When you talk about texture packs and the styles they are based upon, you mostly talk about 3 different styles: RPG, cartoon and realistic. Every pack is defined by its artistic directions, and sometimes packs work fantastically just because of that. However, Chroma Hills doesn't tie itself down to one style, but tries to combine the RPG and cartoon aesthetics into one pack. And, for the most part, succeeds. Let's take a closer look.
Terrain with this pack is unique and very interesting. It strikes a surprisingly great balance between detail and smoothness. This pack clearly goes in for details with pebbles in the dirt and waves in the sand and therefore everything looks fantastic close up, but is somehow still very smooth and doesn't have too much noise when looking at landscapes from far away. This is even before applying mipmapping via Optifine, which makes it even smoother. Blocks are stylish and that property passes onto all terrain, including caves.
When it comes to building exteriors, the pack is very hit-or-miss, varying from person to person. Building blocks like planks are very detailed and this causes a big visual departure from vanilla and most other texture packs. Some houses will look even better with this pack, while some will look horrendous even though they were fine on vanilla. For example, since planks are so detailed, using them too much will ruin the aesthetic of a house. Adjusting your architectural style will help make your homes more beautiful than ever, but I wouldn't recommend using this pack on a server unless everyone else is using it as well, since this can result in a big shift in how various building styles work.
On the inside, this texture pack really shines. Chests, benches and furnaces are all extremely detailed and look fantastic. The interior really shines with this pack, regardless of the design. This might just be the standout feature of this pack.
Items look good and fit in with the pack, even though they shouldn't. You see, while the pack is a mix of RPG and cartoon styles, the items are a mix of RPG and realism. It still fits well, so the style shift is not a problem. What is a problem, however, is a lack of textures for a huge percentage of the items. Even though the mod is version 1.0, which would imply it has all the textures for vanilla Minecraft, it is far from finished. It's hard to take this against the mod in the long run since textures will be finished eventually, but it has to be stated. When such a simple thing is the biggest problem a pack has, it is just an indicator of how good the pack is.
The Nether is actually very good-looking and detailed, though a bit too dark for my tastes. It is modeled after the more grim interpretations of the Nether, which includes faces in soulsand and makes for an overall creepier experience.
The pack works wonderfully with shaders. There's a special version that supports them, so it does not have to be done manually. Obviously since vanilla textures haven't been finished yet, there is no mod support. The pack is available in 64x and 128x resolutions, satisfying most people's needs. This is texture pack that can appeal to a big audience, and the only thing holding it back are the missing textures. It's still worth a try, and you can get it here:
Download the Croma Hills texture pack here!
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