It’s strange when a game sparks a memory; I remember playing Metal Slug in a random bar in Ibiza at the tender age of 5. Asking for more money after dying from the 15th time on the first stage, yet alas my request was denied and I walked away not knowing how amazing that game was.
Anyway, Blazing Chrome is a love letter to the Metal Slug’s and Contra games of that era, taking what made them unique and having a good go at themselves whilst bringing it into the modern era.
Set in the mysterious year of A.D 21XX, machines have taken over the world and its up to you take down the metal scum army. You first start off with two playable characters, first been tough chick Mavra or the mohawk sporting Doyle who happens to be Robot. As you continue playing you’ll unlock new playable characters to take out for a spin, hopefully helping save the world at the same time. Get a friend to fight along side in Co-Op, sadly I never got to try this feature out for this review yet I assume the experience will be even better with someone you know.
You’ll fight your way through 6 levels, each with their own unique look and gameplay element to keep the game fresh. Each level ends with a boss which will test your skills, learn their attack pattern and you’ll be good. It took less than 3 hours to reach the end, and by end that wasn’t including the extras such as the mirrored levels, Boss rush and the harder difficulties. So expect your play time to increase a lot, if you plan to take full advantage of what this game has to offer.
Gameplay is fast, keep moving, keep shooting and keep calm. With the aide of powerful weapons and special items you can become an unstoppable killing machine. See a motorcycle? Mech suit? Jump on in and take down foes in that. For those unfamiliar with this games inspirations, this game is hard. If it were in arcades it would swallow your coins without thinking twice. Without shields, power ups and those ‘gamer skills’ you will die a lot. This shouldn’t deter you from buying this game, while dying is a set back it’s one you can learn from quite quickly making you an unstoppable killing machine in no time all.
It’s 2.5D visuals are surprisingly easy on the eye, even with some harsh looking environments you know exactly what’s going on in game. The games pixel art is sharp, with certain colours really popping out when needed. Add that with the 80’s themed tunes and you’ll feel as if this game was originally made in that era. Do you want that old school retro feel to Blazing Chrome? Course you do. Well enable that ‘CRT’ filter in the options for that old school feeling. CRT? I hear you younglings ask, google it you’ve made me feel old.
I hardly ever played the old style Run ‘n’ Gun games from times before, but after playing Blazing Chrome I understand exactly why this genre is loved by gamers. It’s opened up a lot of past games I can’t wait to try, but I will be definitely keeping Blazing Chrome installed for some time.
It’s an absolutely fantastic mashup of nostalgia, that despite its length left me feeling extremely satisfied once I put the controller down. Nailing everything from the gameplay to the level design, it’s best to give it a shot especially for the Contra/Metal Slug purists.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*