Siliconera Speaks Up: Square Enix Remakes

By Louise Yang . November 30, 2008 . 9:14am

This week, Chrono Trigger DS has been added to the growing list of SNES and NES rpgs Square Enix is re-releasing or porting. How do you feel about this? Do you think that Square Enix should work on some new IPs, or is what they’re doing sufficient for you?

 

Jenni: While it is nice to see the re-release, I’m not excited. Its basically the same game I already own for the PS1. Since there were no earth-shattering updates, it could easily have just been re-released the on the Wii’s Virtual Console for 800 points/$8. I think re-releases are a good thing, because it could mean a new generation of gamers are getting to experience exceptional titles. But a limit should be established. While one re-release/port is okay, it can be a bit ridiculous when a single game, with only minor alterations, appears on three or four different systems.

 

What Square Enix needs to get on is a new entry in the Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross storyline. The company knows the series is beloved and has a strong fanbase, so they need take a step back from Final Fantasy spin-offs and bring a new Chrono game to either the PS3 or Wii. If the company can revive Parasite Eve, it can revive the Chrono series as well.

 

Spencer: In a way the surge of Square Enix remakes financially support new properties. Having games that are sure sellers like a Chrono Trigger port give Square Enix breathing room to take risks on new IPs like the World Ends With You and Nanashi no Game without having to worry about going broke or coming up short for their stockholders. Unfortunately, sales of those games together aren’t even close to matching Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen in Japan alone. Some of the remakes are almost like new games in other regions too. If Dragon Quest V didn’t get a DS port we wouldn’t get an official release of it. The same goes for Chrono Trigger in Europe, but it can also be argued that Square Enix could have just sold the Super Nintendo version as a Virtual Console import there. Next year we should see more original IPs from Square Enix in North America. They have completed games like Sigma Harmonics and new properties like Blood of Bahamut on the table.

 

Louise: I’m ecstatic about the Chrono Trigger remake on the DS. I was one of the few (shame on me) that never finished the game, so I’m hoping that a portable version will prompt me to finish it finally. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve played through the beginning only to get side-tracked by something else and leaving the game.

I agree with Spencer that these remakes, while not that different from the original, bankroll the other lesser-known IPs. I’m a bit torn on the issue. I wish more people would pay attention to new IPs like The World Ends With You, but at the same time, I’m grateful for remakes of games that I missed the first time around like DQ IV.

 

Overall, it’s good that gamers of a different generation are now being introduced to RPG classics like the early Final Fantasy games and Chrono Trigger. It gives them a sense of perspective to play those games and see how far we’ve come in the RPG genre when compared to something like Fallout 3.

 


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  • http://www.thetanooki.com/ Roto13

    I agree that Chrono Trigger should have been a Virtual Console release. I’d have bought a Virtual Console release, but I’m not buying Chrono Trigger again for $40.

    I think remakes are kind of a different thing. Final Fantasy IV DS isn’t a shameless cash-in or anything. It’s a new game based on an old game, and that’s fine with me. Also, I think Squenix has been creating quite a few new IPs lately. I think they’re doing fine, overall.

  • Cain Highwind

    “Jenni: While it is nice to see the re-release, I’m not excited. Its basically the same game I already own for the PS1.”

    I seriously can’t understand how people defend that as a legit title and reason not to buy CTDS. The Virtual Console bit, great reason. I certainly found it more playable than other people. But I thought the slowdown and load times REALLY killed the experience. I like to look at CTDS as Square saying “Sorry about that crummy PS1 port, we really want to make things right with the DS version! (That and we want more money)”

    Other than that I agree with Spencer and Louise. I support re-releases of old games as long as they’re solid or even improved interpretations of the original.

