Video: Digital Foundry technical analysis of the Chrono Cross remaster
Square Enix released Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition across multiple platforms this week, including the Switch. So how does the Nintendo version hold up?
Well, if you read our Nintendo Life review, you probably know how it’s going to go… According to Digital Foundry, it’s a bit of a drastic nightmare. In fact, this latest version apparently got worse performance than the original 1999 PlayStation release and is more of a “rework” than a full-fledged remaster.
Here’s the recap of the frame rate differences between the remaster’s “classic” and “new visuals” modes (via Eurogamer):
“To put it bluntly, frame rates on PS5 and Switch are just as low as the original PS1 – and sometimes worse when the ‘new’ graphics mode is selected. The issues are apparent from the start, with the very first opening hallway drops to 20fps compared to 30fps on the original PS1. It’s not as low as possible either, as more taxing scenes can see the frame rate cap drop to 20, 15 or even 10 fps the original release was perfect – the original PlayStation ran the game with a wildly fluctuating frame rate between 10 and 30 fps as well – but it’s concerning that a remaster running on modern consoles would end up hitting lower frame rates in some of the same scenes.
Selecting classic mode in the remaster menu improves things, but doesn’t guarantee a 30fps lock. In general terms, it seems to put frame rates back on par with the PS1 original, with battles continuing to drop to 15fps and below. That said, regardless of the mode used, additional issues are introduced during battles in the remaster – such as the post-battle victory pose – that weren’t present on the PS1 original.”
As for resolution, the Nintendo Switch version goes to 720p in docked mode, which DF says “works to its advantage” when it comes to performance issues:
“…If you don’t have the original Chrono Cross handy, the remaster still has some value. If you pick up the Switch version, playing in handheld mode drops the resolution to 720p, bringing the 2D elements and 3D together in presentation.And regardless of platform, the story, gameplay, and atmosphere of Squaresoft’s classic JRPG still resonates in 2022 – despite some technical and artistic limitations.
And here’s what to expect outside of handheld gaming:
“For new and classic graphics modes, all 3D elements (character models and 3D battle sequences), we measure a native resolution in the region 900p to 936p. New character models are reserved for the new graphics mode only, and that too sports a crisp 1080p HUD overlay. These revised 3D models can be found on both PS4 and Switch with matching quality. Meanwhile, Classic Mode uses the original PS1 models, and also restores its backgrounds and portraits 240p, with larger on-screen text, doesn’t look great on a 1080p or 4K screen, especially in the outdoor world where we’ve accurately presented 3D elements running on a rasterized map. times, the preference is to use the new mode on larger screens.
There are various other issues such as AI scaling and texture issues – with Digital Foundry summarizing this remaster as “something underwhelming”. You can get the full recap in the video above, or on Eurogamer.
How have you found the Chrono Cross remaster on Switch so far? Tell us in the comments.