwide. The game received widespread critical acclaim, achieving a score of 94 out of 100 on Metacritic. It was praised for its immersive universe, superior narrative, magnificent graphics, and enchanting soundtrack.

Fans and critics alike were captivated by the game’s intricate storyline, an array of memorable characters, and the dual-world system. There was also an extensive collection of puzzles to solve and secrets to discover, which added to the game’s longevity.

Overall, Chrono Cross remains one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. Its legacy is still felt over two decades after its release, continually drawing new fans into its captivating universe.


Chrono Cross’s gameplay mechanics revolutionized the JRPG genre when it was released nearly two decades ago and remain innovative even today. The game features a unique combat system that rewards strategic thinking over button mashing, which is something that sets it apart from other games in the genre.

Players are able to build powerful teams by recruiting over 40 playable characters, each with unique stats and abilities. The strategy of combining party members in clever and creative ways offers an incredibly deep and engaging gameplay experience.

The battles in Chrono Cross use a stamina system in which players build up their characters’ stamina to execute powerful attacks, heal party members, run away, or defend themselves. The system is not only easy to understand but provides an underlying layer of depth to the combat that keeps it fresh and exciting.

However, Chrono Cross is not perfect when it comes to gameplay. It suffers from pacing issues, with sections that can feel slow or tedious at times. There are also certain points where the difficulty curve spikes abruptly, which can be jarring for some players.

Despite its flaws, it’s hard to deny just how special Chrono Cross’s gameplay is. The game’s unique battle system, deep character customization, and rewarding combat rewards players who take the time to plan and strategize. Chrono Cross shines in terms of gameplay and is an example of how a game can revolutionize a genre and have an impact that persists to this day.

Graphics and Sound Design

Chrono Cross was a visually impressive game when it was first released in 1999, and its graphics still hold up quite well today. The beautiful backgrounds and detailed character designs used in the game lend themselves well to creating a truly immersive experience.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Chrono Cross’ graphics, especially for its time, was the game’s use of vibrant colors. The characters and environments were brought to life with bright, striking color schemes that helped to create a truly remarkable world. Even after all these years, the game’s aesthetic feel is still appreciated.

Overall, the graphics of Chrono Cross have aged well, maintaining an excellent level of quality even after its release throughout the past several decades.

As for the game’s sound design, the use of music and sound effects go a long way in creating an engaging gameplay experience. The orchestral soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda is truly unforgettable because it seamlessly blends with the game to produce a dynamic atmosphere.

Aside from the music, the sound effects that accompanied everything from combat to dialogue were of the highest quality. They add depth to the story and truly immerse the player in the game’s world.

In conclusion, the graphics and sound design of Chrono Cross were ahead of their time and set a benchmark for future games in the industry. Today, they still manage to impress with their visual and auditory elements.

Story and Narrative

Chrono Cross features a compelling and intricately woven storyline. Developers Square Enix and Masato Kato created a complex and emotional narrative that unfolds across a variety of locations and time periods.

The game tells the story of a young man named Serge who finds himself caught in a parallel universe. Along the way, he encounters a cast of unique and interesting characters, each with their own motivations and backstories. The relationship between Serge and his supporting cast is at the core of the game’s storytelling.

The themes of choice, fate, and identity are expertly explored in Chrono Cross. The game manages to balance the light and dark elements of its narrative, making it all the more engrossing. The storyline is not all serious though- there are moments of levity peppered throughout that help to create a well-rounded experience.

One of the game’s standout features is the level of detail given to each character’s backstory and motivations. The player is never left wondering why someone is acting a certain way or what their ultimate goals are. Each character has their own arc and ties into the game’s overarching plot in a satisfying and logical way.

In terms of gameplay, the choices you make throughout the game impact the direction of the story. It’s a refreshing change from the typical linear structure of most RPGs and adds an extra layer of investment for the player.

Overall, Chrono Cross’s story and narrative are a triumph of storytelling in the gaming industry. The attention to detail and emotional depth elevate it from merely being a good game to a true masterpiece.

Replayability and Difficulty

We’ve discussed the many strengths of Chrono Cross, from its stunning graphics to its engaging story. However, one of the game’s most impressive features is its replayability. With multiple endings and complex character relationships, Chrono Cross is a game that rewards players who dive deeper into its world and mechanics. Whether you’re a completionist or just looking for a new way to experience the game, Chrono Cross has something to offer.

That being said, the game’s difficulty curve can be a bit uneven at times. Some players may find certain sections to be frustratingly difficult, while others may breeze through the game’s challenges. However, this shouldn’t discourage anyone from playing Chrono Cross. With perseverance and strategy, players can overcome even the game’s toughest obstacles.

In conclusion, Chrono Cross is an excellent game that any fan of RPGs should check out. Its engaging story, stunning graphics, and memorable soundtrack make it a standout in the genre. We give Chrono Cross a final score of 9 out of 10. We highly recommend this game for anyone who loves deep and immersive RPG experiences.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Chrono Cross:

1. Can Chrono Cross be played without playing Chrono Trigger first?

Yes, Chrono Cross is a standalone game and can be enjoyed on its own without having played Chrono Trigger.

2. How long does it take to beat Chrono Cross?

The game can take anywhere from 20-40 hours to complete, depending on the player’s pace and exploration of optional content.

3. Is Chrono Cross a turn-based RPG?

No, Chrono Cross has a unique battle system that combines turn-based mechanics with real-time elements, allowing for strategic planning and quick reactions during battles.

4. Can the game be played on modern consoles or do I need an original PlayStation?

Chrono Cross is available for purchase on the PlayStation Store and can be played on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. It is also possible to play the game on a PlayStation emulator on a PC.

5. Does Chrono Cross have multiple endings?

Yes, there are multiple endings depending on the player’s choices throughout the game and whether certain conditions are met.

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