Chrono Confusion: Sony/Square Enix Fail to Capitalize on Sequel
In 1995 Square Enix, the king of turn-based role-playing adventures brought us a game intended to be the best ever; with the man behind Dragon Ball Z, Akira Toriyama, editor of Dragon Quest, Yuji Horii, and creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi all joining forces in an effort to combine their limitless talent pools into a single title that would revolutionize gaming. The finished result was a game so unique in its conception that even now, nearly 20 years later it finds itself being remade for modern devices such as the Nintendo DS, with its amazing combat system, intriguing characters, and engrossing story making it one of the few games from 1995 that has stood the test of time.
The Best of All Time?
The title I’m referring to is, of course, Chrono Trigger; an adventure so highly acclaimed that even today passionate gamers and critics-alike cling hard to the opinion Square was shooting for from its conception: that Chrono Trigger is the best game ever, bar-none. With several characters containing back-stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat (or gamer chair), a combat system that was the first of its kind, allowing for warriors to team up and execute insanely cool combos, and a story spanning millions of years, Trigger set the standard for everything a game should be, and in doing so left no room for anything less than perfect.
Heir to the Throne
Not long after we were introduced to gaming’s 5th generation of consoles, with the original Playstation and Nintendo 64 being the major players in town. Trigger fans waited anxiously, anticipating the inevitable sequel to the Super Nintendo’s unbelievable epic. Four years and several impatient tantrums later, we were graced with Trigger‘s heir to the throne: Chrono Cross.
Taking from its predecessor, Chrono Cross featured the most playable characters ever in a turn-based RPG for its time, with a complicated story spanning over multiple dimensions that left many scratching their heads upon the game’s completion. But even for those who weren’t quite sure what was going on, one thing was clear, this game was fantastic; a more than worthy successor to its Super Nintendo brother.
A year later the Playstation 2 was released and fans of the series began preparing for the amazing adventure that was sure to come. And it wasn’t long before Square began dropping hints, either; with Chrono Break being trademarked by the gaming franchise by November of 2001. Then – silence. A year passed, nothing. One year later, and it was revealed that Square had let the Chrono Break trademark go.
But with the PS3’s insanely powerful graphical engine and struggling sales in the first few years of its existence, people were certain that Square would be called on to develop one more title for the Chrono series in an attempt to save the wounded console. Only they weren’t. So, once again, Chrono fans would have to wait for the fantastic sequel they knew must be right around the corner.
This corner, unfortunately has yet to be seen, much less passed, with the PS4 launching late last year and absolutely no mention of a predecessor to the Chrono legacy being discussed. So what gives? From a money standpoint, with a series as popular as the Chrono franchise, a sequel seems to be a no-brainer. Sony’s still around. Square still makes wonderful RPGs. So, why is it that the two have yet to come to terms on a sequel that’d be a sure-fire financial success? A financial success that’s sorely needed in the middle of a console war that sees Microsoft doing its very best to eliminate Sony from the gaming industry once and for all.
A Gamer’s Plea
So, with that being said, here I am, calling for a sequel to the series we all know and love. I believe it’s long overdue for Sony and Square to get serious about the massive interest of their paying customers, and to produce yet another title destined to stand the test of time; or dimensional shifts, depending on your Chrono game of preference. Or perhaps that was the inside joke behind the trademark, Chrono Break in the first place; as ‘break’ is the best possible word to describe developer attitudes towards a series that should have been the best in any time or dimension – period.