The fury of hardcore RPG fans seems to have been heard at Square Enix.
The embarrassingly poor PC port of Chrono Trigger is to be at least partially fixed, Square Enix has confirmed in an update posted to Steam.
“We have been working on addressing the issues that you’ve raised, and will be releasing a number of patches over the coming months as we continue to support Chrono Trigger on Steam,” a Square Enix community representative wrote on the game’s official Steam news page.
Fans were angry with good reason, and the ‘issues’ were so raised in a particularly loud fashion. Some fans purchased the game within minutes of its surprise announcement only to immediately refund it once they saw the quality of the port, while some took to social media, furious.
At the time, we called the game “a perfect example of how not to re-release a classic game”, warning people to stay away from the port. “This looks like someone’s first attempt at an RPG Maker game,” one game developer and Chrono fan quipped on Twitter.
The port features awful, permanent filters smeared across its original sprite artwork, but unlike most times when these filters are applied in my places they also break the tiling and stitching of sprites, greatly hampering the general look of the game world. Also featured are awful, touch screen friendly menus – over-sized, cumbersome and ugly. These are a few of many problems, but also the most immediately noticeable.
The artwork will be the first thing to be changed, as per Square Enix’s statement. The first patch, due in April, will include “an option to switch between the current high-resolution graphics, and the original graphical style of Chrono Trigger.” That’s good.
What isn’t yet clear is if that option will also switch the cumbersome mobile menus back to something more like those featured in the Super Nintendo, PlayStation or Nintendo DS versions of the classic game.
Square Enix’s luck with PC ports of its classic titles has been pretty dicey in general. Even the better ports like Final Fantasy 9 have strange little decisions or issues that prevent them from being the definitive versions of those games, but to see the company pledge to fix Chrono Trigger is a step in the right direction, a sign that maybe classic games can be treated with the respect they deserve and something matching the care and attention given to Final Fantasy 15’s PC port.
Given the track record it’s up to Square to prove that, however. Here’s hoping the fixes are wide-reaching and significant.