Playthroughs Revisited: Volume III

Hello and welcome to The Starlight Megaphone‘s Spring 2021 playthrough–a chance for newer readers to participate in site-wide playthroughs from early in the life of The Starlight Megaphone, and a chance for older readers to return to games that have not had a site-wide playthrough in many years. Two previous site-wide playthroughs have been selected from our vaults: Chrono Trigger (May 2013) and Chrono Cross (October 2015), with the addition of Radical Dreamers: Le Trésor Interdit (‘the forbidden treasure’).

Below, we have a brief explanation about each of the three site-wide playthroughs that we are revisiting. Each one concludes with links to the original discussion threads. We’ll be selecting a few classic comments each week to read on the podcast, along with some of the comments from our own playthrough of these three titles. Please comment below with your progress, thoughts, and reflections on any or all of the games we have selected. You may also make use of our Discord chat’s #events channel as a place for conversation or simultaneous play.


Chrono Trigger

In 2013, the site staff finally agreed to a group playthrough of what is very likely the most perfect JRPG ever made: Chrono Trigger. The reluctance to play through Chrono Trigger was indeed born out of a recognition that the game was too perfect to critique: with so few flaws–and those so minor!–it was felt that there simply would not be enough discussion around the game to make for a compelling playthrough experience. And so it proved: the Chrono Trigger playthrough had surprisingly low engagement, despite the participants agreeing that the game was exceptional in every way.

The Chrono Trigger playthrough benefitted from the 2008-2009 release of the definitive Nintendo DS edition, prior to which the game had not been officially released in Europe (although the SNES version had been released in Japan and North America in 2005). In 2013, many gamers owned Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, which played DS titles, ensuring wide availability for playthrough participation. The later release of Mobile (2011-2012) and PC (2018) editions have broadened the game’s availability still further, although it is no longer available natively on any current game console.

Chrono Trigger is available on SNES (cartridge), PS1/PS2/PS3 (PS1 CDs), PS3/PSP/PSV (PSOne Classics), Nintendo DS (cartridge), and PC/Mobile.

Read the Chrono Trigger original posts and comment threads here: Peaceful Days.


Chrono Cross

In 2015, two years after the Chrono Trigger playthrough, the site staff decided that the series deserved resolution. Although, at that time, Chrono Cross remained unreleased in Europe, the site pressed on with a playthrough, with participants using original discs or the digital 2011 PSOne Classics edition. European readers and staff members looked on in misplaced envy as the American and Japanese participants slogged their way through the turgid mire that is Chrono Cross.

Now, a modern remaster ensures that European gamers can finally play the hit 2022 follow-up to the 2009 Nintendo DS classic, Chrono Trigger! The new remaster boosts higher resolution graphics and text, a remastered (only in the literal sense of a higher bitrate) soundtrack, a new piece of music composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, and numerous quality-of-life cheats and boosts which will allow players to disable random battles and speed up the game, but which otherwise leave the dismal story unchanged.

Chrono Cross is available on PS1/PS2/PS3 (PS1 CDs) and PS3/PSP/PSV (PSOne Classics); a remastered and updated “Radical Dreamers” version is available on PS4/XBO/Switch (digital) and PC (digital). An English-language physical release in Asia will be available in late April.

Read the Chrono Cross original posts and comment threads here: Under Cerulean Skies.


Radical Dreamers

Released only in Japan via the Super Nintendo’s Satellaview system, Radical Dreamers is a text-based adventure of the sort that would now be classed as a ‘visual novel’. The story, principally written by Chrono Trigger writer Masato Kato, attempts to resolve the story of Chrono Trigger by tying up loose ends. However, Kato’s resentment at the long hours of ‘crunch time’ needed to complete Chrono Trigger led him to write a much darker story for Radical Dreamers. Additional scenario writers were drafted in to write side stories, which better matched Chrono Trigger’s tone. The result was less than cohesive, and the gameplay failed to satisfy Kato.

