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What would you change about Cross? [Spoilers!]
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What would you change about Cross? [Spoilers!]

What would you change about the game if you could? (This will surely be a contentious topic...)

Here's a list of things, any one of which would greatly increase my enjoyment of the game:

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1. Just give me the Chrono Trigger battle system
I didn't like the multiple-attack/stamina system at all. It's just not fun micromanaging a resource like that. Just give me back cooldown timers. Nor do I like having to build up to using magic. (Imagine if Darth Vader had to slap enemies several times before he could force-choke them. Actually that would be pretty funny. Nevermind.)

2. Simpler camera angles during battle
Yes, it was cool in 1999. But I just want a fixed camera during battles. No wasted seconds swooping into the battle view. I don't need to see the sun, the moon, the Burger King down the street. Just show me the enemies and my character, please.
(One thing that you notice when playing an early 3D game in the modern era is how much they were showing off, even if it impacts game enjoyment.)

3. Make the playable characters more interesting, or die trying
I'm not really sure what their goal was when making the recruitable characters. The playable characters feel like the boss's children came up with them. "Let's have a luchador, like Tekken! And a plant-person, oh and a cute little alien! Just like Toy Story!". The artists did a good job of trying to make these character designs fit together cohesively, but it still doesn't work.
Most of the special moves for these 45 characters are basically "hit the enemy with your weapon". Something like Slurp or Kiss or cyclone would never fly in the Chrono Cross world. Oh, and did they have to make every move a dumb pun? Like hitting an enemy with a pack of cards and calling the move "big deal".
My conclusion is: If you can't make 45 characters interesting and give them good moves, you have no business having 45 playable characters in your game! There are too many playable characters, and they compensated by making all of them equally boring. (I think a lot of bad things came as a result of this insane roster).

4. Make the game more lighthearted and less angsty
Right off the bat, you're faced with a character who's musing about how the ocean will outlive us all. We're all just dust in the wind, man. Woah.

5. Make the 3D environments more navigable, even if that means they have to be less pretty
I get it, it's 1999 and we need to push the limits and out-do Final Fantasy 7 and 8! But it's the future now, and I'm playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite, not a big hulking cathode-ray-tube. I just want to know what's a door and what isn't a door without bumping into it first, you know? So yeah, I'd radically simplify the game zones. Less puzzles, less backtracking, more obvious interactive elements. ...Actually, to give Square some credit, they probably couldn't do this, because they probably don't have the original 3D graphics files they used to make the prerendered backgrounds, so modifying them isn't possible.
I'd also take crappy low-poly full 3D worlds (like xenogears) rather than prerendered.

6. Make analog controls work
The analog stick makes it hard to precisely control your character's location and bearing at the same time. It would be nice to have a little exclamation points over NPCs and chests when you're in the correct position to interact (like the recent Chrono Trigger releases have - CC needs it even more.)

7. Drop the dumb made-up accents
You know what, I'm not done with the whole 45 playable characters thing. They try to make them unique by adding pig latin-style word filters. So now I alk-tay like is-thay, mon a mi Sergei-poo!

8. Fix lazy quest writing
The first quest in the game is someone telling you "I want you to slaughter 3 harmless birds, pluck a scale off each one, and make me a necklace. And no, you have to do this personally, you can't get them from someone else.". I get it. This quest exists to teach you the basics of the game. But it's still lazy writing. I want to be led logically to the conclusion that the next step I'm about to take is the right one. But like, the game does a bad job at this.

9. Make the good ending tied to something logical
The way you get the "good ending" is just so comical to me. It feels like the game designer was intentionally giving the player the middle finger, building up this intricate plot only to have the ending depend on something so trivial and meta-gamey.

Overall, I think that the game suffers from the designer trying to be too avant garde and straying from the tried and true, and maybe not knowing how to use 3D effectively. This was also around the time of FF8, which also had controversial game design elements (like the scaling enemies). I also think that some of the aspects of the game were specifically chosen so they could put it on the game box (such as the fancy pre-rendered graphics, the huge roster of characters). After all, most people bought games based on box art back then.
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Show Spoiler button doesn't seem to be working. Sorry if what I say is redundant to what you just said:

I adored CC back during my high-school years. It's my most replayed game. But on replaying it now, I'm struggling.

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Much of CC seems to be ham-fisted and juvenile. A little spot of that here and there is okay, but it's pretty constant in the first half of the game. There's also just so much irrelevant stuff in it. I'd like to turn 3/4 of the playable characters into NPCs. I get that they all have stories, but most of them could be handled as NPC development. Very few actually need to be playable. It would give the time needed to actually develop the main cast. Maybe I've been spoiled by Bioware, but there's very little actual character development in CC. That doesn't really fly for me anymore.
I had to keep reminding myself that the Dead Sea/Chronopolis/Terra Tower stuff was coming, and that some of it was pretty brilliant, especially how it was tied to CT. But the majority of the game is not. And it hurts my soul to say that.
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Honestly some of it was kind of funny, my dad thinks Funguy is no end of a hilarious joke. I'm sure everyone knows or can guess I wanted Magus in there, in fact my theories heavily involve him with the Chrono Cross timeline, but I dunno if I feel like typing it up, my tendonitus in my right arm makes it hard so I usually wind up typing with just my left and long winded posts can be agony. I actually got my hands on a book that has concept theories and art of what Magus would look like in CC, though Alf instead of Guile or Magile. Prolly a reference to kitty. Honestly, even the gameplay wasn't enough for me I barely finished with the poor storyline development and never bothered with the hidden ending. I had high hopes for some characters, like Karsh but he turned out to be a little wussy and honorable considering I saw him more complicated at first due to his initial role. Bleh lol honestly the character designs themselves kicked ass, but I didn't really care about many of them story wise and I thought some were outright pointless. I don't have as much to say as meester Ed but I personally was never the biggest fan of the sequel. Also Reasonless the spoiler tag is showing up on my end.
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