  • Hello Hello

    I had a lot of fun times with Chrono Trigger when I was younger. It’s a really great game, and Square should feel really good about their work on it. I saw the remake on the shelf when I was at the mall the other day, and I just couldn’t justify purchasing it. I already have the game for the SNES and PS1 platforms, why would I buy it again? For the extra post-game dungeon? For a new ending? These post game dungeons are almost always uninspired grind quests, and I can watch a new ending on YouTube. Where is the justification for a $40 purchase? Square-Enix should have added the new content and put it up on the Virtual Console (or whatever other service they like) for no more than $10.

    I don’t think Square Enix should completely abandon their old works, but rather take what made their old games great and use them to make new games. Instead of doing something radical which makes a lot of people disappointed (Final Fantasy XII, Radiata Stories, Infinite Undiscovery, etc), why not take what made games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, etc, popular, and put all of that into new experiences for us? Right now it seems like Square is doing everything wrong. They’re rehashing old games that we liked but have played to death, and making new games with radical new concepts which a lot of us don’t like and can’t be forced to finish even once.

  • Mikael

    I am 100 percent positive on the Chrono Trigger port, it is an exceptional good game and I would rather have it on the ds than on the virtual console. However they have made a bit too many ports for the other Final Fantasy games without any worthy new content.

    Remakes are the way to go. I have yet to play the Final Fantasy IV remake because I prioritized by giving Dragon Quest IV a sales chance in Europe as the series is not as wide popular as Final Fantasy.

  • RagolSlayer

    @those people saying SE should be releasing stuff on VC – Blame Nintendo, not SE. They’re the ones who decide what gets released and when it happens. Besides, if SE released Chrono Trigger on VC instead of the DS, they stand to make almost nothing from doing it. (according to Atlus USA at least) It’d be a nice gesture to the fans, but it’d do absolutely nothing financially for them.

    Personally I’m alright with these ports – if it lets SE take bigger risks on new franchises, why not? It’s not like SE’s chugging out ports of bad games. =P

  • Hikikomori

    1one: the playstation one port of chrono trigger was shit! (just like the other final fantasy playstation one ports. bad loading times and shit translations. remember bartz.)

    2two: so the nintendo ds port of chrono trigger is ok with me. (which is waaaaaaay better than the playstation one version, imo.)

    3three: too many people are bitching and crying! it’s not like square-enix re-released chrono trigger a thousand times over. *i’m looking at you final fantasy I & II*

    4four: if you don’t like, then don’t buy it. but crying about it isn’t going to change the fact that the game is released and it’s going to sell well.

    5five: start your bitching and crying when sony tries to resell you old playstation 2 games that you already own via digital distribution. Games that you could easily pop into your playstation 3 an play right now. but they won’t let you. (psn store style. same goes for the playstation portable. 2009 it’s coming. i don’t believe sony about the whole backwards compatible thing. i think it’s complete bullshit.)

    6six: i would much rather play this old role playing game again versus the hd garbage that gets released nowadays. hd graphics has to be the biggest gimmick this generation. yeah, i said it!

  • jarrod

    @RagolSlayer

    Nintendo certainly controls licenses for the Virtual Console, but it was Square Enix’s decision not to put their “AAA series” on it. That’s why they’re keeping Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Star Ocean and Chrono Trigger off the service, so they can do boxed reissues instead… I think there was even a quote from Wada to that effect back in 2006.

    I think you’re misquoting Atlus too, they said it wouldn’t make financial sense to do new localizations for VC, not that there’s no money to be made at all.

  • scott

    I’m just glad they re-did the localization. Despite what anyone says, the original English localization on SNES was PRETTY BAD, and had a lot of grammatical errors: The best defense for my. Daughter, Lucca!”

    I’m looking forward to the quality localization they put in this like how SE handled Dragon Quest IV.

