In a surprise release from Arc System Works, a sequel to the critically acclaimed Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross was released in Japanese arcades on November 21st. We flew to Japan to deliver the first review for the game.
When we first arrived in Japan, we found many arcades with the Chrono Phantasma game. We were initially unsure why this game was released in arcades considering the series is typically a role-playing game; however, we soon learned that Arc System Works took the series to a new level by making it an action role-playing game. We personally found the new gameplay to be fun; however, some may not like this new direction Arc System Works has taken.
This game continues the tradition Chrono Cross started by having many playable characters. There are over 20 characters each with their own story. When you beat the story mode of Chrono Phantasma with a specific character, you learn about that character and their role in the story. Only when you beat the game with each character will the entire story make sense. While our Japanese is rudimentary, we found the story to be fascinating, but not very deep and not exactly connected to the Chrono series. As far as we could tell, there were no classic Chrono characters.
A new first for the Chrono series is a multiplayer mode which we found to be a lot of fun. We wasted a lot of money playing this mode over and over. When this game eventually comes to the PlayStation 3, we will be playing this mode for way longer than it took to finish the story mode. Unfortunately, it appears that this game will be filled with DLC as there are more characters to be unlocked in the future. This does not seem to have any impact on the overall story as the main story is concluded with the characters already available for selection.
- Continues the story of the Chrono series
- New gameplay extremely fun
- Multiplayer mode adds unlimited replay value
- Story not as complex as typical Chrono game
- Story also not completely connected to Chrono series
- Does not feature any classic Chrono characters
- New gameplay may alienate fans