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.