Until now, Radical Dreamers has only been available outside of Japan as an emulated game with a fan translation. However, elements of the game were included in Chrono Cross, with the events of Radical Dreamers taking place inside of an alternate universe in Chrono Cross. In fact, Radical Dreamers characters Serge, Kid, and Magil were meant to be the central protagonists of Chrono Cross, although these plot elements were changed during the development of Chrono Cross.

When presented with requests to re-release Radical Dreamers and in new territories, Kato resisted the idea, pointing out that the game would need substantial improvements, in his estimation. However, with Kato having left Square Enix after his work on Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart, Square Enix felt that they could move ahead without his blessing, and Radical Dreamers is at last seeing a new rerelease, where it is being met with a highly positive reception.

Radical Dreamers is available PS4/XBO/Switch (digital) and PC (digital) as part of the Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition remaster. An English-language physical release in Asia will be available in late April.

This is The Starlight Megaphone‘s first playthrough of Radical Dreamers!


We encourage readers to play one, some, or all of the games included in our revisitation of classic The Starlight Megaphone content and our playthrough of games only now released in the West. In particular, we urge you to read the comments posted during the original playthroughs: do you agree with the original comments? Is your approach to video games different from those of our readers who posted their views a decade ago? If you commented on those original posts, has your opinion changed? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment thread below!

The aim in this playthrough is to complete as much of these games as possible in about two months, ending on 27 May. Instead of milestones, we encourage you to play at your own pace–but please keep us updated about your thoughts and progress as you play these three games. That will help to sustain our discussion, and will motivate others to join in and play along at their own pace.

Please join in with us and comment about your experience! The playthrough time frame is intended to allow anyone and everyone to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the games. Comment and tell your friends!

47 comments

  1. I’ve been playing Chrono Trigger (SNES version, emulated) and plan to do them sequentially. It’s one of my most-played and most-completed games, and it’s variably either my favorite game of all time or else just steps behind Final Fantasy VII.

    Every moment of Chrono Trigger is enjoyable. It is the most well-paced JRPG made. There’s really no need to ever grind; just defeat every enemy you pass by the first time and you’ll be more than fine. It’s like every possible rough edge of JRPGs at the time was sanded out to pearlesence.

    Being nearly 38 instead of 11 years old, I don’t have as much patience now for how long battles take, especially with Techs, so an emulator with fast-forward helps. That’s the worst thing I can say about it.

    Every time you go into a new area and it plays its theme music, I get a joyful feeling (profoundly so in Zeal).

    One of my favorite memories of playing video games was waking up very early when it was still dark and playing CT for a couple hours before school. I’d imagine this is the kind of game that has the most profound effect on people at a young age, that they can not only remember the game itself but how they felt and what happened around when they played it, like JFK or 9/11.

  2. I’ll be playing the MOBILE version of Chrono Trigger to start, just so that I can say that I am having a new experience! Tanzenmatt said it all very well: what a special game it is!

  3. I’m starting off with Chrono Trigger on DS. The last time I played was somewhere around 2014 when I bought the DS version.

    Chrono Trigger was actually the first JRPG I ever played. I got a bunch of old Nintendo Power magazines from a thrift store when I was a kid and used them to decide what video games I wanted for my birthdays and Christmases. I was apparently a good judge of a games character as a kid because I chose Chrono Trigger as an 9-10 year old. No wonder I grew to love JRPG’s when Chrono Trigger was the first experience with the genre.

    I’m in 600 AD right now and the thing that has stricken me the most at the moment is how nostalgic and awesome the music is. It really reminds me of when I was 10 playing through this extremally amazing and special game. Then sharing the game with my best friend in elementary school and the absolute delight we had playing through the game together.

    Chrono Cross I associate with having strep throat because I played through it the first time when I was suffering with it. I remember it being kind of average so it might be interesting to replay it if I get to it within the span of the playthrough.