  • http://veryimmature.blogspot.com Geoff

    I’m sure to be burned to a crisp for saying this but back in the day I wasn’t too big a fan of Chrono Trigger. The story and characters were charming & interesting and it was told beautifully but the combat turned me off a little, I found myself looking out the window during fights etc. Before you kill me, this was over ten years ago so my opinion may change next time I play it.
    That said I only got to the future area in my playthrough. Since then I’ve had legions of friends and readers hound me to play it and it’s sequel. I’ve owned Chrono Cross for years but never seriously played it because I don’t want to miss out on the one or two references to the previous game… or at least I tell myself that.
    Anyway it is sad that this won’t just get a straight VC release but the DS version will at least ensure that I play it. I have an annoying habit of assuming that games I pay a lot for are worth more and should be played over the cheaper vc counterparts.

  • Douglas

    I’m liking the remakes because as Spencer mentioned, a lot of these never came to Europe and I’ve always wanted to play Chrono Trigger too, so it’s win-win for me. Nevertheless, The World Ends With You was fantastic and I’d love to see more of these original IPs from Square Enix. I just want everything!

  • Aoshi00

    I just rec’d my copy yesterday, along w/ the soundtrack (the US ver. has it too!) and even a poster inside, like the SNES days. So added a little incentive. I played it for about an hour w/ my headphone to savor the classic Yasuda soundtrack, still awed by it. The new translation is a little refreshing as well, like Magus as “Fiendlord”, like Maou in Jpn. Thing is I most likely wouldn’t remember what the changes are.

    The way I see these remakes are a little like classic movies you have to own, first on VHS, then DVD, and now Blu-Ray. I own the original Chrono Trigger cartridge, but I don’t have a working SNES anymore. Also the PS1 version’s load time made this game virtually unplayable despite the addt’l anime cutscenes. So this DS version is probably the ultimate version w/ revamped menu, extras from PSX ver and no load times. Only negative is the text is quite small on a DS screen, a little tiring to read, if only the DS has a video out…

    Otherwise yes, it’s really the same game that most of us have played dozens of times, but that serves as a testament of how fun CT really is. As much as I enjoy Infinite Undiscovery & Last Remnant (not FF 12), I am all for a next-gen Chrono Trigger, an expectation Blue Dragon regrettably couldn’t live up to.

  • Aoshi00

    BTW, you made a good point Spence, it’s unfortunate people are not receptive of new IPs, so developers need to bank on remakes of famous franchises. Infinite Undiscovery is $18.95 on Amazon now, the game was released a little while ago. And for some reason Last Remnant for $30 (that’s even $10 less than before). Meanwhile FF XIII and Versus would guarantee huge sales no questions asked, can’t argue against brand recognition.

  • http://www.thetanooki.com/ Roto13

    @ RagolSlayer: That’s not true. Individual companies decide what games they want Nintendo to be able to release on the Virtual Console. Capcom has given them the rights to pretty much everything. Square-Enix, however, hasn’t. You won’t be seeing anything they think they can market as a full-priced port or remake on the Virtual Console.

    Nintendo decides which games from that pool to release every week, but what games are actually in the pool depends on what the other companies are willing to throw in there.

  • http://cerise.theirisnetwork.org/ oliemoon

    I’m glad that SE puts out these ports/remakes. I like being able to go back and play old favorites on my current systems; it’s more convenient than rummaging around in the closet for the NES/SNES/etc. Plus, like Spencer pointed out, SE does not lack for new IPs (though whether they will all make it out of Japan or not remains to be seen, I guess) and if the glut of ports/remakes helps bankroll those projects, cool.

    RE: the argument that CTDS should have been a VC release…why? What does SE stand to benefit from that? They are a business, their goal is to make money. Why release their games for a pittance on the VC when they can sell the ports over and over again and make more of a profit that way? There is obviously a large audience for boxed ports/remakes, or they wouldn’t be successful and SE wouldn’t do them. I agree with Jenni that it is a bit ridiculous that games like Final Fantasy I have been re-released so many times over the years, but if there is a market for them and people buy the games, from a business perspective, why shouldn’t SE do that? It makes no business sense for SE to release their classics on the VC when consumers will readily buy a boxed cartridge/disc instead.

