I always liked Chrono Trigger and I did think that it could have spawned multiple sequels into a series like Final Fantasy. We all how Chrono Cross was, but why wasn’t Chrono given another chance? I will talk about how Chrono Trigger got it right and how Chrono Cross failed to take the momentum of its predecessor to turn Chrono into the next Final Fantasy. Considering how strong the fan following was for Chrono Trigger, I was disappointed to not see Chrono become something as big as Final Fantasy. Ironically, Chrono Cross should have borrowed the name of Final Fantasy and be re-titled, “Chrono Final”.
Good Music, Good Game
I would like to start off with how I grew to love Chrono Trigger and how it could have been the start of something great. So when Chrono Trigger came out, it was going side-by-side with Final Fantasy on the Super Nintendo. Square was launching their RPG portfolio with Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG with Nintendo. Square has always been known for having a wonderfully orchestrated soundtrack and Chrono Trigger was no exception. The music for Chrono Trigger was simply beautiful and Square Soft (now Square-Enix) did not disappoint. You know what’s so great about video games with a great soundtrack? You can just sit there all day and enjoy the music and not even play the game itself. Sometimes I just place the controller down and let my ears enjoy the music. The best part about good music is when you memorize it and can play it back in your mind instantly. Your mind has an ever-growing playlist of music where you can play any song on command. Gotta say, music can make the game and it made Chrono Trigger.
Time Travel, Awesome Game
So the music’s good, we got that. The back story is just as awesome. Everyone loves time travel. Who doesn’t want to go back in time to see what life was like back then? Or what will your life be in the next 20, 30, or 40 years? Going back and forth in time made the world of Chrono Trigger magical. I loved seeing how one town or place would change over time and it gives you a glimpse of how life was simpler back then. On the flip-side, time travel also showed how desolate the future will be. Robots, technology, destitution and severe cold in 2200 A.D. made me think about the world might be in the future if we don’t treat mother nature and each other right. Future desolation is not a new theme but it is nice to see Chrono Trigger’s take on it. Having hindsight, we would have made better decisions in our life. Time travel gives us hindsight, doesn’t exist now but who knows what the future holds. Re-cap, time travel in Chrono Trigger, awesome, check.
Double and Triple Techs, Sequel-worthy Game
Here we go, the main reason why I love Chrono Trigger. One of the best things that I love about this RPG is how you could do these attacks using more than one character at a time. These were called double techniques and triple techniques. Not only do these team techniques look cool but I feel that they add more personality to each character. You could see the teamwork between each character as they pull of their team technique attacks. I remember one of the first double techniques that you get is X-Cross with Chrono and Frog. I loved seeing the red “X” that they create when they slice the enemy. The triple techniques are fun to see. I think that Omega Flare with Magus, Robo and Lucca is the best looking one. I wonder why more RPGs don’t have more team attacks.
Here are the reasons why Chrono Trigger started off to spawn a sequel, Chrono Cross. Now let’s take a look at what happened with Chrono Cross.
Now I want to get into how Cross lost the momentum that Trigger had. If only Cross used more of the Trigger formula rather than this new one that just didn’t make it memorable enough. I mean, look what happened. Where is the third title in the series. As a side note, I am well aware of the title Radical Dreamers, the text-based Super Nintendo game. Radical Dreamer is a spin-off from the main Chrono “series” but it’s not actually part of the main “series”. Back to Cross, I really wished that Cross was a lot better than it was because Trigger was so good. I guess that Trigger was so good that I had even higher expectations of Cross. Didn’t everyone? Maybe Trigger was too good that Cross could not have hoped to surpassed it. I mean, we all that Final Fantasy has it good and okay titles in the series. Anyone been keeping track of FF 13 and 14? Since Square Soft has to rely on Final Fantasy like how Nintendo depends on Mario, it’s no surprise that Final Fantasy 15 is going to happen.
46 Characters in Cross, Why So Many?
How did Trigger go from 7 playable characters to 45 in Cross? For starters, you can’t really build and develop characters in a game story when you have so many of them. Not only that but you’re bound to have duplicates and obsolete characters because there are too many. Square decided to make Chrono Cross like Pokemon. Was this Square’s way of trying to compete with Nintendo? “Chronomon?” Has a nice ring to it. I find the Trigger characters lovable and relate-able because they were each different and distinct. Now we have too many characters too choose from and after you get to the end of the game, you basically know which characters are the best. My favorite team is Serge, Glenn and Grobyc. At least they kept Glenn, who was Frog before Magus became a frog. Even though the Trigger characters make an appearance in Cross, they’re non-playable characters. They’re just there for the story, but are still a welcomed sight.
Team Attacks Have Been Greatly Diminished
What happened to all of the double and triple techniques? They still have them in Cross but not as many as before. Not all characters have team attacks and that was the best thing about Trigger. Why, square why? Why did you greatly reduced the best part of Trigger? I understand that you wanted to make something different from Trigger but the double and triple technique helped develop the characters in Trigger. I know, too many characters right? Then why have so many characters in the first place, if you can’t even give them all double and triple techniques. In Cross, it’s true. Some character really are more important than others. At least in Trigger I feel that each character was given an equal amount in the spotlight. You actually got to know and remember each character. In Cross, who was that one character who just popped into the roster? I feel because in Cross we are constantly replacing our main team with better character, they get shelved and never seen or used again.
Placed a Nail in the Coffin for the Chrono Series: We Are Done
The worst thing about Cross and I really didn’t want this to happen, was that its under performance that has contributed to the lack of a third title to follow. So there was going to be a third title called Chrono Break. This title never released so that pretty much was it for the Chrono series. Sad to say that Cross couldn’t match to Trigger’s awesomeness. It’s okay, you still have Final Fantasy. Then again, like I said earlier, Final Fantasy 13 and 14 weren’t exactly the best in the series.
I really wanted Cross to succeed to keep Trigger’s momentum strong and alive, but we all know what happened. Chrono could have been a long-time series like Final Fantasy but fell short on the Cross. If Chrono Trigger was still alive today, we might be at Chrono Trigger 10 or something. As stated earlier, Final Fantasy is happening , #15 on the Playstation 4.
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