To follow up on my last post about Chrono Cross, I’d like to talk about why a remake of this gem is an absolute necessity. I hope you’re listening, Square Enix!
I’m not even going to try and get into the salty depths of this game’s reception. As a follow up to the masterful ‘Trigger, it was always going to be an uphill battle.
What I’m getting at is with so many games getting remastered, especially from Square - we have FFVII on the horizon, a remaster of FFVIII, FFXII too. Heck, just about every Final Fantasy game is playable with updated graphics and mechanics. I don’t understand why Square Enix hasn’t even given Cross a port, let alone a remaster.
Chrono Cross is hands down my favorite game from the PSX era. It hooked me so hard when I first started it up, that I couldn’t stop playing it. I became so invested in the game, suffering an existential crisis of sorts from the very get go - this game made me ask myself, what if I didn’t exist? What if, like Serge, I perished at a very young age before I could make my mark on this world?
Of course, I was a young teen when I played this game, but still - it’s one that has stuck with me all these years. The music, the themes, the characters. The feels.
I do honestly believe that Cross got a raw deal and that the emptiest vessels made the most noise back when it was released. The backlash was apparently unprecedented, and from my experience it’s hard to find any of those people who hate, no, despise Chrono Cross for.. whatever reason it was that they hated it.
There was also the long-rumored sequel, supposedly titled Chrono Break. Obviously that never happened, because it probably would have been panned as badly, if not worse, than Cross was. Can’t say I blame Square for not having much of an appetite to continue with the series, backlash and all.
As to why I believe a remake is necessary- aside from the fact that Trigger has been ported to just about every possible platform and is still well loved, I believe Cross needs to at least be given the chance to find a new audience without all the negative press it received back in the day.
Unhappy fans are often justified in their complaints, but I would also like to draw a parallel to Final Fantasy XIII and it’s sequels.
Most people complained that FFXIII was too linear, something the devs tried to address in FFXIII-2 by adding a timetravel mechanic evocative of Trigger. I enjoyed FFXIII, and XIII-2 even more so. Sure, I had what we call expectations going into the OG XIII built off of my experience playing FFXII (mostly the seamless MMO style transition from exploration to battle and the semi-open world) but once I got into FFXIII and grew fond of the characters I stopped comparing the 2 and began enjoying the game a lot more.
There was also a subset of fans that complained about the devs reusing enemies and maps from the original game and seemingly just wished FFXIII didn’t happen. Enter Lightning Returns.
Lightning Returns was pretty fun, too. The devs listened - there was not a single area in that game that could be found in any of the others, players had a decently sized non-linear and unique open world to explore.
Here’s a surprise, though - there were still unhappy fans. Go figure. Some people seemingly don’t want to be happy.
And, the kicker - it’s harder to find people who absolutely hate FFXIII and it’s sequels. Heck, we can even look at FFXII which was considered a middling entry into the series, after receiving a facelift and a few tweaks is largely considered a good game.
Just looking at the Steam reviews - the OG XIII has 72% positive reviews, Lightning Returns clocks in with 79% and my favorite of the 3, XIII-2, interestingly has the lowest score of 60%. FFXII The Zodiac Age with an impressive 89% positive reviews. How the hell does this work? I thought everyone hated these games?
In the end, as much as I’d love to see a remake or even just a port of Chrono Cross. I aint holding my breath, but who knows? With the game’s 20th anniversary coming up in August this year, maybe Square Enix will show the game some much needed love.