  4. I have the DS version; I left my playthrough of it years ago just after the fight with Dalton on the Blackbird. Playing a game I have such a strong attachment to and memory of with a different translation is disorienting to me, even if it’s technically more accurate and grammatically correct. I’d be happy enough with minor grammar corrections, but not with substantially different dialogue, place names, item names, etc.

  5. My memory of Chrono Trigger was when I just moved out from my Fathers house at 19. A friend asked me to stay with him for awhile till I was able to get a foot up. I just had a Snes, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. My job didn’t start till the afternoon, so I would wake up at 6am before it got light and play a few hours. I did this every day for 2 years. I would switch between the when I finished. I saved alot of money back then doing that. I don’t think I would have been able to start my business in 97 without Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. Sadly my old SNES copy of Chrono Trigger got water damaged from a leak in the roof. Final Fantasy got spared though

  6. There are strong memories for playing Chrono Trigger, and also a penchant for waking up early and playing it before you had to do something else apparently.

    I did the first couple hours of Chrono Cross on Switch while I was away from home. There was only one battle I fought, in Fossil Valley, which had a horrible framerate but I hadn’t noticed anything else before that. It looks and sounds nice. I’m getting comfortable with the battle system; it’s not that bad but I’d rather have played the game as a traditional turn-based game. Too many whiffs, and takes too long. There Element system and Star system and SaGa-lite stat progression would have been enough experimentation without adding Xenogears to it too.

    Chrono Cross feels like a bunch of people with different ideas plastering them together without strong guidance to make it all work. I’m a little surprised Tetsuya Nomura wasn’t on this project.

  7. Just finished Chrono Trigger, playing all the time I could since every moment was enjoyable. I’m already looking forward to playing it again; the sign of an 11 out of 10 game. But I’m also looking forward to giving Chrono Cross a re-evaluation after so many years.

  8. I’m surprised you didn’t nickname this Time keeps on ticking or time and Time again.

  9. I beat Both Chrono Trigger and Radical Dreamers.

    Chrono Trigger a truly fantastic game. If there is one thing I gained out this playthrough it would be an appreciation for how well paced the game is. It feels like there are no wasted moments the whole game. My final party was Frog/Chrono/Ayla which is honestly my usual team.

    Radical Dreamers was a game. I did like its use of music and sound. There is a lot of complete silence or minimal sound in the game which makes the sound effects and background music stand out more when they come into play. It gives a sense of tension while sneaking around the terrible mansion reflecting how the characters feel. It was also kind of cool hearing some early versions of Chrono Cross songs.

    The gameplay of walking around trying to find the next flag trigger while encountering the same repetitive battles with repetitive text that mostly have the exact same solutions wasn’t that enjoyable.

    I liked the story well enough. The story was kind of fun and it was interesting to note the similarities and differences to the world in Chrono Cross. I only saw the main ending. I know there are a few other weird routes you can go down like one where you have to save Kid from a French sunflower monster. I’m not that interested in seeing them all.

  10. I just completed Radical Dreamers: Le trèsor interdit as well. Oddly, the ending credits are all in Nihongan even though the rest was translated. I’ve never played a visual novel before, and it grew on me just a little. Maybe put in about 2 hours total considering a couple resets from a save point. They show other scenarios after the ~FIN~ point like LC11 mentions, but this is about all I need now. If I have to play through the main game to get another ending like a New Game+ it’s not worth it, but if it’s some little side scenarios then maybe one day.

    Both Radical Dreamers and Crono Cross have a weird obsession with mentioning Heckran.

    Chrono/Frog/Ayla is a great team in CT. I always use Chrono/Marle/Lucca for most of th endgame and Lavos, except for Zeal using Ayla/Marle/Frog for immediate all-heal and steal. Marle’s Haste is the best tech in the game. The three kids who set off on the adventure just seem to me should be the three to end it (and Luminaire + Antipode 3 does tons).

  11. Started up Radical Dreamers this week and gotten to a bunch of goblins I think it is. Killed me twice so I’m about to see if I can be more lucky with then the third time. It’s better than I thought it would be at first, but it’s hard to stay away from CC for it. I have started CC too, but thought it would probably be a good idea to finish RD first.