    @Louise
    I thought The World Ends With You was a commercial success?

    @Aoshii00
    The Last Remnant and Infinite Discovery are marked down on Amazon for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. The prices will go back up in a few days.

    @Jenni
    Gods yes, I would love a new Chrono game. Good point about how they brought back PE too. I wonder if SE had made Chrono Cross more in the vein of CT if things might have been different? I loved CC, but if they had stuck to the more traditional format, they might have been able to better establish Chrono as one of the pillars of the company, and then they could have branched out with more radical gameplay concepts in spin-offs and such.

  • squall3031

    they just wanna milk all yooo money. Who’s getting ripped now huh? :D

  • EvilAkito

    My thoughts on the matter:

    Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy remakes for DS – I think the $40 price tag is well worth it for these full-fledged remakes. They’re easily on the top-tier of DS releases, and it’s a lot of fun to re-explore the familiar classics with better technology behind them. If you haven’t already played the original games, then the value is even better.

    Chrono Trigger DS – Big rip-off. I paid $40 for Chrono Trigger AND Final Fantasy IV together on the PS1. Now I’m expected to pay the same price for CT alone. It’s especially unacceptable in the day when SNES games are being sold digitally for $8. I do see the added value in having a physical copy, but as a direct port, I can’t see justification for a price tag higher than $20.

    New IPs – I personally don’t really think SE’s new IPs (or new games in general) are that exciting, but that’s more of a personal thing. I’m glad to see that they are trying though. While they’ve pretty much killed Final Fantasy for me, I do see potential in newer games such as Blood of Bahamut. Unfortunately though, sales for games such as TWEWY, Nanashi no Geemu, and Sigma Harmonics aren’t so hot, and I wonder if this will one day be the downfall for new IPs from SE. If they don’t pull out a surprise hit, I can’t really see them doing new and interesting games much longer.

  • Aoshi00

    Well, the graphics look amazing and crisp on the DS, also w/ better translation (might need some time to adjust). I’m glad to be able to have this on a portable to play it any time anywhere, as CT is still one of all-time favorites.

  • Aoshi00

    I was definitely wary of the $40 price tag, but I got this w/ some discount, so it amounts to less than $30. Sure it’d be nice to have this on VC for a cheaper price, or be given a fresh paint like FFIV, but I was hoping they would go all out if they are remaking it w/ better graphics, along the lines of Blue Dragon.

    I couldn’t play the PSX remake, the horrible load time almost triple the total gameplay time.

    New IP-wise, I still haven’t played The World Ends w/ You. I tried Sigma Harmonics and don’t like it at all, think the system is broken and card battles not very fun..

    As for whether newer RPGs are exciting or not, I think it has to do w/ the audience getter a little older. It was easy to throw yourself into the story and relate to game chars when you’re a teenager, but not when you’re a working adult and have a family.. I just finished disc 1 of Last Remnant, story takes a little time to pick up, but the gameplay is strategic, challenging, and addictive. Also RPGs demand a lot of time, I am amazed at myself for finishing half the game during the Thanksgiving holidy :)

  • Adrian

    I saw this in stores today and I purchased it. I’m glad they ported Chrono Trigger to the DS. It now has better translation and it looks great on the DS. I’m feeling nostalgic just looking at the cover. :P Also I cannot wait to get to the end of the game for the new ending and the bonus dungeon.

  • http://www.endblock.com/ CRIMExTHINK

    @Aoshi00 : Where did you order it from to get the soundtrack?

  • Aoshi00

    @CRIMExTHINK – From Amazon. I didn’t even realize the soundtrack was available when I ordered it, then I noticed it says special bonus, seems identical to the Jpn counterpart, even down to the front and back cover art. I’m not sure if they still offer it now though.

  • http://www.nakedsushi.net/ Louise

    @Cain: Yeah, I totally forgot about the slowdown in the PS1 port of CT. I’m glad that the DS isn’t replicating THAT aspect of it.

