It's time again to dive into a brand new old-school RPG and I have a rather colourful one for you this time with Chroma Quaternion.
Chroma Quaternion is set in a world that's based on roles which the powerful god-like Quadeities assign. These deities reside within 4 kingdoms that compose the world of Chroma Quaternion and each one represents a different season with Spree, Sama, Otam, and Wint symbolizing spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. Right away, this is an imaginative premise and it's made even better by the wonderful cast of characters. You play as a priest warrior named Ark who has an unfortunate bad luck streak and you're joined by an adorably chubby dog known as Foure as well as the cute and gentle princess Eara and her devoted maid Evaile. You'll also encounter the goofy pop stars Extermi and Elimi throughout which is always a treat. Overall, it's a charming world that's easy to fall in love with.
When it comes to gameplay, Chroma Quaternion's battle system is very similar to Miden Tower and Ruinverse where each party resides on a 3-by-3 grid and attacks can target enemies in a row, column, or some other formation. I enjoy this setup a lot as it makes inflicting devastating attacks quite a satisfying feat. What sets Chroma Quaternion apart is that its battles are focused on executing the correct commands at the right time. For example, you can skip your turn to charge-up then execute multiple attacks at once.
Also, skills don't use points; instead, they have unique Cool Time periods so you can actually feel free to utilize powerful skills at the beginning of battle without much consequence. There's also a Divine Gauge that fills and once it's full, you can unleash a Divine Beast on your foes to really devastate them. It's simple stuff but it's rewarding to take down the collection of distinct bosses as you progress.
Customizing your party is fairly simple as well. Besides equipping gear, you'll also eventually be able to assign up to 3 roles for each party member. One cool thing about this is that your characters' sprites will change depending on their roles which is a nice touch that I always love to see. On a more practical note, changing roles allows you to learn new skills as well as refine skills that carry over despite which roles you're using. Just keep in mind; it takes a long time for this system to open up and actually become interesting. Even when it does, the battle system still remains rather simplistic and you won't end up using much strategy at all after powering up enough.
Like with a lot of these retro-inspired RPGs, the cast of characters is bubbly and there is a lot of humour sprinkled throughout the story which is definitely a treat to observe. I specifically enjoyed Foure who's a real scene-stealer. However, the story itself isn't all that epic or memorable but if you enjoy simply hanging out with a likeable cast of chums then you'll appreciate what it has to offer.
Chroma Quaternion is packed with content to tinker around with whenever you want to earn cool bonuses and such. For starters, there are both side-quests that are provided by NPCs and missions that the guild will assign with each offering valuable rewards. There are also Panel Challenges which give you items after fulfilling certain criteria and a Roulette wheel that you can get even more items from. On top of all this, you can take on challenging foes in the arena, convert and strengthen equipment via recycle jars, and unlock info in a handy enemy guide. Completing everything will take an exceptionally long time and each step on the way there is rewarding indeed.
Chroma Quaternion is a solid retro-style RPG that genre fans will enjoy, especially if you love lighthearted stories filled with delightful characters. From its clever role system to its unconventional MP-less combat, it's one unique and fun RPG adventure.
- + Nifty combat with grid-based parties and an emphasis on managing time
- + Bubbly characters with lots of humour
- + Rewarding quests and role system
- - Battle system could use additional complexities to add more strategy
- - Story isn't all that memorable
- - Party growth takes long to get interesting