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Author Topic: Retro RPG: Chrono Cross (started as Vagrant Story)  (Read 681 times)
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Gratch
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« on: August 01, 2013, 02:02:41 PM »

Since I've got a month until the next game I'm interested in comes out (FF XIV), I figured this would be as good a time as any to give a retro RPG a shot.  Considered a few that I have played but never completed (Chrono Cross, FF 8, Secret of Mana, Xenogears), but finally landed on Vagrant Story.  I've tried this game twice now:  once when it was first released on PS1, and again when it hit PSN.  I remember liking it, but both times I got distracted by something else no more than a couple hours in and just gave up.

Seems like it would have everything I'm looking for in an RPG:  a great story, cool art style, a Sakimoto soundtrack, and from all accounts a really interesting combat system.  I'm going to try and read up a bit before I dive in this time, as I do remember being somewhat frustrated and/or overwhelmed by the neverending menus and poor explanations of the core game mechanics last time I played.  Hopefully a little research can clear some of that up.

Will try to keep this updated as I go, but if anyone has thoughts or tips that I need to know, please don't hesitate to share.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 11:49:58 PM by Gratch » Logged

metallicorphan
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 02:46:36 PM »

I love my RPGs /JRPGs and with this being Square(soft not Enix) i had missed out when it hit PSOne,but bought it when it hit PSN,but despite hearing that it was an awesome RPG(some saying their favourite),it never quite gelled with me

I never got that far and ended up in someones cellar i think*

I have said i would give it another shot someday,and i see Piggyback did the guide for it,which makes my mouth water(I love Piggyback guides for the Final Fantasy series)


*which looking at IGN's walkthrough,means i got past the prologue,LOL
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 03:36:24 PM »

I always got around 10 hours into that game then hit a huge difficulty wall. I'd like to go back and give it another shot, though. Great art style and a story that didn't talk down to its players. Wish more JRPGs could take note.
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 03:44:48 PM »

I picked this up to play on the Vita awhile back.  had to laugh at some of the costumes.
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Gratch
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 06:38:51 PM »

90 minutes in, and it's interesting that the game doesn't explain...well...anything.  Spent the first 90 minutes sort of just stumbling through the dungeon trying to figure out what things do.  Still a little fuzzy on the combat mechanics, especially the idea of using specific weapons against specific enemies.  Read a couple FAQ's about it, but couldn't really make heads or tails of them.  Was hoping it would click once I got into the game a little ways, but no luck so far.  Kinda just randomly swinging at things, which has worked so far.

Got up against the first boss (the Minotaur) and it took at least a dozen tries to figure out how to take him down.  Ended up running around with my crossbow, alternating between chugging health potions and taking shots at his head.  Just got my first spells and battle abilities, hopefully those will make a difference.

Still on the fence with this one...the art direction and camera work is fantastic though, and I'm interested to see where the story goes.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 06:47:21 PM by Gratch » Logged

Gratch
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 11:08:09 PM »

Combat in this game makes little sense.  For example, I entered a room where I had to defeat a Ghost in under 60 seconds.  Of my 8 weapons, only one of them had a positive rating against phantoms.  I tried it, and it did 0 damage with each swing.  Tried a 2-handed sword that had a 0 rating against phantoms, and it did 3 damage with each swing (wasn't going to help me defeat an enemy with 100 HP in 60 seconds).  Finally switched to a rapier with a negative 2 rating against phantoms, and it did around 50 damage per swing.  I have no idea why or how the weapon with the lowest rating against that particular enemy type did the most damage.

So since the stats don't actually seem to correspond to anything, I guess the best strategy is to simply...guess which weapon might work?   saywhat
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 03:12:43 AM »

Ahh I remember playing a bit of this game. Doesn't the timing of your strikes have a large impact on how much damage is done. Maybe you should try using a walkthrough. I wonder how this game holds up on the Vita-I saw it on the PSN store.
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 12:12:00 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on August 02, 2013, 03:12:43 AM

Ahh I remember playing a bit of this game. Doesn't the timing of your strikes have a large impact on how much damage is done. Maybe you should try using a walkthrough. I wonder how this game holds up on the Vita-I saw it on the PSN store.

There is a timing element, which I'm pretty good at.  I can chain together 4-5 attacks pretty easily, and have a pretty good handle on how both the offensive and defensive chain skills work.  I've looked up a couple different walkthroughs and guides.  They're all either incredibly basic and tell me what I already know, or they are crazy complex and go into the formulas behind how all the stats are derived. 

Put in a couple more hours last night (at the 5 hour mark) and I'm starting to think I may just need to put this on the "RPG's everyone loves but me" pile.  It just hasn't clicked at all, and it's simply just not very fun.  Doesn't help that it's pretty much impossible to play on the Vita.  The brown on lighter brown on darker brown on black color scheme works on a large screen, but makes everything incredibly difficult to see on the Vita.  Will give it a couple more hours and see if anything changes.

