Square Enix promise fixes for Chrono Trigger on PC

Chrono Trigger, back in the good old days

Chunky pixels are on their way back home, according to Square-Enix, as the first of a wave of improvements coming to Chrono Trigger‘s wonky PC port. Promising several patches over the coming months, the publisher/developer are starting with addressing probably the most immediately obvious flaw with the genuine JRPG classic’s PC version: The graphics.

When Chrono Trigger was released on PC back in late February, people were excited for all of about ten seconds before realising that it was a port of the already-janky Android edition of the game. On top of a massive list of inexplicable UI sins (including permanently present touchscreen buttons and forcing name entry through a generic Windows text bar), the entire game was run through a ‘high-res’ sprite filter, not only smudging the carefully-drawn pixel art, but causing sprite-tiling issues through the entire game due to the edges of adjacent sprite segments not quite lining up with each other after filtering.  The upcoming patch promises the option to switch between the filtered and classic graphics.

While it wasn’t quite the unmitigated graphical disaster that was Final Fantasy 6’s PC version, Square Enix’s attempts to graphically enhance the game were not well received. I’m just hoping that they don’t inadvertently break anything else in the process of restoring the original art. The addition of widescreen to the PC version (some aspect ratio issues aside) was one of the few genuine improvements, and I have a sneaking suspicion that’s going to be lost in the restoration process.

While no concrete date has been pinned down, Square Enix state that the graphical overhaul should be in place within the first half of April. They’ve also extended the date to get a handful of early-adopters perks for the game (including a soundtrack medley mix and some desktop wallpapers) until April 30th.

You can pick up Chrono Trigger via Steam for £12/$15, but you’re still best off playing via an old SNES until they hammer out the kinks on this one.

11 Comments

  1. mitrovarr says:

    Once again, Square-Enix manages to break something you could play perfectly with an emulator 10-15 years ago.

  2. wcq says:

    I’m not usually one to scream “liar!” in comments sections, but Square-Enix doesn’t have a good track record regarding these things.

    As far as I know, you still need a third-party program to properly run Nier: Automata, and I haven’t heard good things about the FFXV port either.

    • Scripten says:

      I own Nier: Automata on PC and haven’t yet found any problems with it. What third-party programs are needed?

      • wcq says:

        I’m referring to the FAR mod, which fixes fullscreen resolutions and improves performance, among other things. I might have been slightly exaggerating, since the game is not unplayable without it, but you generally shouldn’t need to install a mod to run a game at your monitor’s native resolution.

      • malkav11 says:

        It’s generally playable but FAR does help quite a bit, and resolves problems that you may not have noticed until they went away. In particular, I discovered that while Nier appeared to be running at a perfectly acceptable framerate, the hacking minigame is somehow frame-linked and got much, much easier post-FAR.

    • Sascha23 says:

      FFXV is a legit port (Squeenix’s best effort on PC IMO). Where are you reading that it’s not?

      I do agree with Nier though — had to use the FAR mod to play in 1440p and avoid stutters and borderless window issue.

  3. darkhog says:

    They should just get CT rom, a SNES emulator, wrap one in the other and call it a day. Anything less is not a fix, but just a bandaid.

    • benkc says:

      That should certainly be the minimum bar for this sort of thing.

    • grimdanfango says:

      I suppose they’re in the position where they’d either need to officially license an existing emulator (applications that publishers typically don’t want to give any more validation to anyway), or write one themselves from scratch… which I’m guessing is actually more work than bashing out a half-baked native port of the game itself, and could even incur the legal wrath of Nintendo if such a project was being released commercially.
      They’re only releasing these games because a suit somewhere has realised that retro gaming is a big deal, and wants to cash in with all those old IPs they happen to have held on to… they don’t really care if they do the game justice.

      If you do care about playing as close to an authentic experience as possible, emulation is clearly the better way to go, but it’ll likely never be officially supported.

      • April March says:

        They’re only releasing these games because a suit somewhere has realised that retro gaming is a big deal, and wants to cash in with all those old IPs they happen to have held on to… they don’t really care if they do the game justice.

        The sad truth.

      • darkhog says:

        If friggin Bubsy (I’m talking about Two-fur Steam thing) could do it, so can big company such as Square.