Yesterday I decided I wanted to play a video game. The problem is that Mister E and I have very different tastes in video games. He likes open world games that take months to finish, which to me are quite dull because I have no interest in watching the back of someone’s head for 200 hours and watching him gather [x] number of [useless items]s for whichever NPC is whinging on about needing them. I like JRPGs, which he thinks are boring and samey, and he apparently thinks they make terrible fashion choices. It could be worse; one of us could be really into 3rd person shooters or MMORPGs. Half of my relationship philosophy can be summed up in the phrase “at least he’s not playing WarCraft.”
Most of my favorite JRPGs are on the PlayStation system, and Mister E plays exclusively on the Xbox these days. However, he did have a PlayStation 2 that was stuffed in a cabinet under the aquariums so I thought I’d try plugging it in. I had an old copy of Chrono Cross, which was one of my favorite games to watch RJ play back when we were married and also the only game I ever tried playing on my own. I remembered it being fun, so I popped it in to see if it was still fun.
Chrono Cross is a JRPG from Squaresoft (now Square Enix) that was originally released for the Playstation in 1999. It’s about a guy named Serge who goes to meet the girl he likes on the beach and ends up being taken to another world where things have turned out very differently. General Viper is still in power, the festival hasn’t been cancelled, and Serge died ten years earlier in an accident. Not only that, but people keep telling him that he has the power to destroy the world. Good times.
It’s an interesting game in that its combat system works by letting you use the different “levels” of your magic (Elements) based on how many times you are able to hit your opponent in combat. For example, if you hit them three times you can use three Level 1 spells or one Level 3 spell. You arrange and stack your Elements however you like – you can either buy or find them – and no one is limited to a certain color or class of magic.
It’s also interesting that you can recruit dozens of characters over the course of multiple playthroughs. If you play several times you can have all the characters in your extended team, and the choices you make during the game affect who you can recruit. It doesn’t change the overall plot, but you do get to see each character’s backstory over the course of the game if you have them.
When RJ first played it, we had the game guide. If I want any sort of help during this playthrough I’m going to have to rely on GameFaqs, which is honestly giving me a little bit of a headache. The volume of it is terrifying me, so I’m thinking I’m just going to play it however and see what happens.
So far I’m having fun with it. I fell into the old trap of being reminded I have to eat because I’m sitting in front of the television for hours, so we’ll see how this plays out. I spent a while explaining all this to Mister E when he woke up and found me on the accursed beanbag, and now he’s interested in seeing the game. I’m just glad I hooked up the PS2 so he can finally play Parasite Eve.
Now if I could just get my hands on a copy of Final Fantasy VIII, I’d be super-happy.