The creators of Chrono Trigger love one of my favorite Xbox games of 2023

Sea of Stars in-game screenshot
(Image credit: Sabotage Studio)

What you need to know

  • Yuji Horii, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Kazuhiko Torishima, the original creators of the classic JRPG Chrono Trigger, lately showed praise for Sea of Stars on a Japanese Radio Show.
  • Sea of Stars is a turn-based indie JRPG inspired by legendary JRPGs from the 1990s like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Super Mario RPG, and more.
  • The developers of Sea of Stars recently just declared that over four million people have now played their title in under four months.

On December 25, 2023, the original creators behind the legendary 16-bit JRPG, Chrono Trigger, Yuji Horii, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Kazuhiko Torishima, reunited for an interview on the Japanese radio show "TOKYO M.A.A.D SPIN" to celebrate of Chrono Trigger's 30th anniversary. 

According to a translation of the interview provided by @Genki_JPN on X, the developers were discussing the possibilities of starting development for Chrono Trigger 2. At one point during the conversation, Hironobu Sakaguchi started talking about a little indie game he discovered recently called Sea of Stars and showed his colleagues a trailer for the game.

The veteran developers were very impressed by what they'd seen. Yuji Horii commented and I quote from the translation, "Wow, they did a great job, it looks just like Chrono Trigger... it's beautiful... that's great!" Kazuhiko Torishima said the game looked nostalgic while Hironobu Sakaguchi stated "Look, it's the same!... When I saw it, I thought they really did their best and did a great job."

For a relatively new indie Xbox JRPG to receive praise from both Yuji Horii and Hironobu Sakaguchi in such a short time is an incredible achievement. Aside from developing Chrono Trigger, Yuji Horii was the original creator behind the legendary Dragon Quest franchise and Hironobu Sakaguchi was the original creator behind the equally popular Final Fantasy series. 

As for Kazuhiko Torishima, he was an editor for Shonen Jump, a weekly manga anthology magazine published by Shueisha. During his tenure at the company,  Kazuhiko Torishima oversaw many classic manga series like Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball and aided the creation of the first Dragon Quest game by hiring the then-young game developer studio, Enix, to develop the game for Shueisha (as confirmed through an interview with Forbes in 2016). 

Kazuhiko Torishima was also the man who originally came up with the concept of Chrono Trigger being a "fusion of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy". He arranged for Yuji Horii and Hironobu Sakaguchi to work together on the project back when Square Enix were two separate companies — SquareSoft and Enix.

Sabotage Studio must be beside themselves with pride and joy to be hearing this news. Not only has Sea of Stars now been played by over four million people in less than four months, but it has now received praise from the very developers who helped pioneer the genre it pays homage to. 

It rightfully deserves the recognition as Sea of Stars is one of the best Xbox games of 2023 and one that almost ended up in Windows Central's Game Awards of 2023. It's got a charming story, a vast world filled with secrets, gorgeous pixel-art graphics, addicting combat and mini-games, and more.

If you're a fan of JRPGs and want to know how this managed to win the hearts of the creators of both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, check our review of Sea of Stars and find out.

Sea of Stars can purchased digitally on Xbox One, Xbox Series XXbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam. Sea of Stars is also available to download from Xbox Game Pass' vast list of games.

Sea of Stars (Xbox)

Sea of Stars (Xbox)

Embark on an epic adventure inspired by classic 16-bit JRPGs in Sea of Stars. Wield the mystical power of Eclipse Magic, meet a host of memorable characters, and overcome towering foes in intense turn-based battles.

Buy at: Xbox | CDKeys (Steam)

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!