The Beauty of Chrono Cross in HD Reminds Us We're Overdue for a Remaster

The Beauty of Chrono Cross in HD Reminds Us We're Overdue for a Remaster

A remaster needs to give us the option to drop-kick Poshul into the sea, though.

I tend to be critical of Chrono Cross, Square Enix's PSOne follow-up to the classic RPG Chrono Trigger. People immediately assume I'm critical because I hate the game, but the opposite is true. You know how adults lean in hard on kids who are smoldering with untapped potential? I'm the adult, and Chrono Cross is the kid.

In fact, I'm such a fan of Chrono Cross that it occupies the top tier on my wishlist for future game remasters. Square Enix has done a decent job giving us remastered versions of its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 RPGs, so every sunset that goes by without a Chrono Cross remaster is another sunset that finds me baffled.

I'm not alone. Twitter user "HellishRomance" recently ran some of Chrono Cross' pre-rendered backgrounds through an AI upscaler, and people are "Ahh-ing" over the results. Seems to me an "HD" version of Chrono Cross in the style of Final Fantasy 7 remastered and the upcoming Final Fantasy 8 remastered is feasible. This is a service you should be providing to humankind, Square Enix. Please get on that at your earliest convenience. (Just squash the "revamp music bug" ahead of time, OK?)

People might wag their finger at me for encouraging yet another port/remaster in an age where original IP's from triple-A developers are an endangered species. That's fair, but as far as Chrono Cross is concerned, a remaster also doubles as an act of game preservation. It's not an easy game to find and play. Currently, its status as a PSOne Classic means your options for a digital download are limited to the PSP/PS Vita and PlayStation 3. Even the original disc comes with caveats. I remember being unable to play my copy of the game on the PlayStation 2 despite its backwards compatibility.

Chrono Cross is worth preserving, too. Square Enix never made another game like it. Even its predecessor, the esteemed Chrono Trigger, is different. Chrono Cross' battle system still utilizes Tech attacks, but the combined strikes are no longer front-and-center. The Active Time Battle system gets the boot, and you no longer fight enemies where you meet them on the map. Instead, fights are carried out through a system that utilizes stamina points and color-coded affinities.

It's confusing, yes. Probably needlessly so. But "needlessly confusing" describes Chrono Cross accurately. I've always said Chrono Cross a great game, but a terrible follow-up to Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger is a wonderful shonen adventure that's easy to pick up, play, and understand. Chrono Cross stitches a lot of additional story onto the first game, none of which necessary beyond "What happened to Schala after the Undersea Palace fell apart?" 20 years later, I still don't understand the answer Chrono Cross feeds us.

See how easy it is to fall into an anti-Chrono Cross tear? Again, that's not my intent. Despite its flaws, it's a unique jewel from the best years of Square Enix's RPG output. Its large cast of recruitable characters make party-building tons of fun, its soundtrack has to be heard to be believed (Yasunori Mitsuda's "Scars of Time" is still one of the very best game pieces composed), and it's a very pretty-looking game that's clearly made even prettier with a little AI upscaling.

This November marks Chrono Cross' 20th Japanese anniversary. (And today is the 19th North American anniversary!) Maybe Square Enix will have a nice surprise for us. And maybe a potential Chrono Cross revamp will drop Kid's awful pseudo-Aussie accent, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Sigh. There I go with the negativity again.

Banner image source: HellishRomance

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Chrono Cross' Intro Movie is Perfect. Let's Watch it Again

18 years later, Scars of Time still gives me the shivers.

What Game Do You Like From a Series, but Not as Part of Its Franchise?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Only into one Uncharted game? A lone Final Fantasy? Something else entirely?

Five Divisive Video Game Sequels

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, one thing is clear: These strange sequels really made a name for themselves.

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Rockstar is Promising Imminent Patch for Red Dead Redemption 2's Stuttering Woes

PC players with Nvidia gear have been hootin' and hollerin' for a fix.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.

More Opinions

Pokemon Sword and Shield Review Impressions: Lovely and Warm, but Not a Next-Gen Pokemon Game

Game Freak prefers to make us cozy on the Switch instead of breaking barriers.

Will Hideo Kojima Ever Stop Making Metal Gear Solid?

A closer look at Death Stranding reveals a game that isn't as different as it first seems.

Death Stranding, Explained: Breaking Down the Complex Relationships, Mysteries, and Ending of Hideo Kojima's Sprawling Epic

There's a lot to unpack in Kojima Productions' Death Stranding. That hasn't stopped us from having a crack at it.

More on PlayStation

Guerilla Games Co-Founder Takes Over PlayStation Worldwide Studios

Shuhei Yoshida will meanwhile be heading up a new indie-focused initiative.

What's Your Favorite Sports Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Deadspin forever.

Bluepoint Games Is Teasing Something, Your Guess As to What

The studio tweeted out a cavalcade of spooky references.

Nioh 2 Charges Headfirst Into a Packed Spring 2020

Nioh 2 joins a long list of spring blockbusters.

Death Stranding is Confirmed for PC in 2020

Kojima's next game isn't Sony exclusive.

Report: The Last of Us Part 2 is Delayed to Spring 2020 [Update]

Reports are indicating the anticipated sequel has been pushed back.

More Role Playing Games Games

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Bethesda Starts a New Studio Around the Original Prey Development Team

Human Head also worked on Prey 2 for Bethesda prior to its cancellation in 2014.

You Should Look Closely at the Switch in Pokemon Sword and Shield’s First Room

Game Freak gives the Switch a unique salute in Sword and Shield.

Pokemon's Level Limits Won't Stop You From Collecting Shiny Pokemon

You'll encounter Pokemon you can't catch in the Wild Area, but don't fret about missing out on a shiny.