    I also made a meager beginning in CT, but since I finished it just a month ago or so I’m not sure if I can actually go through it all again so soon, we will see.

    Chrono Cross is a pearl. I have never finished the game, but from what I have played I love the battle system and the music and areas are absolutely stunning and a joy.

  12. I am cracking along in CT, and reached the End of Time last weekend. I always forget that there’s nothing to do in Prehistory just yet, so I messed around there for a bit trying to figure out why Ayla wouldn’t show up to progress the story. Oopsie!

    So now I’m in Medina in the present. Onward!

  13. Just a quick CT update: I’m past the Heckran, back to the Middle Ages, and over Zenan Bridge!

  14. I’m at the point in Chrono Cross where you are on the casino cruise ship. I last played through the game 15 years ago and tried to replay it a few times and bounced off of it hard each time.

    I am enjoying this playthrough more than I thought I would. Being able to turn off battles and having the fast-forward from the start are big positives.

    The battle system is fine. I don’t think it’s as drastically bad as some say. It’s not actively annoying for me at least. That said, the fact that the game disincentives battling normal enemies is stupid. Pretty much every time an RPG does this it sucks because it just makes you feel like your wasting time fighting pointless battles.

    The music and world are great. The story so far is alright. I like the perspective change where you switch main characters and have to build a different party. That said, I know it goes off the deep end later and kind of spits in the face of Chrono Trigger.

    The multitude of recruitable characters is dumb. You can’t even use that many in your battle party and a lot of them are dumb and don’t fit the tone the game is trying to set. The game wants me to take it seriously but also you can get a mushroom man, alian, and cutesy stuffed animal thing in your party.

    The game really is a messy mix of great things and terrible things.

  15. Back! Last week I was playing the highly engaging and exhausting game: Wedding Planning. Every evening I planned to play and every evening I watched Netflix and went to bed instead 😅

    But this week I have so far finished Radical Dreamers. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I wish somehow there was a system to grind yourself stronger, but otherwise it was quite fun and the athmosphere was great!

    Back in Chrono Cross I’m roaming the lands searching for things to do and people to enlist. Since I haven’t played bery far before it’s all pretty new to me and I’m highly enjoying it. I confess I stay at the world map many more seconds than necessary just to listen to the music!

  16. I have also let the game sit on the world map just to listen to the music.

    I’m in the middle of Chronopolis. So just a few more sections to push through and I will be done. I’m looking forward to finishing it at this point because it’s starting to feel like a slog. The dragon quest really felt like busywork meant to pad the games playtime. Having to fight boss after boss with little in between using the annoying battle system was not enjoyable.

  17. @LC11: I always get bogged down right where you are. The dragon quest is very annoying and tiresome. The worst part is that there is still quite a bit of game left. I think that probably, about 90% of the times I have quit the game (and I have quit it a fair few times!) it has been during or shortly after the dragon fights.

  18. I started up Chrono Cross last week and I’ve put about 8 hours in so far. I’ve never played the game before so its interesting to try and understand the systems. It really feels like a SaGa game in that it doesn’t feel intuitive or very well explained. But I am enjoying the art style, the first few areas have a really nice colour palette and style. The game feels slightly otherworldly and kept me quite on edge so far with the mystery and time travel stuff in the story(?) It seems interesting so far. Some of the environments, I can’t really tell where to go or what to interact with. I was stuck for a long time trying to find two chests in the cliffs area before the viper manor.

    Battle system, I think I’m starting to understand what I’m doing gradually. I’ve heard you guys talking about summons but dont think I’ve unlocked them yet. How do the level up stars after story bosses work?

    Music has been pretty good so far, nice and atmospheric. The battle theme is a bit boring though. I’m pretty much doing most stuff on speed up mode because its a slow ps1 game and it does seem to have some slow down. I’ll generally put the speed up off if im doing a puzzle or for some of the dialogue in case I skip through too quickly.

