Square Enix has 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 this is going to go… According to Digital Foundry though – it’s a bit of a radical nightmare. In fact, this latest release has apparently got worse performance than the original 1999 PlayStation version and is more of a “touch up” than a full-fledged remaster.
Here’s the rundown on the frame rate differences between the remaster’s ‘classic’ and ‘new visuals’ mode (via Eurogamer):
“To put it bluntly, frame-rates on PS5 and on Switch are as low as the PS1 original – and at times worse worse while the ‘new’ graphics mode is selected. Issues are apparent from the off, with the very first opening hallway dropping to 20fps compared to 30fps on the PS1 original. This isn’t as low as it can go either, as more taxing scenes can see the frame-rate cap shift to 20, 15 or even 10fps. This isn’t to say that the original release was perfect – the original PlayStation ran the game with a wildly fluctuating frame-rate between 10 and 30fps too – but it is concerning that a remaster running on modern consoles actually ends up hitting lower frame-rates in some of the same scenes.
Selecting the classic mode in the remaster menu does improve things, but doesn’t guarantee a lock at 30fps. In broad terms it appears to put frame-rates on par with the PS1’s original again, with battles still seeing drops to 15fps and under. That said, regardless of mode used, additional hitches are introduced during battles in the remaster – such as during the post-battle victory pose – that were not present on the PS1 original.”
As for the resolution, the Nintendo Switch version drops to 720p in docked mode, which DF says “works to its benefit” when dealing with performance issues:
“…If you don’t have the original Chrono Cross to hand, then the remaster still has some value. If you pick up the Switch release, playing in handheld mode drops the resolution to 720p, bringing the 2D and 3D elements closer together in presentation. And regardless of platform, the story, gameplay and atmosphere of Squaresoft’s classic JRPG still resonate in 2022 – despite some of the technical and artistic limitations.”
And here’s what to expect outside of portable play:
” For both new and classic graphics modes, all 3D elements (character models, and 3D battle sequences) we measure a native resolution in the 900p to 936p region. The new character models are reserved just for the new graphics mode though, and this also sports a crisp 1080p HUD overlay. These revised 3D models are found on both PS4 and Switch at matching quality. Meanwhile, the classic mode uses the original PS1 models, and also reinstates its 240p backdrops and portraits, with chunkier on-screen text. This doesn’t look great blown up to a 1080p or 4K display, especially in the overworld where we have crisply presented 3D elements running on top of pixellated map. Again the preference is to use the new mode on bigger displays.”
There are various other issues such as AI upscaling and texture problems – with Digital Foundry summing this remaster up as “something of a disappointment”. You can get the full rundown in the video above, or over on Eurogamer.
How have you found the Chrono Cross remaster on Switch so far? Tell us down in the comments.