When Resident Evil arrived on the scene in 1996, it changed horror gaming forever. The almost unheard of genre known as survival-horror exploded into the stratosphere as one of the industry’s greatest success stories, and one of gaming’s most well-known franchises was born. Even as the original title was a fantastically unique and incredibly frightening experience though, it also had a shortlist of readily apparent problems. From the meme-worthy cheese of the voice-acting and dialogue to the ill-advised live-action opening at the game’s outset, Resident Evil in its first iteration lacked the confidence and clarity of vision to reach the true heights it was capable of. All of that would change in 1998.
Over the many years since the SNES and PSX had their day in the sun, their legacy and influence have still been felt with regular validity. Legend of Zelda games are still compared to SNES classic, A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy games are still measured by the stick of Final Fantasy VII, and exploratory action-platformers are leveled into a prestigious subgenre known as “metroidvania”.
Generally when a sequel is in the planning stages, things are fairly vague. The themes are uncertain, the setting is unclear, and many of the narrative hooks have yet to be worked out. One thing that’s always a given, though, is the characters. As the driving force of the original story, the characters are always the first thing that people will think of when they hear about a sequel. So what happens when a so-called ‘sequel’ jettisons the original cast almost completely? Well, to this day, Chrono Cross remains an intriguing answer to that question.