  19. I’m hoping to wrap up Chrono Trigger sometime this week. Now that the term is over, I only need to write a paper. My summer course was cancelled, so I’m trying to look on the bright side that I’ll have more time for gaming and my kids.

    Chrono Cross shipped a few days ago, so it should arrive in a week or two!

  20. @Winter: I have also double-dipped… see the latest podcast!

  21. Made it to the Undersea Palace. Gosh the CT soundtrack is good.

  22. Made it to Black Omen (having recruited Magus). Time to use the Chrono Trigger, do some sidequests, and finish the game!

  23. A bit bogged down because I finally got around to scraping my Anbernic and it took a while, so I lost yesterday night for gaming–and working on a paper today/this weekend for delivery next week. I’m still hoping to finish before Monday, but that may be difficult.

  24. I completed all of the CT sidequests today and I’m around 20H on the game clock. Black Omen is the last thing to do!

  25. I’m up to the point in Chrono Cross where I just recruited Skelly for the first time. I…uh yeah. What’s with the recruitable characters in this game? You guys have said similar previously but a lot of them just don’t fit together. I would love if there was some sort of alignment or morality or personality to the characters. If some of them disagreed and then you had choices about one leaving if you were to recruit another. That doesn’t really happen a lot in JRPGs, but a lot of good western RPGs like Baldur’s Gate have similar systems. One example is Luccia, she is really attached to her test specimens and the plant PC. But there isn’t any interaction or unique dialogue when they are joined up together in the party. As far as I can tell.
    I have about 15 hours on the clock, I’m liking it but I am following a guide a bit too closely for my liking. There seems a fair bit to miss. I’m away on a stag do weekend today on the train so I will hopefully get some more time in.

  26. I beat Chrono Cross. The boss battle at the top of Terra Tower was ridiculous. I think it it least had 7 phases. It just went on and on and on.

    I thought the true ending was pretty good. I really liked the musical accompaniment with all the ending scenes.

    It’s really too bad the negatives of the game drag it down so much. I really started dreading having to participate in the battles around the last third of the game.

  27. I made it to the final battle with Lavos, but I have to get some sleep–tomorrow, I should get my star!

  28. Gave my paper today, so I finally had the time to beat Lavos. Chrono Trigger complete! On to Radical Dreamers!

  29. And just like that, I have completed Radical Dreamers! Somehow, I managed to do it without dying, or using a guide, in about an hour. I seem to have, luckily, blundered along into more or less exactly the correct route!

    On to Chrono Cross, which has one of the best opening video sequences ever.

  30. Made it to the Other Arni on Chrono Cross. Good grief this battle system is slow garbage. Ah well. :(

  31. It has been a long day full of meetings, but I did play a few minutes of Chrono Cross. I’m in Viper Manor, having taken the Pierre route. This is the worst way to go because there is no pause between the gate guards and Solt/Peppor/Ketchop boss fights, meaning that there is no opportunity to get some extra stat buffs either. Worse still, it’s not possible to leave the manor once the Pierre sequence starts, so all of those Copper materials can’t be used until one has left. Also, Pierre is terrible (although he has very high evade with his Hero Medal, and will get other Hero items later that make him stronger still–but even then he sucks, and his element grid is TERRIBLE).

    In Viper Manor, the game’s Time Shifter (the thing that lets you speed up/slow down gameplay) can be used to turn the Dragon Feeding minigame into a piece of cake. Slow down the game and it’s super easy.

    Note that the Time Shifter isn’t a cheat: NG+ files get it from the start of the game in the original PS1 release, but now it’s available even on normal New Games in the re-release.

    The Remastered Mode runs so badly that I have given up on it, although it does look quite nice. I’m playing in Classic Mode, which runs more or less exactly like the PS1 version. It looks brilliant on the OLED Switch screen.

