A rocking 2D side-scroller that pays homage to some of my childhood games? I need this!
Ever since Blazing Chrome had reared its head a few months back, I was eager to get my hands on the game. Thankfully, the game was available to check out during PAX East 2018 and I must have played it 5x times. Needless to say, I loved every time I played it. And rightfully so!
So for those who don’t know about the game, Blazing Chrome is basically the love child of games such as Contra and Metal Slug. You got your run and gun mechanics, as well as lots of fire-heavy gameplay and most importantly, co-op. Now I know a lot of people were comparing this to Contra III: Alien Wars, However, for me, I was reminded of another Contra title. That being, Contra: Hard Corps on the Sega Genesis, which is actually the very game that Blazing Chrome is being modeled from. When I spoke to the rep at PAX East 2018, I mentioned that it looked like Hardcorps, to which he replied that it was the very same palette/look they were going for.
Visually, the game looks stunning. Nothing like today’s ultra-super-graphics, but a nod to the days of old. Superb animation, lots of stuff happening on-screen and without any slowdown what so ever. I have no idea what sort of PC was under the sheets, running the game. Though from what I understand from the representative at hand, it wasn’t that high powered. That and despite the game not being completely finished, there’s a lot of optimization already being done. Sadly, I wasn’t able to hear the audio, thanks to how loud it was at the Boston Convention Center. But from what I was told, Joymasher is basing the audio off of the Sega Genesis Contra: Hardcorps game as well.
The game plays just as one would expect a Contra meets Metal Slug game would. You have your standard attack that does decent damage. Along the way, you’ll pick up new weapons and will be able to hold up to three additional weapons. You can switch between those weapons at any time. There’s also a melee weapon which will be used if an enemy gets in to close or if you want to rush in for some high risk but greater damage. I used this tactic when fighting a few of the bosses. While I couldn’t tell if it did more damage than using the ranged weapons, it was damned fun trying it out.
For now, there are two selectable characters; Resistance fighter Mavra, and Doyle, a converted enemy robot who sports a mohawk. While those aren’t the only characters in the game, the other ones you meet are simply NPCs that help you out. While I played the game, I noticed a few things and asked about if they’ll change or not. The first was the “being left behind” mechanic. In the vertical stages where you have to climb and jump up, you can leave your teammate behind. Which ultimately kills them and could potentially ruin your game session.
Right now, they’re toying with the idea of teleporting the left being character to you, but they aren’t sure if that would dilute the game or not. PSST, Joymasher, if you’re reading this. Why not offer a 2-player easy and hard mode. You know, like the what Double Dragon II did on the NES.
While the game is playable via single or co-op, there isn’t a way for another player to join an ongoing game. At least for now, you’ll have quit the game if another wants in. This is also something that is being considered on being changed. Especially since I can’t really see a reason that anyone would want to quit their game just to get a partner involved.
Outside of that, Blazing Chrome is an amazing title. A game that took me back to the days of sitting in front of my Nintendo Entertainment System, playing Contra with my brother and friends. Trying to beat the game, while failing over and over to do so. I loved what I played so far and feel that fans of retro gaming and those who aren’t, will definitely dig what this game has to offer.
Sadly, there’s no release date, only a release window of 2018. Damn it, damn it, damn it! For more info on Joymasher and Blazing Chrome, head on over to www.joymasher.com.