By FateOfNever 3 Comments
Chrono Cross This! 4!
You can find all my other Chrono Crossings of This at my blog page, because, why not just give you one place to look instead of a bunch of individual links.
The Story So Far?
Not great. Bad dialogue, an ok combat system, annoying characters, crossing parallel dimensions, being attacked by dragoons, picking up Guile (still not the cool Guile, and also not Magus) and a bunch of other characters (most of which I couldn't care less about. I should go make the other Guile page though..) Foreshadowing, more foreshadowing, even more foreshadowing. Some demi-human racism, Chrono Trigger reference after Chrono Trigger reference (those aren't going away in this episode either.)
Last left off having recruited Guile and am breaking into some place called Viper Manor because everyone but me wants to, me, as Serge, couldn't care less. I'm supposed to believe that I will find all of my answers at Viper Manor (except I already have any answer that matters and I think I'd be better off if I just ignored all of it, went back to my own world, and called it good.)
This Time In The Days Of Our Lives.
I break into Viper Manor! Go figure, right? First I go get... Korcha? Something, I dunno, he uses CHA instead of "you" - "I gotCHA some cookies." and yes it's in capitals. Anyway, one of the lesser offenders for dialogue so far in the game, but, he seems sort of annoying, so, I still don't really care about him. But, we go by boat to Viper Manor (the supposedly impenetrable fortress) and climb some rocks while one single guard throws boulders down at me to try and get me to stop going up. (It doesn't stop me by the way, go figure.) Actually, the whole scene sort of reminded me of the mini game in FF7 where you have to stop the invaders from climbing up and attacking your outpost.
So, I get to the top (there are a couple of chests I can't figure out how to get to, but, whatever, they can't be that important) and the guard freaks out and jumps down and fights me. I whoop his ass then he throws another boulder which comically (not really) goes awry and angers some bird monster off screen and causes it to come and kill the guard and then attack me. Boss fight, I win.
I get up to the mansion then and... get told we should wait until night fall because... something? It seemed pointless, really. And why did this one inept guard not put the ENTIRE MANSION ON ALERT. I guess because he was inpet, but, really. This seems like the least impenetrable fortress... with some really awful guards.
Anywho, moving on.
So I find a guy and he wants me to feed some dragons as a mini game. I end up feeding them 10 times, 20 times, 30 times, 40 times, and 100 times, getting a different reward each time. Getting iron armor for 100 times (as difficult as that was before I realized I could just hold down the X button to feed the dragons) seems kind of silly. But that's nothing specific to Chrono Cross, so, whatevs. From doing this I earn a key to get into Viper Manor.
Really barely anything happens. I learn that there's a guest at the Manor, that monsters have been showing up in the Manor (I don't know how, they house an entire military unit within its walls, apparently they're all so bad at their jobs that they can't even clean up these random monsters.) I fell to a trap (that you pretty much had to fall to because you have to enter a password that you have no way of knowing) and then stole some uniforms to impersonate soldiers. I found a handful of locked doors; I don't know if there was maybe some way for me to get into them, if they're something I get to come back to later, or whatever, so I just left them and kept going.
I met a scientist with a German accent, I met a French speaking Harlequinn, I met a science experiment that talks like Bugs Bunny, I met a big tough soldier THAT TALKS IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME, I met a little girl that talks like she's either a valley girl or from the 60's or something.. I dunno. Harle, the Harlequinn, I think maybe confounds me the most. Surprisingly I don't find her the most offensive on her own, but, why the fuck does she talk in French randomly? France isn't even a place in the Chrono Trigger universe. So why does she speak French?! UGH! So stupid. Whatever though, this isn't going anywhere, I gotta get used to putting up with it.
What else, let's see..
Oh, I met Belthazar. He told me he was a prophet, and explained the whole two worlds thing to me (again..) and then told me how to get to General Viper. Which, lo-and-behold, I get to General Viper's room, meet the viper, find out that Kid is looking for the Frozen Flame (for some reason) and that she's with this group called The Radical Dreamers and I met Lynx, who wants Serge and his soul so that he can...do... something.. then he called me -
Probably not that Chrono Trigger though, probably the Chrono Trigger mentioned IN Chrono Trigger, but, eh, all sorts of references and mystery and so on, so forth. The important part is that Kid got hit by a poisoned dagger thrown by Lynx and now I need to go find a Hydra (which is extinct, I bet I can find one in my own world though) and then I can save her! I had a choice to just not go find a cure for her, and I kind of am curious where that would have lead, but, I know that Kid won't die one way or another, so, whatever.
This is roughly where I stopped, needing to go back to my world and kill a hydra (and probably drive them into extinction in my world too) to save this one girl (who is just a clone... but we'll be getting to that later in the future.)
The game is growing on me a little, but, I still think the people that say CC is better than CT are crazy people. I don't even think that this could be a case of personal preference, CT is just strictly a better made game. You may LIKE CC more than CT, but CT is, by far, a much better made game.
The dialogue in the game still bugs the shit out of me, but I'm putting up with it.
Combat is ok. It continues to grow on me a bit, but, it doesn't seem 'great', just 'ok.' It's serviceable.
The pacing of the game seems really, really awkward. I couldn't tell you exactly what it is, but, it just doesn't feel good. So much of it feels so forced, and like I'm just kind of along for the ride, like, I have no emotional attachment to anything that's going on, it's just happening and I'm going along with all of it because I'm supposed to. CT felt more natural about that. I kind of went along with things in CT because I had to (I couldn't just let this girl disappear and not go looking for her) and after I get back I don't have a choice, I'm wrapped up in some serious shit where the Counselor wants to kill me, and then I get flung into the far distant future where I find out that some real bad shit goes down somewhere between my time and this time and that gives me an emotional attachment of wanting to see the story through, because I want to save the planet, if I can, somehow, because I know stuff is going to happen and who else is going to do it?
In CC, though, I feel like random shit is just happening around me, and they couldn't figure out how to get it to all fit together so they just gave me really aggressive personalities around me that will force me to go places and do things for no reason. And then I find out that "I'm special and a chosen one and that I'm the key to everything that ever existed and.." ugh, sorry, I've never really liked the whole "chosen one" story that finds its way into so many JRPGs. One way or another you are always "the chosen one" because for one reason or another you're the only one so special that you can save the world/universe/whatever. But when they shove it down your throat blatantly telling you that you were chosen from birth to be this...key.. and blah blah blah, it just sounds awful. It sounds like they couldn't come up with any real story for your character so they just fell back on something easy. Maybe that's not the case, and hey, these people are, or were, talented enough to make a living off of the stories they wrote and created, but that doesn't excuse it for me, personally. Games where you are somehow 'the chosen one' can be presented better than this though. I look at something like Persona 3 or 4, where the main character is special and unique and is sort of a key to a puzzle and is unique in the world, they still make the main characters feel special and fleshed out BEYOND that trope. CC doesn't do that, and it's worse for it.
So where am I at with the game? At this point in time I could still just put the controller down and not finish the game and be perfectly ok with it. I don't feel compelled to keep playing the game. It hasn't done anything, at all, that has drawn me in so completely that I need to keep playing it. Will I keep playing? You bet. This gives me something to do and gives me a reason to write, and I want to write more. Plus, by the end, I think I'd like to be able to potentially write a review or something. But, we'll see where it goes. Anyway, thanks for reading.
Check out the other blog entries on my blog page and check back probably next week for part five where hopefully things start going a bit faster.