    As for everyone else who’s saying that simply porting it doesn’t justify the hefty $40 price tag, I might catch a lot of flack for saying this, but it’s not like Square Enix is making anyone buy it. I think that $40 is a fair price for someone who has never played the game. It could be new to them.

    Like @Aoshi00 says, it’s like all the video re-releases on DVD, and Blu-Ray. I think it’s good that publishers are re-releasing classics on newer technology when the older consoles can no longer be bought. I’m still bitter that I can’t play my original 5.25″ floppy disk of Jumpman because newer computers have no floppy drives anymore.

    @CRIMExTHINK: I believe if you pre-ordered it from GameStop, it came with a soundtrack? Someone can probably correct me on this. I got mine from a local mom & pop game store and it didn’t come with a soundtrack.

  • EvilAkito

    @Louise – In response to this, “…but it’s not like Square Enix is making anyone buy it,” I’d have to fully agree. We do have the right NOT to buy their overpriced game (a right I’ll be taking full advantage of). Plus, Square Enix could have just treated CT the same way Nintendo treats the Mother series and not even give us the opportunity to purchase a brand new copy of one of their most rare and celebrated games. But the point still stands; if a Square Enix representative was doing a survey and asked me if I thought the $40 price tag was justified, I’d give them a big, “HELL NO!”

    It’s not a big deal though. The hardcore CT fans will buy it and love it regardless, and I’ve personally gotten over my CT craze long ago and really don’t want to play it again THAT badly.

  • http://cerise.theirisnetwork.org/ oliemoon

    @EvilAkito
    But why does SE need to justify their price tag? It may be that you can’t justify the purchase to yourself (fair enough), but I suspect that CTDS is going to sell extremely well, $40 price tag or not, and that’s really all the justification that they need for charging such a steep fee. A lot of those SNES games that go for $8 on VC wouldn’t sell well as $40 DS ports. But if SE can sell copies of CTDS at $40, from their POV, why shouldn’t they? If the majority of consumers are willing to pay up to $40 for the game, then that is CT’s market value.

  • Andrew

    Square Enix is far too conservative a company these days. What has the merger brought us? A bunch of Final Fantasy VII games and oddly-localized Dragon Quest titles.

    Gee, thanks.

    What happened to the Squaresoft of the ’90s? Remember them? In 1995 Chrono Trigger was new, exciting, and just plain incredible. In 2008, it’s a port on the DS. I want it, but not for $40.00. Can we get a third Chrono game already? Can Akira Toriyama do the character designs this time? Could you demand that Yuji Hori write a new story?

    Some in the industry think gamers have a naive view of how the game industry works, but I simply don’t understand what is so difficult about taking risks. I’m tired of the remakes and the conservative Square Enix.

  • Andrew

    This game has a new translation?

    So, now people talk in unreadable dialects? I need a confirmation.

  • Aoshi00

    @Andrew – nothing like FF Tactics, just a more polished script overall, very easy to read and I’m sure anyone would appreciate the effort. And Frog does “not” talk in the Shakespearean speech anymore, which is more in line w/ the original Jpn.

    Ditto on the need to reassemble the dream team for a new Chrono if there ever is one.

  • cesca

    I’m also torn in respect to this issue – while I’m glad this CT release may open the door for a new entry in the series, I think it’s grossly overpriced for a 13 year old game that even didn’t get a facelift.

    Though I’m afraid of a new CT sequel, because as it is SE will spoil it with it’s “modern” touch – I’d hate to see a CT sequel written by the the KH team and with designs by Nomura.

    While I’m loving the fanservice of Dissidia and the likes, it’s quite disappointing that Japan’s biggest company has to feed off on 20 years of nostalgia to make a profit and hasn’t pushed the envelope for what it’s know for in at least 5 or 6 years. Now wonder their desperate.

