The RetroBeat: It is time for a brand new Chrono Set off

Square Enix is an organization that’s on its 15th Final Fantasy and 11th Dragon Quest. That isn’t counting dozens of spinoffs. Sq. Enix loves it role-playing sport franchises. However Chrono Trigger nonetheless solely has one actual sequel … that got here out method again in 1999.

I used to be fascinated with the destiny of Chrono Set off after seeing a video by Simon Stafsnes Andersen, the creator of the attractive Metroidvania indie sport Owlboy, posted on Kotaku. The video reveals Andersen’s idea of what a brand new Chrono Set off sequel might seem like. It shows the identical mastery of pixel artwork as Owlboy, nevertheless it captures the look of the unique Chrono Set off. It’s necessary to notice that this isn’t a fan sport. Nothing on this trailer is supposed to point a future playable mission. It simply reveals us what a brand new Chrono sport might seem like.

Man, I want that sport was actual. However why isn’t it? OK, perhaps not this particular Chrono Break mission, however why hasn’t Sq. Enix finished something with the collection, except for porting the original to new platforms?

Chrono Set off got here out for the Tremendous Nintendo Leisure System in 1995. It was a dream collaboration between Sq. and Enix (earlier than the 2 firms merged in 2003). It stays one of many biggest JRPGs ever made because of its memorable characters, haunting and melodic music, and time-travelling mechanics.

You’d suppose that such a giant hit would spawn a franchise, particularly since that’s what most JRPG video games are inclined to do (even mid-tier collection like Breath of Fireplace have six entries). However Chrono Set off as a substitute spawned a Japan-only visible novel (Radical Dreamers) and a single correct sequel, 1999’s Chrono Cross for the unique PlayStation. Chrono Cross doesn’t have the identical starling popularity as Chrono Set off, however it’s nonetheless an bold JPRG (with top-of-the-line soundtracks ever), and it deserves reward.

So why was that the final Chrono sport we ever obtained? When Sq. merged with Enix, many (myself included) thought {that a} new Chrono sport can be inevitable. The 2 firms that labored on the unique have been now one firm.

However a brand new Chrono sport by no means got here. We all know that Sq. Enix at one level tried a sequel, tentatively named Chrono Break (that’s the place Andersen obtained the title for his fan mission). However that idea didn’t go far into growth, with its early concepts being included into the mobile-only RPG Ultimate Fantasy Dimensions II.

Persons are nonetheless keen about Chrono Set off. Simply have a look at what occurred when Square Enix ported the classic to Steam last year. At first, folks have been comfortable that the beloved RPG was out there on PC for the primary time. That delight changed into outrage when the port turned out to be based mostly on the cellular model of Chrono Set off, which Sq. Enix designed for play on small touchscreens. Followers have been upset that the Steam model didn’t seem like the unique Tremendous Nintendo launch. Their voices have been so loud that Sq. Enix has been updating the Steam model ever since.

The hardcore followers are hungry for a brand new Chrono sport, however even the broader market is as receptive to JRPGs because it has been for years. The style has crawled its method out of area of interest standing, which was extra evident than ever when Octopath Traveler turned the U.S.’s best-selling game in July. That’s an unimaginable accomplishment for JPRG with retro pixel-based graphics, particularly if you keep in mind that Octopath Traveler is a Change unique and that the NPD doesn’t monitor digital gross sales for Nintendo video games.

Octopath Travler can also be a Sq. Enix title. And one other Sq. Enix JPRG, Dragon Quest XI, is popping out within the U.S. on September 4. We love it. With this momentum., the corporate needs to be searching for new JRPG initiatives. It’s time to make a brand new Chrono sport one in all them.

Die, old man!

Above: Octopath Traveler reveals that JRPGs may be massive hits.

Picture Credit score: GamesBeat

Basic franchises by no means die. Simply this week, we realized that Dotemu is engaged on Streets of Rage 4. That beat-’em-up franchise has had a good longer hiatus than Chrono, with Streets of Rage three releasing again in 1994. Streets of Rage is nice, however when it comes to status, it’s no Chono Set off.

So, for those who don’t thoughts me quoting a random track from Walt Disney World (as a result of that’s type of how I do issues), “Now’s the time. Now’s the most effective time.” We’ve waited lengthy sufficient for a brand new Chrono sport. Sq. Enix wants to start out now.

The RetroBeat is a weekly column that appears at gaming’s previous, diving into classics, new retro titles, or how previous favorites — and their design methods — encourage in the present day’s market and experiences. When you’ve got any retro-themed initiatives or scoops you’d prefer to ship my method, please contact me.

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