Lock and load everyone, because it’s time to kick some metal ass! Find out in our Blazing Chrome review if you are worthy of fighting for the Resistance.
Nostalgia is the most powerful gaming fuel of this generation. And even if it gives a new coat of shows to old glories of the video game pantheon, it can feel like it lacks creativity. Sure, it’s great to see your bandicoots or your skeleton heroes, but we’ve seen these past glories before. However, that doesn’t mean nostalgia can’t be used as an inspiration tool in order to create something new and enjoyable. And today’s title checks those boxes for sure. Is it worth blowing up some baddies? Well, keep reading our Blazing Chrome review and you’ll see.
Mash that Joy button
You should be familiar with JoyMasher, the team behind awesome games like Oniken and Odallus. If so, it shouldn’t be quite a big surprise when I say that I love everything they do. Not only this dynamic duo show true passion while developing, but they also know how to make great games. And fortunately, Blazing Chrome is another big success under their belt.
This run and gun title is a clear homage to those high-octane titles from the good old day. With visible references from titles such as Contra and Metal Slug among others, Blazing Chrome doesn’t really bother itself with convoluted plots or things you’ll see nowadays everywhere. You pick a character, you watch a small tutorial and you are ready to blow stuff up. But why this game works so nice? We can separate how and why their latest title works so well in three segments: gameplay, challenge, and nostalgic value.
Just like Momma Bit used to cook ’em
In terms of gameplay, less but flawless is always better than more but flawed. Blazing Chrome has a control scheme simple as a rock: jump, shoot, precision aim, roll and use an energy sword for melee. Rolling is something that you should master unless you want to see the Game Over screen more than usual. Aiming and shooting work amazing as you would expect, but the melee attack is not as neat as it could be.
You see, this melee combat option doesn’t work as the one in Metal Slug (just run towards an enemy while shooting and you’ll trigger the animation). In order to use the energy sword, you have to stop shooting and press the attack button once when an enemy is coming towards you. It also deflects grenades and missiles, so it’s pretty damn cool with certain enemies and bosses. However, at times it may feel like the command wasn’t registered properly and you’ll get hit by a foe. It’s good that you can’t just get close to an enemy and obliterate it without risk, but a dedicated button would make using it feel less luck-based. You also have three other weapon power-ups in the form of the Whip, the Grenade, and the Particle Beam. A small display, but each one brings enough interesting pros and cons to compensate for the number. No screen nukes by the way, which leads towards the next part: the challenge.
Lock and Load, Lock and Load, Lock and…
This is the part in which I have to swear. A lot. But holy mother of fuck this game doesn’t give a crap about handholding. And in the best of ways mind you, because this is what I would say is a completely fair challenge. You will, I repeat, YOU WILL die in Blazing Chrome a lot. But I can assure you that 99% of the time you won’t say that was bullshit when that happens. Each of the six levels you’ll face will offer a vast array of enemies and obstacles. And the good part is that every single one will make you scream YEAH SUCK IT YOU ASSHOLE once you finish them.
If you feel like this is not enough for you alone, bring a friend to the party! The Co-Op in this game will test patience and friendships alike. Because it seems it’s too hard to shoot and walk RIGHT DOM?! Anyway, it’s a great time to play with someone beside you. And now we go to the final section: the nostalgic value.
Probotector would be proud
As I said earlier, nostalgia is quite powerful these days. And I believe that it was this nostalgia feeling what made Blazing Chrome turned out so amazing. But the best thing about this game is that it works on a genre that I thought it was forgotten by time: run and gun games. We sure see tons of Metroidvanias nowadays, but stuff like Contra is quite a rare sight.
I don’t really have nostalgic feelings towards Contra titles. I sure loved playing Metal Slug though, but this title screams the name of the Konami franchise quite loud. Does that make my experience with Blazing Chrome worse? Of course not, this game is stupid great. But it is true that you will enjoy it even more if you have fond memories of playing Contra. And the game has tons of content once you finish it, so you won’t get bored with it anytime soon. From new characters to a mirror mode and Hardcore difficulty (which makes justice to its name by the way), this game is a blast from the past made in 2019.