11.18.99 49 game shots | 1 | 2 | 3 More media

   Chrono Cross has just come out in Japan, and the GIA is working overtime to bring you all the media, movies, music, and impressions we can muster. This first batch of 49 shots starts right after the "demo" part of the game ends. Serge awakens to find himself in a universe where he died 10 years ago and no one knows who he is. As he struggles to find out precisely how (and why) he arrived in this "other" world, he meets up with Kid and a new character, Alf. Alf dresses somewhat like a mummer, or a masquerade ball attendee; he fights with sleight-of-hand and magic. So far, the young miscreant Kochya has also made a cameo appearance. The plot is still forming, but whispered themes thus far include the Frozen Flame (the "King of Treasures" that "gives the user whatever they want in the entire world") and long-lost dragons. Where the game goes from here is, at this point, anyone's guess.

   The game itself is graphically quite colorful and vibrant, and the load times are much improved since the demo. The wacky character designs actually work well within the PSX-rendered confines of the game. Once you become attuned to the new battle system, skirmishes move quickly and the game unfolds at a brisk pace. The music, thus far, is one of the most stunning aspects--it is truly well-orchestrated and often hauntingly beautiful. And as non-native speakers of Japanese, we can certainly attest to Square giving each character a unique dialect; our head hurts trying to keep them all straight!

   All in all, the small bit of Chrono Cross we've played has more than lived up to our expectations. Stay tuned for more updates to come!

Chrono Cross