Game Review #371: Blazing Chrome (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Chad M.
Publisher: The Arcade Crew
Category: Action, Arcade, Platformer
Release Date: 7.11.2019
Price (at time of review): $16.99
Buy Blazing Chrome from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Contra Dipped In Chrome
So many games have been made in the vein of other more notable games, and over my time reviewing and playing games on the Nintendo Switch, I have watched the eShop swell with these titles, good and bad. One of the most notable examples being Stardew Valley, which was made in the vein of Harvest Moon. As I’ve said before, if the original developer or publisher does not answer the call of the fans to make the game, other indie developer houses will make the game in their image.
An indie house that caught my eye with this practice is JoyMasher. They released Oniken, which is in the vein of games like Strider and Ninja Gaiden. They also released Odallus, which is in the vein of Castlevania. So, it’s only natural they would develop another game that had that old-school feel to it, and Blazing Chrome answers that call, being made in the vein of SNES and Neo Geo games like Contra and Metal Slug. Blazing Chrome is a 2-D action side-scroller that is brought to us by The Arcade Crew. So grab your guns and strap in so we can see how this one stacks up.
T2: Judgment Day Dipped In Chrome
In Blazing Chrome, machines rule the world, and the few humans left are on the edge of total extermination, lacking power, prestige, or status among their metal-and-circuits overlords. Humans are expendable after an AI-controlled robot army takes over the world. They survive in hiding while their hunters rule the surface. When a small rebel group gets an intel about a big AI's power plant, the machines strike their camp before they can organize an attack. A small group of rebels escape and go on a suicide mission to destroy this power plant.
Choose to play as Mavra, a super badass human resistance soldier, or Doyle, the equally groovy and deadly insurgent robot. This suicide mission will result in heavy casualties and a ton of lock-and-load, fast-paced action, where scrapping robots and blazing chrome with your powerful weapons is the only thing standing between you and your freedom. The story feels like it’s built into the Terminator series, and has some of those T2: Judgment Day vibes that I felt played really well here.
Blaze Slugs Through Chrome Domes
In the vein of classic run and gun games, Blazing Chrome does a fair amount to earn the credibility of being compared to the likes of Contra and Metal Slug. You start every mission on the left side of the screen, working your way to the right side, killing everything in your path, from mutated freaks to cybernetic soldiers and more, all while platforming through the level.
Touching on the controls—which play out similar to Contra—the stand-out controls would be the dodge-roll that allows you to evade attacking enemies, and a button that allows you stand your ground for precision firing, which helps when trying to hit flying targets at an angle; and when in close striking distance to an enemy, your character will punch the holy hell out of them. Though the strike is very powerful, it’s a catch 22, as you will deal a lot of damage, but just like the games to which it’s compared, if you’re touched or hit once, you die instantly. Also, when jumping, I’d like to point out that it’s pressure sensitive, so if you tap it you’ll make a small jump, and the harder you push and/or longer you push, the longer/further you’ll go.
Starting off, you choose one of two characters: the badass female warrior that reminds me of what it’d be like to have Sara Connor in this post-apocalyptic world, and Doyle, the cybernetic robot that would have Arnie’s iconic T-800 feeling right at home. You also have two unlockable characters: another female mercenary character, and a ninja--who is easily my favorite to play with.
You start off with a large machine gun that’s pretty effective, but if you’d like to try new weapons, they float in from the sky like in Contra. I was sad I didn’t see a triple shot spread weapon, but you’ll get a fusion fire blaster, a very powerful laser that can shoot one at a time or can be powered up for an extremely powerful shot, and then there’s a grenade launcher, which was a favorite. You can also activate drones that give you special abilities; blue gives you extra speed and mobility that allows you to double jump; green has two drones floating around you, acting as a force field; and red supplies you with a turret drone that shoots along with you in the direction you’re firing.
Contra’s Appleseed! Blast Toasters!
There are three modes, and online leaderboards, but the score isn’t tracked if you play on easy mode, and you have to defeat the game on normal to unlock the hard mode. The game is also a little on the short side with only 5 levels, but they do each have multiple areas within the levels, and multiple mini-bosses, which helps to lengthen the experience. Each environment looks different, giving the levels their own identity, like wooded forests covered in snow, or an apocalypse-ridden war zone.
The game also knows you came for the run-and-gun action, but does well to break it up, like having levels with hover bikes, jet packs, and mech suits—nothing like hopping in a mech-suit like Wikus in District 9 and wrecking some mutants and robot scum—but the place that allows the game to shine brightest is in its local multiplayer. This gives the game that arcade feel that will resonate with old gamers, and still bring in new gamers as well. It was a blast playing through the game in hard mode with a friend. Sometimes things can be a little hectic, and the boss battles step the game up another notch.
Audio & Video
The soundtrack rocks, with a fast-paced sound that matches the chaos on screen. Speaking of chaos, the gun sounds are blasting off-screen, and the vehicles have deep-weighted sounds, which all blends together perfectly. The 16-bit pixel art is gorgeously done, and will make you swear you’re playing a true Contra 3 successor that was lost and not brought to the SNES. Everything from character design, level design, to the epic bosses are expertly done.
It’s a Wrap!
I loved my time with Blazing Chrome, I have only one major issue with the game: I wanted it to never end, and when it ended with only five levels, I was a little disappointed; but instead of crying myself to sleep, I cranked the difficulty to hard and jumped back in again! I couldn’t wait to invite friends over to play, and they were equally blown away with what JoyMasher has done here.
The game pays homage to the era of gaming that gave gamers what they wanted, with a challenge that left them satisfied and waiting for the sequel. I can easily say that they have reached that here, as I hope Blazing Chrome is successful enough to warrant a series of games—I’ve even heard a rumor that the game will see a physical copy from Limited Run Games in the future. I highly recommend buying Blazing Chrome, as it will be a very welcome addition to any gamer’s collection.
Buy Blazing Chrome from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review Code Provdied by Tinsley PR