After being overwhelmed with remastered and remake releases lately, a breath of fresh air has appeared today, influenced from the side-scrolling days of Contra, Ranger X, Robocop vs. The Terminator and many more. This is in the form of ‘Blazing Chrome’, developed by ‘Joy Masher’ and published by ‘The Arcade Crew’.
The story is set in the far future of ’21XX’, and involves a resistance group where they have been fighting against robots, and it’s up to you to defeat the enemies and bosses that are littered throughout the game.
This is shown through scenes almost lifted out of a Mega Drive game, where the graphics and colourful designs give you a feel of what this game is going to show you.
After you’re greeted with a title screen which reminds you of a Mega Drive intro, suddenly you’re ready to go.
You can select the difficulty, with a higher level to unlock once the normal play-through has been completed. You also select one of two characters; Mavra a resistance soldier, or Doyle, a 90’s-inspired-robot, and then you can choose one of five levels.
There’s no linearity here, which is very much welcome. Want to start at Level 4 and then pick Level 2 straight after? Here you can, and it especially helps if you are struggling on one level, and you want to try another to practice your bullet-dodging methods.
Throughout the levels you can collect containers which will give weapons or robots to better help your attack, defence or speed. The grenade launcher was a favourite of mine, especially when the HD Rumble would almost ricochet the blast; very satisfying and very fun.
There’s great surprises too littered throughout each level, such as a mech that’s reminiscent of a Metal Slug level, or diving down a shaft that had a ‘Mode-7’ graphic feel from the Super Nintendo games. Every level gives you a different perspective on playing the game, and it never feels like you’re retreading old ground.
The co-op also shines here, as you’re working through with someone next to you, and when you’re playing this in docked mode, you almost feel like you’re playing a Mega Drive game in native-widescreen. The only gripe I had was that there’s no online co-op, so you can’t match with a friend and carry on your game, or have someone drop in and out as you’re playing through.
The replayability of the game is plentiful, with a ‘Boss-Rush’ mode up for grabs and extra characters and a difficulty level to boot, so you’ll be coming back to ‘Blazing Chrome’ time and time again.
Everything has been lovingly drawn to accurately reflect the Contra/Mega Drive era. The parallax scrolling throughout the levels are fantastic, especially when you’re using a vehicle. Everything is colourful, everything has its use, and everything is massively testing on your patience.
You can feel as though that you’ve got everything under control, and suddenly a gun-shot from a lone biker will kill you, losing your prized weapon collections so far.
Fortunately, there are checkpoints littered throughout the stages, so if you’re greeted with the continue screen, you will be taken to where you almost left off, instead of the beginning of the level, which is very welcome here.
This game does have the ‘Pringle Effect’, whereby you will want to play for just five minutes, but you end up spending an hour ploughing through a level, and then seeing how co-op is with a friend.
It’s not forgiving, but every death, every lone-shot, every enemy you face makes you learn and improve, giving you an opportunity to complete the level in a better method.
I found that ‘Blazing Chrome’ was best played with a controller. The D-Pad on my 8BitDo controller makes the game much better to play, especially when setting the angle for diagonal shots, but now with the Switch Lite on the horizon with its D-Pad on the handheld, this is almost a non-issue.
The Verdict – 4/5
– Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
It’s a great time for returnees from a time in the mid-90’s, while for newcomers, the difficulty will be a surprise, but the gameplay and its fantastic art-style will keep you coming back for more, it’s just that good.
- Fantastic design
- Great Music
- Will keep you coming back for more
- Infinite Continues is appreciated
- A lone shot can erase your prized weapons, frustrating you to the limit.
- More levels would have been nice.
- Online Co-Op seems like a missed opportunity.