  32. I’ve not managed tp get much done on Chrono Cross at all this week unfortunately. Since the stag do last weekend, I’ve felt run down and achey. My eyes are ocasionally burning and nose running. At least its not showing up as COVID on my tests that I’ve been doing through the week, either Im fighting something off after being around big crowds of people or its hay fever (which I dont normally seem to get)

    I’ve put a bit more time into Chrono Cross, now up to 18 hrs 30mins, and with 13 boss stars. I was quite happy with getting a rare steal, the Moon Glasses from the Harlequin boss with the annoying french accent. I read it can take quite a while to steal some times.

    I’m now at the point where I have my first summon, and off to Mt Pyre next. Still enjoying it but I am getting a bit bored by the combat. I quite often put it on auto battle and set the switch off to the side, or turn random battles off if I know I’ve got at least 5 battles done in between bosses to get all the stat ups I can get.

    My party is Serge, Kit, and deciding on my third slot between Poshul, Razzly and Skelly. Poshul I probably have the best stats for, she has been pretty high on the strength stat, but I think ideally for my 3rd party member I want a more magic based or healing focused character.

  33. After the podcast, where I had a whinge about the fact that I always do the same thing in games, I restarted CC (with autobattle/speed up) and made two major changes:

    1. I went with Guile at Viper Manor, which I have never done; and
    2. I refused to help Kid; which I have never done.

    I have just left Guldove and went straight to the Harle fight. New experiences ahoy!

  34. I am at Fargo’s ship with a team of Serge, Glenn, and Leena. On the one hand, I’d like to use Guile: but, on the other, using Guile early in the game is such a pain because of how small his element grid is. It grows very little for the first 15-20 stars and then suddenly it explodes into one of the best element grids in the game. But that’s a long time away.

    Glenn is one of the best characters in the game and the best Green innate character in the game. He makes a good partner for Serge. Usually, I have Pip as my third party member, so I think I will try to find someone else this time. Luccia isn’t too bad, but Guile is better in the long term (therefore, why bother with Luccia?). Choices, choices!

  35. I made it to Fort Dragonia and I am soooooo tired, so going further will have to wait. =.=

  36. Made it to Marbule with Lynx, after recruiting all of the available characters to this point! Oof!

  37. Our PLAYTHROUGHS REVISITED VOLUME 3 feature ends on Friday! Please let us know how you’re going and post your final updates for inclusion on the podcast!

  38. In Chrono Cross, I made it to Viper Manor with the Guile route, got a few items in the yard, pulled into the stable to save my game, and haven’t gotten back to it in several weeks.
    In my first playthrough 20 years ago, I went with Nikki and later got Glenn who’d remain in my party throughout the game. The third party member I mostly used was a mermaid with a German accent, who seemed relatively world-appropriate.

  39. Thank you everyone for participating!

    I have made it to the Sea of Eden: I am well sick of battles, so I use autobattle for the nonboss fights, until I stop getting stat boosts. Then, I turns battles off.

    The CC battle system was bad before, but now it feels even worse. We expect snappy and clever today, and it is neither.

  40. As promised in podcast episode 690, I am going to complete Chrono Cross before our next Playthrough starts!

    I have completed the Dragons and I’m on my way from Sky Dragon Isle to do sidequests. Hoping to wrap it up tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest!

  41. I struggled to get much more play time into Chrono Cross over the last week, my real life quest to achieve more letters after my name took priority unfortunately. Its a part time independent prescribing postgrad diploma which Im doing in the evenings after work. So the final exam was on Sunday just past and now just a hospital placement and final external exam to do and then that should be it finished.

    Anyway, that meant I didn’t get as much of Chrono Cross done as I would like. I got a bit further through Fort Draconia, and quite liked the puzzle style approach of the rooms. The puzzles were quite simple though. I played around a bit with trap elements and managed to get some good elements from some of the bosses in Fort Draconia.

