JRPG classic Chrono Cross celebrated its 20th-anniversary release for the West this weekend. It is one of the best but most underappreciated games in history.
Chrono Cross enjoyed a fruitful time during its first Japan release in 1999. After a few months, the game came out for a North American release on August 15, 2000. 20 years later, Cross is still among the pantheon of revered classics and unique titles.
Cross follows young man in search of truth
The story of Cross is a complicated dimension-traveling adventure. It is the spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger, lending itself to comparisons. Even then, Cross is a beautiful story on its own, with the trappings of a fantastical world.
Cross follows Serge, a young village man picking up materials for his friend one day. Unbeknownst to him, Serge transported to another world where he found out he’s dead. Nobody knew him, and even the people he once loved do not remember him.
In his quest to find out the truth, he discovers the truth about his life. Serge uncovers his larger role in the world and how he destroys an entire future.
Cross has one of the most unique gameplays ever, using an Elemental Grid system. Combat uses turn-based stamina, and enemies are opt-in battles with no leveling. It’s also among the first games that utilized New Game+ and a Fast Forward system.
Chrono series ripe for a remake
Chrono Cross is a masterpiece of its time. Many people believe that the story is inferior to Chrono Trigger, with fans leaning on sequelitis. Comparing both is apples and oranges, each with their beauty.
While Chrono Trigger is among the best, most nuanced titles of all time, Cross is different. Cross offers a story of people facing their past and looking to the future. It’s a tale of a world in pursuit of balance and the bigger powers that fight for it.
The game has among the best music ever, headed by musical savant Yasunori Mitsuda. The music was so good that Mitsuda and his band recently toured Japan. They celebrated the game’s 20th-anniversary release in Japan and finished last June.
Fans of the game have clamored for an HD re-release or a remake of the title. Square Enix can now make a multi-part Final Fantasy 7 remake. The Chrono series deserves their time in the limelight.
As Chrono Cross celebrates its 20th year NA release, it does so in silence. Suikoden got one of the best Kickstarter ever, and Cross can benefit from one too.
Images courtesy of Resonant Arc/YouTube Screenshot