Video: Digital Foundry Technical Analysis on the Chrono Cross Remaster

Square Enix released Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition Coming to multiple platforms this week, including the Switch. How is the Nintendo version holding up?

Well, if you’re reading our Nintendo Life review, you probably know how that’s going to play out… However, according to the Digital Foundry, it’s a radical nightmare. In fact, this latest version has apparently gotten worse performance than the original 1999 PlayStation release and is more of a “touch up” than a full fledged remaster.

Here’s the rundown of the framerate differences between the “classic” and “new visual” modes of the remaster (via Eurogamer):

“To be absolutely clear, frame rates on PS5 and on Switch are as low as the PS1 original – and sometimes even worse when the ‘new’ graphics mode is selected The drop to 20fps compared to 30fps on the PS1 Original. That’s not as low as it could be, either, as more demanding scenes can see the framerate cap pushed to 20, 15, or even 10 fps. That’s not to say the original release was perfect – the original PlayStation also ran the game at a wildly fluctuating frame rate between 10 and 30 fps – but it’s concerning that a remaster running on modern consoles actually ran lower in some of the same scenes frame rates achieved.

Selecting classic mode in the remaster menu improves things, but doesn’t guarantee a lock at 30fps. On the whole it seems to bring frame rates back to the level of the PS1 original, with fights still dropping to 15fps and below. Regardless of the mode used, however, additional issues are introduced during battles in the remaster – such as during the post-battle victory pose – that weren’t present on the PS1 original.

As for resolution, the Nintendo Switch version drops to 720p in docked mode, which DF says “works to its advantage” when faced with 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 and brings the 2D – and 3D elements are brought closer together in the presentation. And regardless of the 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 you can expect outside of the portable game:

” For both the new and classic graphics modes, we measure a native resolution in the range of 900p to 936p for all 3D elements (character models and 3D combat sequences). However, the new character models are reserved only for the new graphics mode, and that too features a crisp 1080p HUD overlay.These remastered 3D models are of matching quality on both PS4 and Switch.While classic mode uses the original PS1 models and also sets its 240p backgrounds and portraits with chunkier on-screen text comes back in. This doesn’t look good on a 1080p or 4K display, particularly in the overworld, where we’ve rendered sharp 3D elements on a pixelated map Again, it’s preferable to use the new mode on larger displays to use.”

There are various other issues like AI upscaling and texture issues – with Digital Foundry summing up this remaster as “kind of a disappointment”. Check out the video above or Eurogamer for the full rundown.

How have you found the Chrono Cross remaster on the Switch so far? Tell us in the comments. Video: Digital Foundry Technical Analysis on the Chrono Cross Remaster

Fry Electronics Team

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