Our Planet’s dream is not yet over… (RADICAL DREAMERS edition)

It’s Chrono Cross!! Figured I’d just make this a thread lol

First off, some nitpicks:

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    This is a very literal remastering: it does not look the way you remember Chrono Cross looking on a CRT, it looks like Chrono Cross faithfully upscaled to 1080p. I know not every developer can be M2, but this is clearly less fine-tuned than their Legend of Mana remaster.

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    As reported in early impressions, the game’s speed and framerate are… odd. Obviously the game shoots for 30fps compared to the original game’s… 15? Yet somehow it struggles to run stably, meaning it looks definitively worse in motion than a stable low-fps PlayStation game. I assume (hope) this will be patched.

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    A more pertinent sub-issue to this: the original game’s UI and sound design are so meticulous that “improving” them, at least in my mind, somewhat throws them off. Since load times are now virtually nonexistent, some audiovisual spaces whose emptiness felt deliberate are now gone. There is no longer a short beat after you land the final blow in battle and before the victory fanfare (Lucca’s theme!!) kicks in. There is no longer a beat after the “Scars of Time” FMV ends and before the home screen with “Garden of the Gods” kicks in. It’s a small thing, but it feels less elegant.

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    The “remastered” font? Depressingly sterile.

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    Unsurprisingly, _Radical Dreamers_ uses a new translation and not the Demiforce fan translation from 2003. It’s not a huge departure, but it feels distinctly drier and more literal than the Demiforce script, more focused on preserving the word-for-word meaning of the Japanese text than any sense of naturally flowing dialogue. Is this sort of sterilized, clinical approach just the standard for Japanese-to-English translation nowadays? Sad.

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    I haven’t picked up on any obvious differences between the “refined” music tracks and the originals. Except… I could swear that some of music is sped up ever so slightly. “Scars of Time” seems to have an infinitesimally faster tempo than I remember. Seeing as I started the game sleep-deprived at 2 AM last night, this could very possibly be a complete delusion on my part.

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    Those rearranged tracks! They are indeed just on the game selection meta-menu, and you can keep toggling back and forth between the credits tab and the menu to hear all of them. I sorta wonder if a music player unlocks when you beat the game? Anyway, the arrangements are fine, not on par with the original OST but a perfectly acceptable little tribute album.

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    I like that the games preserve the “soft reset” input from the original release to return to the meta-menu. Four shoulder buttons + start, baby!

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    Apparently the remaster adds autosaves which is dumb because save points are actually incorporated into the game’s narrative

  • OG dev team statements:

    https://twitter.com/chronogame/status/1512045273413038083?s=20&t=EY5TJgNeT8JA5L5GlmF22Q

    https://twitter.com/chronogame/status/1511773482488676355?s=20&t=EY5TJgNeT8JA5L5GlmF22Q

    https://twitter.com/chronogame/status/1512083022631292928?s=20&t=EY5TJgNeT8JA5L5GlmF22Q

    https://twitter.com/chronogame/status/1512029922302185474?s=20&t=EY5TJgNeT8JA5L5GlmF22Q

    Hiromichi Tanaka’s is amusingly sassy. Think he still has any hard feelings about his departure from SquEnix?

    I am very excited for this! I'm playing Chrono Trigger for the first time mostly motivated by wanting to play Cross!

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    @“2501”#p65297 Unsurprisingly, Radical Dreamers uses a new translation and not the Demiforce fan translation from 2003. It’s not a huge departure, but it feels distinctly drier and more literal than the Demiforce script, more focused on preserving the word-for-word meaning of the Japanese text than any sense of naturally flowing dialogue. Is this sort of sterilized, clinical approach just the standard for Japanese-to-English translation nowadays? Sad.

    I would definitely not say that this is standard nowadays, though it is an approach that is deployed alongside more "generous" localization efforts.

    @“2501”#p65297 Would you say the rearrangements are interesting enough to justify the purchase? This is probably the deciding factor for me. Despite this being my favorite game soundtrack and one of my favorite games this isn‘t an instant purchase because I haven’t been thrilled with most Square remasters.

    @“Herb”#p65302 The new arrangements are literally only played on the game selection menu, so if that’s your primary point of interest you might as well just purchase the album.

    @“sabertoothalex”#p65300 Maybe my perception is blinkered because my major exposures to translated Japanese media from the last couple of years have been like, the new Evangelion and Atlus stuff and now this, all of which seem to pivot to a highly literal translation style where past points of comparison were more attentive to naturalness and flow in their target language. I guess this is a pendulum that swings back and forth but it feels like that is more the accepted/expected norm now than it used to be.

