Chrono Cross is the sequel to the 16-bit Chrono Trigger, a game in which many role-playing fans considered to be on par, if not better than the developers' other role-playing series, Final Fantasy. For those who are new to the franchise, it combined a turn-based battle system with an intense storyline and a host of classic characters.

As one of the only games to receive a perfect score from Famitsu, a well-respected Japanese gaming magazine, the storyline of Chrono Cross goes beyond the norm, as it concerns alternate dimensions as well as time travel. It focuses on the adventure of a boy named Serge who, on a dungeon exploration trip, stumbles into a parallel world in which his life had been cut short. After gathering his courage, Serge sets out to solve the mystery of his death.

Along the way, Serge will encounter a motley group of companions -- a total of 40 different characters will wander into the scene and interact with the protagonist. Each has his, her, or its, own unique personality traits and background story. For example, a female barkeep named Orlha is searching for a long lost sister while an accomplished wrestler known as Jillbert guards a gravesite. Many characters are of a non-human race. Kabu is a lazy, unproductive vegetable man and Irenes is a mermaid that uses healing abilities to cure those wounded in battle.

The battle system is a little different than the usual "pick a single attack and wait" equation. Instead, Chrono Cross introduces the use of stamina points. Each character is gifted with seven stamina points at the beginning of a fight. Battle options are divided into weak, middle and strong powers with the more powerful attacks requiring a larger number of stamina points. Therefore, you can use any combination of moves within the seven-point range. If you'd like a single massive strike, go ahead and pick a strong power hit. If you'd rather land the first blow, pick a weak attack and utilize your quickness.

Additionally, the magical system is based on a combination of fighting and spell casting. As you attack a monster, you'll gain the power to cast a variety of magic spells. If you plan on taking it easy, your characters will never become powerful magicians. A bar indicates the level of your magical power; as it grows, you'll gain the ability to cast increasingly powerful incantations. The characters can combine spells to unleash some big time destruction.

Chrono Cross is a single-player adventure compatible with the PlayStation's Dual Shock Analog Controller and memory card device. Can you unravel the mystery of Serge's untimely death? He's counting on you! ~ Bryan Melville, All Game Guide