A few weeks ago, I reviewed squaresoft’s SNES masterpiece, Chrono Trigger, as the retro game of the week (If you haven’t read it, check the review out here) . The only other “Chrono” game to be official released was a non-direct sequel to Chrono Trigger known as Chrono Cross. Exclusively released on the Playstation, Chrono Cross was a damn good game in it’s own right. However, it didn’t completely satisfy gamers that were looking for more of a direct sequel featuring the cast from the previous Chrono game. Fortunately, a crew of fans were working on an unofficial direct sequel called “Crimson Echoes” based on the original Chrono Trigger game engine. Let me explain why is such a noble effort featured in this week’s video game fail.
Well, the fail isn’t the fault of the fans working on the unofficial game but rather it was Square Enix’s a.k.a. Squaresoft’s fault. The Crimson Echoes team weren’t trying to release a standalone game or even charge fans to play it, they were simply modifying the original Chrono Trigger ROM with a new story featuring the existing characters. Essentially, it looked and played as if it were developed and released on the SNES right after the release of Chrono Trigger. The team spent 5 years developing this game and planned to release it around May 2009. By that time, Crimson Echoes was 98% complete and featured over 30 hours of gameplay, 10 different endings and a brand new story with 23 chapters. In short, it had the same epic scope as the original Chrono Trigger.
Unfortunately for the Crimson Echoes team and Chrono fans around the world, Square Enix sent the team a cease and desist letter ordering that all development of the game stop immediately. This was completely unexpected given the fact that Square wasn’t really doing much with the Chrono franshise anyway. Also, the release of Crimson Echoes didn’t seem likely to hurt their sales. In fact, it probably would have spurred younger gamers to buy the original chrono trigger out of curiosity. In any case, Square Enix’s move blocked the game from being released and deprived a lot of fans from the chance to finally play a real sequel to Chrono Trigger. Fortunately for me, I was able to get hold of the leaked 98% complete version of Crimson Echoes. So far I’m very impressed by the story and the way the team managed to create a new, yet familiar Chrono Trigger gameplay experience. Shame on you Square Enix…
(For more information about Crimson Echoes, check the team’s website out here)