    Route wise and choice wise I went with Guile initially, and then chose to save Kid. Referring back to the latest podcast, I’d agree with Caspius based on what I read. Its apparently better not to save Kid, you get Glenn to recruit and he’s one of the better characters. I don’t know, its hard to tell without a guide given I’ve not played through it before.

    My final thoughts are, the combat doesn’t make a huge amount of sense and can really drag and affect the game later on. Story wise, I really liked how little was given away earlier on in the game, but as I’ve got to the 10-15hour mark, it has lost its way a bit. We seem to be quite aimless as a party. Characters, some are really interesting but a lot just seem shoe-horned in with no real rhyme or reason. I think you guys have talked about it on the podcast, I can imagine the board room meeting.
    “Ok cool, you have lots of ideas for characters.”
    “Put them all in.”
    “Sir…But..Wha..”
    “Thanks guys, see you next week”

    Overall it takes such a different approach to Chrono Trigger, and thats what is weird for me. In Europe we got both of these games really late on in the day essentially, and as such there isnt really a nostalgia element for me. They don’t seem like they should be related titles given how different they seem. Really I don’t see why there are so many fans of Chrono Cross, some rank it above Chrono Trigger. I think if I had played it back in the ps1 days I would have rated it a bit higher. Music wise overall it is really pretty good. Scars of Time is just amazing. If it comes on at the menu I do occasionally sit the switch to the side and listen for a while.

    My final stats at the end of the playthrough:
    18* Level Up Stars
    22:18:06
    Party: Serge, Kid, Razzly

    I’d give the game a 2.5/5, it sits quite nicely in the average. But thats just preliminary, I’ve not finished it so can’t really say that for sure just yet

  42. Squeaking in just under the wire, but I beat Chrono Cross this evening!

    The storyline for this game would be a lot more effective if plot details were communicated over the course of the story, rather than in huge chunks of exposition at two or three places near the end of the game. Huge narrative failure, which obscures some pretty good ideas.

    The music, however, is simply fantastic (except the battle theme).

  43. Honestly my memory is goldfish sized right now!!

    March – May is always a weird time in gaming. So many games I want to play tend to release and I end up a little bit «behind the scheme». Since we didn’t get to start it in time I ended up spending most of this playthrough finishinh up Triangle Strategy.

    I finished Radical Dreamers fairly early on, but found myself unable to juggle so many games and only got to the manor in CC. That sad I absolutely loved what I played of it. I seem to be an odd one with this game. What is faults I guess I don’t mind at all and it ticks of a lot of what I look for in a game. I’m excited to continue in June/July when there isn’t quite as many games releasing. Now that my physical copy is here I can play on that switch without internet too and can take it with me on trips so that makes it easier too. All in all I adore the music, love the various scenery. That in itself is probably enough for me in an rpg since the combat also is menubased. I need no more 😅 What really makes me love this game is the gourgeous varied areas though. Makes le excited for every new place to go.

  44. I think Chrono Cross is one of those rose tinted glasses games. Back in the late 90’s it was fun and we didn’t mind it’s faults. 20 years on, Our tastes have changed and are no longer willing to put up with obtuse systems. While its not Deadly Towers bad I would say its in the middle of the list of RPGS. I got to the same part you did Winter. My illness makes playing games hard when you can only blink 3/4 of the way. I should have put more time in it though

  45. This is my fourth or fifth time actually completing Chrono Cross and despite playing it at launch, I have no rose-tinted nostalgia about it. It was crap when it came out and it is worse now, I think. Unspeakably slow, with one of the worst battle systems I’ve ever suffered through, and significant narrative faults: dumping mountains of plot exposition in one or two conversations in the last hour of the game isn’t just lazy development, it’s incompetent. People deserve to know what is happening in the story before they reach the last 1% of the game. There’s a difference between a developer holding some things back for impact, and a developer holding everything back because they run out of time or don’t know how to actually incorporate it into the game.

    This game needed a lot more playtesting and refinement. It’s a C, and a very solid C at that. And it would be a D if it weren’t for the truly exceptional art and music, which are just enough to elevate it.

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