    Where is the SE of the mid 90s? CT, CC, PE, FFVI-IX, XG, Musashi, all those games are priceless memories I have and it seems that after the merger the only relevant SE stuff that’s been released for me comes from the Enix side, with the exception of Crisis Core.

    They need to remind themselves of what made them big back then, and try to improve on it.

    Cloud & Co. derivative products are such a hit because Square didn’t abuse them or even use them for a long time after the release of the game, that made them unique, classic and memorable.

    They should stop abusing for a while because the magic juice will be sucked out and their cash cow will die.

  • Aoshi00

    To be fair, I think S-E still innovate, w/ FF12′s gambit and now Last Remnant’s Union. But then it’s not everybody’s cup of tea if they don’t stick to the formula, like DQ which stayed relatively unchanged.

    I don’t blame them though, last time Square ventured into the unknown CG movie business, it bankrupted them and resulted into the historic merger w/ former rival (regrettable due to bad script). They still know how to make an impressive and fun RPG though, Last Remnants’ unforgiving boss battles still have my heart pumping despite it being turn-based.

    Another argument is that JRPGs were big in the 90′s among teens, it was hip as the next big thing and you talk about it w/ friends in high school, while FPS and war games are the norm these days, sales-wise.

  • http://www.thetanooki.com/ Roto13

    “it’s not like Square Enix is making anyone buy it.”

    Sure, but by releasing the DS version, they’re denying everyone the opportunity to buy a sanely-priced Virtual Console version. They’re definitely not going to release them both.

  • Chris

    Honestly, if I really wanted to play Chrono Trigger again, it’d be nice to have the option to just whip out the DS instead of either having to dig out my SNES and stick a butterly connection between my VCR and TV, to play on a rom without a proper controller, or to play the annoyingly laggy PSX version.

    And honestly, if Square is taking advantage of stupid people to get them to give lots of money for the same games over and over again, I’m fine with that. It stimulates the economy.

  • EvilAkito

    @oliemoon
    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t disagree with your point at all. If gamers will pay $40 for Chrono Trigger then SE may as well price it accordingly. If it sits untouched on store shelves then they can always slash the price later. I guess I should have just said that I don’t think a port of CT is worth $40.

  • Aoshi00

    Putting it in perspectives, FF 4, 5, & 6 ports on GBA did have a $29.99 MRSP, $40 might not seem that outrageous for CT DS w/ even more extras packed in, on top of the new & more polished translation.

    All of us are price conscious especially considering the no. of new games out there. If you don’t mind waiting for 6 months to a year price is bound to drop. FF Tactics the Lion War was $40 when it first came out and now it’s $20. For those who have never touched this game, $40 is quite reasonable and a bargain even.

    It’s interesting how VC change people’s perception of price, like Ikaruga was very rare and cost a ton, now it’s up for grabs for 800 pts on Live arcade.

    It all comes down to if you must play it on day 1, and having to pay the premium accordingly. I suppose if this is a 3-D remake like FF4, people would have no complaints w/ the price tag, yet they would be upset w/ the new rendition as opposed to sprites.

  • Aoshi00

    One last thing, if given the option, I would always prefer a tangible boxed hard copy instead to digital d/l even if it means paying a little more. I paid $30 net for this, for the game proper, soundtrack, and poster as part of the pre-order, to me it’s totally worth it as a collector. The only draw back is I can’t play this on my 46″ TV.

    Funny thing is I keep thinking SF II HD Remix is too expensive at $15 even w/ redrawn graphics and new gameplay, perhaps it’s because I can’t fully enjoy it w/o the arcade stick..

    posted too many comments on this :(..

  • http://www.nakedsushi.net/ Louise

    @Aoshii00, I feel the same way with owning something tangible. I know it’s better for my cluttered house to not HAVE so much physical stuff and game boxes take up a decent amount of space. But at the same time, buying something ethereal like a VC game never seems real.

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