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Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition – Game Review

Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition – Game Review

    Last Updated on June 1, 2023

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is a remaster of the Squaresoft (now Square Enix) 1999 JRPG masterpiece Chrono Cross. Furthermore, it is a sequel to the ultra-popular Chrono Trigger. The remaster includes updated graphics, new features, and the inclusion of the Japan-only visual novel Radical Dreamers, which served as a prequel to the main game. It released last April 7, 2022, for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One. Here is our review of the game.

What is Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition?

The game is set in the fictional world of Chrono Cross, which is split into two parallel dimensions: Home World and Another World. The player controls Serge, a young man who is drawn into a conflict between two warring factions, the Dragon God and the Time Devourer. 

As Serge travels across the two worlds, he meets a cast of over 40 playable characters, each with their own unique abilities and stories. While most of them can join as a party member in one playthrough, completing all playable characters will require players to at least have two or three complete save files. This not only ensures hundreds of hours of playtime but also reinforces the game’s top-notch replayability.

Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition Nintendo Switch Graphics

In fact, some have played the original game for over 500 hours already. Playing the Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers edition on Nintendo Switch or other newer consoles could easily exceed even that. 

As with traditional role-playing games, the battle system in Chrono Cross is turn-based. That said, it employs interesting mechanics and resource management concepts that other RPGs wouldn’t even dare touch. This renders Chrono Cross’ battle system one of the most unique in the genre even to this date. 

Players can use special abilities, which are powered by the element system. Each character and enemy belongs to one of six elements, and attacks of the opposite element deal more damage. Don’t worry. We will talk more about the game’s truly one-of-a-kind battle system later on in this article.

How is it Different From the Original?

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is a visually stunning game, with updated graphics that bring the world of Chrono Cross to life. Even more so than what the original has managed to accomplish. The new features, such as fast-forward and the ability to disable random encounters, make the game more accessible to modern players. And the inclusion of Radical Dreamers provides fans with a new perspective on the Chrono Cross universe.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition: 


  • Updated graphics that bring the world of Chrono Cross to life
  • New features, such as fast-forward and the ability to disable random encounters
  • Inclusion of Radical Dreamers, a prequel to Chrono Cross
  • Great soundtrack
  • Engaging story and characters
  • Introduces the greatness of classic JRPGs from yesteryears to the new generation


  • Some technical issues, such as framerate drops and stuttering. Not so much on Nintendo Switch.
  • The game’s story can be downright confusing for some, especially those that haven’t played Chrono Trigger
  • New players can get lost on what to do next due to the lack of story logs or quest-tracking features

All these combined with the power of newer generation consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch, make this game the definitive version to experience one of the pillars of the JRPG genre.

Chrono Cross Battle System Explained

Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition Battle System

Chrono Cross is a turn-based JRPG with a unique battle system that combines elements of both traditional JRPGs and action RPGs. Here is a brief breakdown of its core components:


Each character has a set of four attacks, which they can use to damage enemies. Three physical attacks that vary in damage and hit rate, and an element. These elements can either buff allies, heal them, debuff enemies, summon powerful creatures, or cast damaging magic. Take note that each element has its own strengths and weaknesses represented by 6 colors. 

Element System

The element system is the heart of Chrono Cross’s battle system. Each character and enemy belongs to one of six elements/colors: fire (red), water (blue), wind (green), earth (yellow), light (white), and darkness (black). Attacks of the same element deal more damage to enemies of the opposite element. For example, a fire (red) attack will deal more damage to a water (blue) enemy.

Elements can also be used to create combos. When three of the same elements are used in a row, the field will turn in the element’s specific color and will boost all following attacks with the same color. Combos can deal more damage than individual attacks, and they can also inflict status effects on enemies. Furthermore, you can only use summons when the field is dedicated to one color only.

Stamina System

Characters have a stamina meter that limits how many attacks they can make. Unlike traditional JRPGs, characters can attack as much as they want as long as they have the stamina they can use. Remember the three physical attacks we mentioned earlier? Each of them consumes stamina. 1 for weak attacks, 2 for moderate, and 3 for strong attacks. 

As for elements, they take up 7 stamina. Take note that each character only has 7 bars of stamina they can consume each turn. That said, every attack made by a party member or enemy restores other characters’ stamina relative to how much they used. Yes, it is a bit confusing on paper, but you’d quickly get the hang of it once you try it. Believe us, it is a lot of fun to master.

Chrono Cross Combat System Tips

Here are a few tips for mastering Chrono Cross’s battle system:

  • Use the element system to your advantage. Exploit enemy weaknesses to deal more damage. We recommend that you equip your characters with a diverse set of elements to maximize versatility in battle. Make sure they have an element of each color.
  • Create combos for extra damage and status effects. It is easy to ignore the field system in Chrono Cross, but that would be foolish of you. Always pay attention to what the field’s current color is and take advantage of it.
  • Keep an eye on your stamina meter. You can employ several tactics and approaches to ensure that your characters can continue attacking and not all deplete their stamina.

Believe us when we say this. Chrono Cross’ combat is very complex. It will take you a few tries to get the hang of it let alone master all of its components. Nevertheless, With a little practice, you’ll be a master of Chrono Cross’s battle system in no time.


Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition Serge and Kid

Overall, Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is a great remaster of a classic JRPG. It brings one of the pillars of the JRPG genre to the modern generation in a truly impressive way. The updated graphics, new features, and inclusion of Radical Dreamers make it a must-play for fans of the genre. 

If you loved the original back then, you’d surely adore what Square Enix managed to accomplish with this remaster on your Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox. And to those that haven’t yet tried Chrono Cross, well, there is no better time to do so than now! Pick this game up, you won’t regret it!

Written By
Eidervan Frago

A gamer his whole life. Can go the whole day talking about everything gaming-related. He now mixes his love for writing and passion for gaming to create informational and helpful articles for all.

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