    Obviously there’s a generous middle ground between this and Working Designs/Nintendo of America/_Dragon Quest_-style ultra-liberal translations (which I guess are still Square Enix’s norm by and large), but when I’m trying to immerse myself in a piece of narrative media the last thing I want is to stumble on some stilted or flavorless wording and think, “Gosh, I wonder if that sounded better in its original language.” No translation of a creative text should _sound like_ a translation, imo. At the _very least_ for pulpy stuff like video games and anime, I’ll accept losing a tiny bit of information or subtext if it’s the cost of organic-sounding English prose.

    Speaking of: which translation of _Chrono Trigger_ are you playing? The broad but flavorful Ted Woolsey one (SNES/PSX versions) or the dry, “formal” Tom Slattery one (DS/mobile/PC versions)? Ironically the Richard Honeywood translation of _Chrono Cross_ - which I believe is preserved in the remaster with minor alterations - was intentionally written to match Woolsey’s style, e.g. using cartoony dialects to distinguish characters.

    @“2501”#p65314 Also I literally just realized Richard Honeywood is Australian, which totally reframes my perception of Kid’s accent

    Another aspect to consider is modern translations benefit from much more thorough, supervised and computer-assisted QA so you are theoretically much less likely to be the victim of typos, mistakes and misinterpretations compared to stuff translated in the 90s.

    On the topic of translation and accents: it’s the first time the game has a French translation and, as usual for this kind of situation, Harle has been turned into an Italian-flavored speaker.

    I assumed as much but I wanted to clarify this isn’t some sort of incredible spark of imagination from the team in charge at Square Enix. Capcom did the same with the French Restaurant in Ace Attorney’s Recipe for Turnabout case, for instance. It’s pretty common in animation as well.

    Square Enix does have some of the best French translations on the market, typically. They now have a huge team in Tokyo translating most European languages directly from Japanese, as well as support from some of the better trans/loc subcontractors. This has significantly improved the average translation quality compared to the early days when other languages adapted from the English script, further losing the original intent and piling on additional errors in the process. FF7’s French version is pretty legendary in that regard. I am sure the same goes for the Spanish version among Spanish speakers.

    @“chazumaru”#p65384 Even I’ve heard stories of FF7’s French and German localizations lol. Sometimes from Euros scoffing at Americans thinking their translation was bad.

    @“chazumaru”#p65331 In some instances, particularly when localizations are rushed to make a simultaneous global release date, there actually seems to be less translation QA than there was 10-15 years ago, when game localizations were handled more professionally than in the 90s but typically lagged behind native releases by a year or two. SMT5 has a bunch of copy errors, awkward wordings and voice direction fuckups that almost certainly would’ve been caught under the older model; I heard Persona 5 had similar issues, on top of a hyper-literal script translation. Ironic because Atlus from circa 2005 up until pretty recently was considered to have one of the best localization track records of any Japanese company, give or take the arguments about whether Persona 3 onward were right to keep honorifics in the script (they weren’t).

    That's some fantastic insight from tanaka-san.

    @“2501”#p65314 I’m playing the SNES version and finding it very charming!

    https://youtu.be/pFnYz5J6kXA

    Ouch

    @“2501”#p65659 I came in to say the same thing. I really hope this gets a patch that doesn't take forever to arrive. Given that this was never released in Europe it feels like a real kick in the teeth for anyone experiencing the game for the first time like this.

    @“LeFish”#p65665 The video goes beyond just the (presumably patchable) framerate problems and dissects on some of the aesthetic issues I touched on in my OP, such as how AI upscaling gives the hand-drawn backgrounds a distinctly glossier and more artificial look than they ever had on CRTs and presumably would have had if SquEnix still had the original source files to convert. This isn’t as glaring an issue as the actual performance but it also explains why the game feels different from the original despite being superficially faithful, and emphasizes in exact technical terms how SquEnix has not given many of these remasters the level of time and care they deserve.

    Ironically, the DF tech nerds conclude that the optimal way to play this remaster is on the Switch in handheld mode, since the lower resolution is less revealing of visual inconsistencies and choices that just don’t look right on a large 1080p display! The performance issues are identical on Switch and PS4/5.

    [upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/7DJ5fgo.jpeg]


    My experience with Chrono Cross is that I borrowed it from a friend, beat the first disc, and ran into a scratch at the very start of the second disc which made the game not load.

    A few years later I borrowed it from someone else and had the exact same thing happen.

    Which version would people recommend playing?

    @“edward”#p105426 The remaster isn’t a must, but these fixes should hopefully make it adequate at least

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    @“edward”#p105426 Which version would people recommend playing?

    A version without a scratched second disc, I guess!