Blazing Chrome (PC) Review

By Athanasios 10.06.2020

Review for Blazing Chrome on PC

Contra. There's no point avoiding it. Anytime someone talks about Blazing Chrome, Konami's legendary series is bound to appear one way or another. The great thing about JoyMasher's frenetic run-and-gunner, is how, contrary to current trends in the indie side of the industry, this isn't just a pale imitation of the things that inspired it, which simply relies on nostalgia to sell, but something that actually understands what made those golden oldies great - and the result is, of course, something equally great. After a look at the Nintendo Switch version, here's another go at it, this time for the PC.

Both characters play the same. The existence of an alternative choice is basically there so that a second player can join in on the fun. In fact, you are advised to play that way, not only because it’s far more entertaining, but mainly due to how challenging the game is. Yes, like pretty much everything on offer, the difficulty is very “retro” as well, as even the Easy mode will give you a run for your money. This is the typical, one-hit-and-you-re-dead kind of action game, with enemies relentlessly going after you from all sides. Thankfully, you have a couple of aces up your sleeve, as it’s possible to roll-dodge, and even hit foes with a melee attack when they eventually get too close.

There are four weapons available, including a laser-whip, a very powerful beam that takes some time to charge, and the grenade launcher. Disappointingly, the latter blows the competition away by being the most helpful of them all, due to its damage output, rate of fire, and, most of all, sizable blast radius. Some additional (and even more annoying) flaws include how the melee move can be quite unreliable, and lead to plenty of cheap deaths, and how easy some bosses are compared to the road that led to them. Yes, for all the good things on offer, Blazing Chrome lacks that fine-tuning and balance of the classics it pays homage to. Thankfully, it’s tons of fun.

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on PC

Both characters play the same. The existence of an alternative choice is basically there so that a second player can join in on the fun. In fact, you are advised to play that way, not only because it's far more entertaining, but mainly due to how challenging it is. Yes, like pretty much everything on offer, the difficulty is very "retro" as well, as even the Easy mode will give you a run for your money. This is the typical, one-hit-and-you-re-dead kind of action game, with enemies relentlessly going after you from all sides. Thankfully, you have a couple of aces up your sleeve, as it's possible to roll-dodge, and even hit foes with a melee attack when they eventually get too close.

There are four weapons available, including a laser-whip, a very powerful beam that takes some time to charge, and the grenade launcher. Disappointingly, the latter blows the competition away by being the most helpful of them all, due to its damage output, rate of fire, and, most of all, sizable blast radius. Some additional (and even more annoying) flaws include how the melee move can be quite unreliable, and lead plenty of cheap deaths, and how easy some bosses are compared to the road that led to them. Yes, for all the good things on offer, Blazing Chrome lacks that fine-tuning and balance of the classics it pays homage to. Thankfully, it's tons of fun.

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on PC

Even if aggravation can occasionally rear its head, for the most part this is a joy to play. The action is fast, blasting metal monsters is quite satisfying, and becoming better and better with each try feels great. The levels themselves are pleasantly varied, both in theme, as well as overall design. Some are straight run-and-gunners, others throw a heavier emphasis in platforming, and some are a little bit more gimmicky, like the second stage where you ride a hoverbike, or one where you fly via a suit in a pseudo-3D tunnel, viewing everything from behind the character. The bosses are very good as well, although, like mentioned before, maybe a bit too easy compared to everything else.

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on PC

Blazing Chrome has the perfect length for the type of gameplay it offers. Typical of run-and-gunners, the fun isn’t in reaching the finishing line, but in playing again and again. It helps that, apart from the three difficulty modes, one can unlock additional characters, which, interestingly enough, are melee only. There’s also a bosh rush, as well as a mirror mode. One minor complaint is the fact that you can’t replay a completed stage to practice, forcing you to start a new file. Then again, this is one of those games that are meant to be played in one go, so you can forget about saving your progress entirely.

Apart from the annoyance that are the hitboxes, the one thing that keeps this from being the flawless gem that it could be is that it lacks variety. There just aren’t enough things to see, not a thing that helps this stand out from the titles that it was inspired from - no new mechanics, no nothing. Just a handful of weapons, and a bunch of helper bots that keep you safe from harm, shoot at enemies, or make you faster, and that’s about it. It’s a shame really, as JoyMasher has managed to really capture that vintage feel with Blazing Chrome - here’s hoping an eventual sequel by this very promising team will manage to blend the old with the new, and offer something truly spectacular. [Cybernetic fingers crossed]

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

This adrenaline-pumping, tough as nails run-and-gunner, isn't retro-inspired, but pure retro! Besides that, it's also tons of fun. That being said, it has a couple of issues, like some annoying hit-boxes, a lack of balance in terms of difficulty and weaponry, and, finally, the fact that it doesn't add anything new to the genre. It's great, but it could be so much more.

Developer

JoyMasher

Publisher

The Arcade Crew

Genre

Shooter

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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