If not, I suppose I can always fire up Chrono Cross again...
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 12:54:27 PM »

How is that on the Vita? I never finished it but I played the PS1 version and I really enjoyed it and I LOVED the music, it was so haunting.  I was thinking of picking it up but hoping that it would go on sale for $5.99 first.
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 01:11:33 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on August 02, 2013, 12:54:27 PM

How is that on the Vita?

See the post above yours.  smile
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Canuck
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 01:14:38 PM »

No, I meant Chrono Cross!
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Gratch
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 02:32:20 PM »

Ah, my bad.  Chrono Cross actually fares very well.  It has such a bright, vibrant color pallet that really stands out on the Vita display.  I agree on the music...it's one of my all-time favorite soundtracks.

My problem is that I've played the first 4-5 hours at least half a dozen times over the years.  Whenever I'm in the mood for a PS1-era JRPG, CC seems to be my go-to.  Don't get terribly excited about replaying the opening yet again, but I'm going to try and stick with it this time around.  I even found my old strategy guide in the back of the bookcase.   thumbsup
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 04:48:03 PM »

Ah Chrono Cross,the one game i would love to play....and still has never been released in Europe  icon_evil finger
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 04:50:45 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 02, 2013, 12:12:00 PM

Doesn't help that it's pretty much impossible to play on the Vita.  The brown on lighter brown on darker brown on black color scheme works on a large screen, but makes everything incredibly difficult to see on the Vita.  Will give it a couple more hours and see if anything changes.

huh, I didn't notice anything off with it, but I didn't make it far.  I'll have to fire it up some more and see.
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Canuck
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2013, 11:47:02 PM »

Well I picked up Chrono Cross last night. I'll put a few hours into it and see how it goes.
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Gratch
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2013, 03:01:44 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 02, 2013, 04:50:45 PM

Quote from: Gratch on August 02, 2013, 12:12:00 PM

Doesn't help that it's pretty much impossible to play on the Vita.  The brown on lighter brown on darker brown on black color scheme works on a large screen, but makes everything incredibly difficult to see on the Vita.  Will give it a couple more hours and see if anything changes.

huh, I didn't notice anything off with it, but I didn't make it far.  I'll have to fire it up some more and see.

The opening areas weren't bad.  Once I got into the Catacombs and was fighting skeletons in grey armor against a black background, I could hardly tell what I was doing at all.

I also have really awful vision, so the small screen tends to be tough regardless...especially with a game that wasn't expressly designed with it in mind.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2013, 02:57:21 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 01, 2013, 02:02:41 PM

Since I've got a month until the next game I'm interested in comes out (FF XIV),


Not to wander too far off topic, but what about Tales of Xillia?  That comes out on Tuesday, but we'll never know if its any good if you don't play it frown

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2013, 03:01:21 PM »

I know everyone else loves them, but I've never been crazy about the Tales series.  I liked one of them on 360 (Symphonia, maybe?), but the other 4 I've tried never made it past the 5 hour mark.
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2013, 11:57:42 PM »

Got about 6 hours in between screaming fits from the Wonder Twins.  Pushed well past the opening part that I've played over and over again, and am now into some uncharted territory.  I had forgotten how beautiful the artwork was in this game.  While the character models are hit and miss, some of the environments are downright breathtaking.  It's been interesting to see some of the call-backs to Chrono Trigger along the way.  And the soundtrack...still my favorite after all these years.

While the combat is fun, I'm not a big fan of not being able to power level.  The only real advancement comes from defeating bosses, but if you didn't happen to pick up the right equipment or Elements along the way, there's no way to go back, get stronger, and take them on again.  I had also blocked out the loooooooooong times between saves (nearly an hour, at one point) and lack of save points before boss battles.  Since bosses are often a matter of trial and error (i.e. did you happen to equip the right elements?), lack of saves becomes a bit of a problem.

Still enjoying it, and glad I went back to give it another look.  I also like being able to transfer save games back and forth between my Vita and PS3.  Being portable makes playing while holding a sleeping baby a little easier.  smile
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 12:10:38 AM »

Also enjoying Chrono Cross. I'm about 4 hours in. The music is great of course and I really enjoy the battle system. It's still two sides lined up against each other taking turns but I like the ability to choose stronger or weaker attacks with different hit percentages. And I like the elements and the ying yang effect of attacking characters of an innate element color with the opposite color for more damage. I haven't reached a point yet where it's too late to go back to get elements (that I know of) but I have enough money (or at least elements are cheap enough) that I've bought a bunch of everything so far just to keep my bases covered.
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