Blazing Chrome is the latest indie game from Brazilian developer JoyMasher and published by The Arcade Crew. This retro style side scroller is a love letter to the Contra series, particularly Contra III: The Alien Wars. Blazing Chrome looks and plays just like the classic game for the Super Nintendo, challenging gameplay and all. With the disappointed that was the recent Konami released Contra Anniversary Collection, I was excited to see what a small developer could do with this style of game. Read on to see if the game lives up to the high standard fans of the series expect.
I am a huge fan of the Contra series, and run and gun games in general. Admittedly I suck at them, but I still love to play them, especially with a friend locally. Blazing Chrome had been on my radar for some time so I admit my expectations were high after seeing some of the teasers. The game embraces 90’s pop culture nostalgia and proudly displays this in its cheesy world setting as well as graphically and gameplay wise. I love it.
Blazing Chrome is set in a dystopian future where mankind is on the brink of extinction. Robots have taken over and only a small group of resistance fighters stand in their way. Hmm, where have I seen this before? The first two characters players can choose from include Mavra, the helmeted main protagonist, and Doyle, the friendly robot. While the story is a total rip off of The Terminator, this doesn’t matter.
Blazing Chrome isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or create some great original story. It is very self aware and the design of everything from the characters to the enemies reflects the pop culture games and movies of the 1980s early 90s it draws from. Honestly though, these things are all aesthetic and ultimately run and gun games live and die based on the quality of their gameplay. Blazing Chrome has this covered.
Just like the games Blazing Chrome draws inspiration from, gameplay consists of mainly side scrolling levels, with a bit of flying third person shooter tossed in. As you platform around the game throws endless robot enemies at you to deal with. Players can pick up four different weapon styles and cycle through them depending on the situation. Death will remove the weapon you had equipped at the time. There are also three different robot helper upgrades you can acquire. Each has a different ability such as added speed or defense and one will shoot along with your soldier.
Blazing Chrome definitely continues the “Contra-hard” level of difficulty. Even at the easiest setting I have yet to complete it. I never felt like the game was being abusive, just challenging, so I know eventually I will defeat it. Since there are only four stages this level of challenge is actually a selling point. Finding the right balance of fun and difficulty is key to these kinds of games and I feel like Blazing Chrome accomplishes this perfectly.
Blazing Chrome looks great. I absolutely love the SNES style graphics. I was very impressed with what JoyMasher were able to pull off visually even with this nostalgic 16-bit style. Bosses are huge and you run into encounters multiple times throughout each stage. Each one felt different and in fact each of the levels differ greatly from each other, tossing in game mechanics like controlling a mech suit or riding a hoverbike, to keep it fresh. Music in Blazing Chrome is exactly what you want in a run and gun game, it is exciting and catchy. I found many of the songs stuck in my head even after putting down my controller.
Blazing Chrome is a fantastic game for both retro players and new players alike. There is tons of replay ability with timed challenges and leaderboards, plus defeating the game unlocks two additional characters to use. While I did find the use of only four special weapons lacking, this was really the only complaint I had with Blazing Chrome. More stages would of been nice but considering this a lower priced indie game, I accept this. If you are a fan of the Contra or Metal Slug series Blazing Chrome is a must buy but even new players should check it out for an enjoyable retro challenge.