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Blazing Chrome – Review

We don’t know who fired first, us or the damn toasters. Though, one thing is clear: Humanity needs to fight back. With the planet in ruin, and humankind facing extinction, it is up to a small band of resistance fighters to find some way to stop this mechanized menace. From Danilo Dia, Joy Masher, and The Arcade Crew comes Blazing Chrome, a run’n’gun side-scroller shooting game that stealthily arose from the PAX East Show floor and onto gaming consoles and PC’s everywhere. In a gaming arena devoid of classic arcade shooters, such as Contra, Blazing Chrome blasts its way onto the scene with attitude and guns blazing. It’s a truly hardcore experience and a sharp challenge for even the most dedicated. 

Blazing Chrome starts right away. Dropped from a helicopter, you and your player two are on a hell-bent, no-holds-barred mission to save humanity in a bitter struggle against an enemy fond of destruction. This enemy commands an entire army of machines and is unafraid to combine machines with grotesque creatures to create devastating weapons. Across six missions, you will battle waves of enemies, encounter fiercely challenging obstacles, and come face to face with horrific bosses that will test your very mettle. 

Blazing Chrome is a sidescroller shooter int the vein of classic games like Contra, and Rush ‘n’ Attack. Players select their character, press start, and embark across 6 deadly missions. Players may choose between easy, normal, or hardcore difficulties, but it is highly recommended to play the game on easy. Players will be required to run, jump, and shoot their way across each level. Fortunately for players, Blazing Chrome allows for up to four weapons to be stored at once, allowing players to switch between an assault rifle, a laser cannon, a grenade launcher, and a plasma spread. On easy difficulty, supply pods are deployed, allowing the player to gain an assault drone, a force shield, or an energy field to move faster. The rest of the game is up to the players, their skills, and their wits. 

The first impression of Blazing Chrome is its absolutely earth-shattering presentation that is unmistakable from a SNES game. If players were playing Blazing Chrome and didn’t know it was on the Nintendo Switch, they would be surely convinced that it is being played on the SNES, like a long-lost canceled game. The game features extraordinarily faithful animations and 16-bit illustration. Explosions, movements, particle effects, and even the parallax scrolling all feel extremely silky smooth. Some indie games attempt to replicate the look and feel of an old-fashioned game, but Blazing Chrome meticulously and delicately took time and care to go through a painstakingly thorough process to have the game truly feel and play like a blast from the past. The visual presentation isn’t just relegated to the side-scrolling sections of the levels. Some parts of Blazing Chrome will introduce rail-shooting, similar to Space Harrier, and even one section that uses Mode7 and 3D vector graphics to an incredible boss fight that may be one of the best boss fights of the year. The soundtrack is also incredible, with 16-bit MIDI pounding throughout the experience, and the ending theme, “Danger” by Kirstine, is perfectly fitting to the game. 

The gameplay for Blazing Chrome is impeccable, becoming even more Contra than Contra. In Blazing Chrome,  players can access several weapons, each one incredibly effective. From the grenade launcher to the laser cannon, each weapon can provide a much-needed edge against the most dangerous foes in the game. Even the starter weapon, the assault rifle, packs a punch and is incredibly reliable. On the easy difficulty setting, players will be granted access to support pods that can aid players in their pursuits. These pods can provide more speed, firepower, and defense.  On normal and hardcore, these support drops are removed but temporary power-ups will be placed instead. The shooting, coupled with the music, weapons, and gameplay is absolutely face-melting, with dozens of enemies to destroy and a host of bosses to absolutely murder. This is a war against the machines, and Blazing Chrome absolutely nails it. Bitter fights take place on city rooftops and snowfields erupt in explosions while charging an arctic enemy base. Some sections change up the gameplay entirely in wonderfully imaginative ways that the player should discover, especially in boss fights. Towering machinations of pure evil attempt to destroy you, and it is through sheer skills and resilience that they erupt in an immensely satisfying explosion. It’s euphoric and sheer excitement all the way through, especially with a friend. There is a wild imagination that has been placed, and while Blazing Chrome takes place across only 6 levels, it is a roaring good time! 

Blazing Chrome is all about sheer arcade excitement and has a gameplay experience that is among the best side-scrolling action in years. However, it must be emphasized of one golden rule. Blazing Chrome is very very hard.  Blazing Chrome was forged in the fires of extraordinarily difficult side-scrolling action games. Some of these games on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System could be beaten with repeat gameplay and patience, but some were nigh impossible, requiring a Game Genie or Game Shark to see the game’s conclusion. Blazing Chrome will absolutely give players the hardest of hard fights, with easy difficulty absolutely not being easy at all.  Fortunately, Blazing Chrome does a few things to separate itself from the typical Contra formula. For gaming enthusiasts, they will be able to pick up the nods to other games, such as the infamous bike sections from Battletoads, widely regarded as a back-breaking section of that particular game. This game is hard and you will die often and regularly, but for players willing to be patient, its an incredible experience.

Perhaps the only gripe I can make about Blazing Chrome is the fact that it is only 6 levels long and perhaps a bit too hard. Once again, the easy mode for Blazing Chrome is nail-biting hard and may put off players. However, everything about Blazing Chrome, from the presentation to the gameplay, is absolutely spot-on in what is strives to do. With its white-knuckle shooting, insane combat, wild boss fights, and incredible presentation, Blazing Chrome is a wild good time. Just be prepared to use a stress ball between levels to calm yourselves down.

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