When rumors surfaced that a new version of Chrono Cross was in the works, Square Enix finally announced Chrono Cross The Radical Dreamers Edition during a Nintendo Direct. But more than a new version, it is actually a remastering that brings a touch of modernity to the cult PS1 title. What allows a new audience to discover this masterpiece in good condition?
- The adventures of Serge (not the myth, no)
- A more comfortable gaming experience
- A lazy remaster in some respects.
In the history of Square Enix, the PlayStation 1 has been a very important console, especially on the Squaresoft side. By making the decision to stop developing games at Nintendo with the advent of 32-bit machines, the Japanese publisher harnessed the power of the PS1 to produce many titles now considered cult: final fantasy VII, final fantasy tactics, xenogears, parasite eve, vagabond story… Given the aura of all these titles, it is clear that we can speak of a Golden Age for Squaresoft.
Among this avalanche of classics, we found a certain chrono crossreleased in 1999, which takes place in the same universe as chrono trigger, another cult title from the publisher. By name and parentage, time obviously plays a central role in the adventure. While the game received a warm critical and commercial reception in North America and Japan with 1.5 million copies, Chrono Cross was never released in Europe, much to the chagrin of French J.RPG lovers. With The Radical Dreamers Edition, it’s finally time to right that wrong.
The adventures of Serge (not the myth, no)
Chrono Cross tells us the story of Serge, a teenager who lives in a quiet fishing village. As he gazes at the horizon on the beach with his childhood friend Leena, he is suddenly sucked into a strange phenomenon before he blossoms. Corn when he wakes up in the same place, no one in his town seems to recognize him, but worse still: in the new world where he landed, Serge has been dead for ten years.. To try to understand what happened to him, our hero will go on an adventure and explore this dimension that is identical to his in every way. Throughout the plot, the player meets a large number of characters who share reflections on the passage of time and the mark he has left on the world after his death.
Once the first few hours are up, you gain the ability to navigate between these parallel worlds, a feature that quickly becomes essential to progress. In fact, sometimes you’ll need an item available only in one of the two dimensions to unlock a situation in the other. From then on, the player is much freer to explore the game universe as they wish.. A great freedom of choice that is also felt at the stage level since the title offers more than ten different endings, as well as about forty characters that can be recruited throughout the adventure. Which leaves a nice wiggle room for the player to enjoy the experience as they see fit.
As for the clashes, Chrono Cross is still a traditional turn-based RPG like Square did at the time, but with a special mechanic.. Each character has seven hit points at the start of their turn to make melee attacks or cast spells. The “Attack” command allows you to perform three types of blows that consume between one and three stamina points depending on their power. If the first attack does little damage, it has a high hit rate, unlike the third which is very effective but can easily miss. However, the more you manage to hit your opponent, the more the accuracy of your shots increases. Most of the time, we’re content to start off with a weak attack and then continue with increasingly powerful attacks to make sure we hit. Finally, the magic system is quite special as there is no MP (Magic Points) and spells can only be cast once per fight. Instead, Elements, the name given to abilities, must be equipped to each character based on the size of their grid which grows as they level up.
A more comfortable gaming experience
To (re)discover this adventure in good conditions, Radical Dreamers Edition has plenty of comfort options for new and veteran players alike.. Of course, the graphics are the aspect that has received the most attention from the developers. Thus we can better appreciate the sublime colored backgrounds of the title in pastel format thanks to the smoothing carried out that makes them clearer than ever. What to admire this unique artistic direction and so particular for its colorful side that plays a central role in the appreciation of the game. If this edition allows you to take advantage of new illustrations for the characters, the most nostalgic will be delighted to know that it is possible to find the original graphics from the main menu. In addition, the music, another great highlight of the original experience, has been remastered here, with an excellent result that does justice to Yasunori Mitsuda’s compositions.
On the game side, we find most of the features present in the other Square Enix remastersin the image of Final Fantasy VIII Remastered for example. If it was already possible to speed up or slow down the game in the original version thanks to an item in New Game+, the latter is now available from the start of the adventure. Players can then decide at any time to turn off random fights, power up their characters, or even auto-attack. All these options allow you to adapt the way you play according to your wishes, facilitating the confrontations if you need to increase the level of your team or avoiding all encounters if you want to go faster.
Among all these additions, we can regret that this remastering does not allow quick saves, especially when the save points are very far from each other. Finally, the great novelty of this The Radical Dreamers Edition is above all the integration of content Radical Dreamers – The Forbidden Treasure –, a Japan-exclusive visual novel released in 1996, available only on Satellaview. Initially, this textual story was to add new elements to the plot of chrono triggerbut was eventually picked up to serve as the basis for Chrono Cross.
A lazy remaster in some respects.
The Radical Dreamers Edition allows you to discover Chrono Cross in more comfortable conditions thanks to better graphics and accessibility options that modernize the experience. However, in some respects, this remaster could have gone further and corrected some of the original game’s issues. Among the biggest criticisms that can be made of this reissue, it is obvious that the framerate should have been the subject of special care.. If the bubbles are always displayed with a frequency of 60 I / s, the same cannot be said for the action of the fights or even just the exploration phases, both on Nintendo Switch, portable or docked, as on PS4 Pro and even PS5. Quite often, the title is subject to brutal slowdowns during matchups depending on camera angles, especially when facing a large number of enemies or a boss. Of course, the rendering is very smooth for the closest shots, but as soon as you zoom out to get a better view of the battlefield, the frame rate suddenly drops. While the graphics have been revamped, we had every right to expect that the frame rate would be fixed as well. Updates to improve this aspect are expected in the future.
If the goal of this reissue was to introduce Chrono Cross to a new audience, other elements could have been added to better support players. We must remember that we are facing a role-playing game of the end of the PlayStation 1, which implies a certain rhythm and a particular ergonomics that do not necessarily correspond to our current standards. In this situation, we would have liked this remaster not to include a tutorial on the combat system, especially since, as detailed above, the latter is quite unique in its genre. It is true that this is a game from 1999 and it is very easy to find guides on the Internet, except that they are not necessarily in French and that in any case it is to explain its own rules, and not up to par. player to find such basic information.
- A cult PlayStation 1 game finally available in Europe
- Smooth graphics honoring a unique DA
- The ability to switch between the new visuals and the original ones.
- New gaming comfort options
- A remastered soundtrack that remains iconic
- Radical Dreamers Bonus Content
- An irregular frame rate, like on PlayStation 1
- There is no tutorial to explain the combat system.
- Menus with perfectible ergonomics
If Chrono Cross The Radical Dreamers Edition allows a new audience to discover a cult PS1 game in good condition, this last one could have been better. This remastering benefits on the one hand from updated graphics, an improved soundtrack but also from new accessibility options and exclusive content that make it interesting for both newcomers and those who already know the title. But on the other hand, between the lack of a tutorial, the perfectible menu ergonomics, but above all a still unstable frame rate, this updated update could have offered a better rendering. It remains to be seen if the patches will correct some of your concerns in the future to make the experience even more enjoyable.
Give your opinion about the game!