Like virtually any other JRPG lover under the sun, I have some fond memories of Chrono Trigger. It’s a game that’s aged like fine wine, and in spite of the countless imitators, no one has truly been able to live up to its grandeur. After all, at the time, the game was a brainchild of some of the greatest minds of role-playing video games. It’s not as though lightning could be captured in a bottle a second time. Even Squaresoft couldn’t capture it twice with the sequel Chrono Cross. While that PlayStation game was gorgeous in its own right, it made no attempt to capture the aesthetic, style, or novelty of the original game.
Decades later, Square Enix even created a whole dev team devoted to recapturing the essence of that original game. This new team, Tokyo RPG Factory, has made two attempts at recapturing the RPGs of a bygone era. Unfortunately, neither I Am Setsuna nor Lost Sphear scratched that itch perfectly enough. But perhaps if we really want to rekindle the spirit of Chrono Trigger, it’s best to leave it in the hands of indie developers.
Sabotage Studio, the folks behind the sidescrolling ninja platformer The Messenger are dipping their toes into the world of turn-based combat. And man, are they dipping hard! When I first saw that they were taking inspiration from Chrono Trigger, I had assumed we’d still be talking about a 3D RPG created in Unity engine. Nope, not for this one. Just have a look at the reveal trailer for their new game Sea of Stars and see for yourselves.
While the pixel art isn’t inspired by the great Akira Toriyama, it still harkens back to Chrono Trigger in its style. The environments are colorful and gorgeous, and the character animations are fluid. But when I think of Chrono Trigger, I think of one thing…turn-based combat set in the existing environment. This is something few games have replicated, and even Chrono Cross turned away from it.
Sea of Stars leans into that style, really making for an experience I haven’t had in decades. Also cool is that this game won’t just be turn-based, but it will rely on your reflexes to execute critical attacks. Harkening back to games like Paper Mario, it is one of those mechanics I truly love.
The game is currently on Kickstarter, so you can back it now! It’s already hit its goal, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to hit come 2022. Yes, it’s still way too far away, but if you’re hungry for a great Chrono Trigger RPG like I’ve been, it may be worth the wait.
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SOURCE: Sabotage Studio