Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition Review: Weird and Wonderful

chrono cross We got off to a rough start, let’s say. Described as a follow up to Chrono playeris one of the most beloved role-playing games ever created, but while the two take place in the same world, there are some big differences. Chrono player Created by a super team of developers including Final Fantasy Mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi, a long time ago Dragon Adventure host Yuji Hori, and Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama. It is often referred to as one of the greatest games of all time. The All-Star cast didn’t continue the series, though chrono cross It was critically acclaimed at launch, and its legacy has never reached the same levels as its predecessors. It’s always been that weird follow-up with parallel worlds, a confusing story, and way too many characters.

Which brings us to the new, improved version on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC and PS4. dubbed Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers EditionThe release is a fairly light update to the PlayStation era version, with upgraded visuals, some quality of life features, and the inclusion of a long-lost text adventure. In terms of scope, it is similar to the Remaster of Final Fantasy VIII Square Enix released a few years ago. and like FFVIIIAnd chrono cross It is a follow up that often underestimates a second chance.

chrono cross Not a direct complement to Operator Rather, it is a kind of spiritual successor that occurs in the same universe. The basic idea of ​​the fantasy game world is the idea of ​​parallel worlds. In the beginning, the protagonist Serge finds himself in a near-identical version of his world with one major difference: in this world he died at a young age. Then the story gets very strange and complicated from there, and includes everything from an evil talking tiger to a powerful supercomputer. Serge jumps back and forth between worlds, recruiting new team members (there are a staggering 45 playable characters) in an effort to learn the mysteries of his past and the different worlds.

Redesigned visuals (left) vs. original (right).

The story might be hard to follow, even by Japanese RPG standards, but it had enough of a mystery to keep pushing me forward. This is especially true of the characters you will meet; Many of them are left behind, likely due to the sheer size of the cast, but discovering and meeting new team members is one of the game’s most important features.

chrono cross She has a lot of other things to do. The Strange World is a great place to explore, an exciting mix of fantasy and science fiction filled with beautiful pre-made wallpapers. The game has an interesting twist on the classic turn-based battles, with a stamina system that forces you to make important decisions about how to use the available actions, and take on magic that works pretty much like the materials in Final Fantasy VII.

Oh my gosh, the soundtrack is one of the best video games out there, and a great compilation by Yasunori Mitsuda that includes one of my all-time favorite compositions, “Shore of Dreams (Other World)”. When this song starts playing on the map of the outside world, I always have to stop and listen for a minute or two. (Actually, I’m listening to it now as I write this.) There’s a very distinct flavor of PlayStation-era RPGs that doesn’t exist (mostly), but has been captured perfectly. chrono cross.

All this applies to the converter, but with some modifications. The most obvious is the upgraded visuals. The character models now look sharper and clearer, while the previously shown backgrounds, by contrast, now have an artistic and almost impressionistic vibe. (The developers used a combination of AI upgrade and manual restore to achieve the effect.) I actually like the contrast, but it’s definitely an option that may not appeal to everyone. You also have the option to go back to the original 32-bit graphics, although switching between visual modes requires a full restart of the game, annoyingly. The CG scenes also retain their original look, which can be a bit annoying if you’re playing with the more modern graphics option.

Radical dreamers.

Other Quality of Life tweaks include a fast-forward option and an automatic battle mode so you can focus on the story and exploration. This is great stuff, especially for speeding up some of the more boring sections of the game, but the converter definitely misses the manual save feature. I’ve been playing on the Switch, and there are some long gaps between save points that make the game feel more punishing than it needs to be.

Perhaps the most interesting addition is a little-known game called Radical Dreamers. It was a visual novel launched in 1996 exclusively on Satellaview in Japan only, and is an add-on for Super Famicom. It is a visual novel described as a side story Chrono playerBut it also puts a lot of intro and character to follow. Basically, it serves as a very welcome bridge between Operator And crossIt is now available in an official English translation for the first time.

Square Enix could definitely have done more to celebrate chrono cross In this package (made Chrono player Available on Switch would also be a nice touch for those who get it done). But even in a no-luxury package, chrono cross Still a great game. And the things that initially made it stand out — that complex narrative, huge cast, oddly compelling world — are what made it so interesting more than two decades later.

Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition Available now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC and PS4.