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.