Blazing Chrome (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 19.07.2019

Review for Blazing Chrome on Nintendo Switch

Contra used to be a beloved, 2D run-and-gun action platformer series from Konami. It has fallen into obscurity for the past two decades, but has been getting a bit of a revival thanks to the Contra Aniversary Collection and the upcoming Contra: Rogue Corps. For the longest time, if anyone wanted to play something like Contra, they had no other choice but to play the older games, or maybe Hard Corps: Uprising. It's also a sub genre of 2D action that has been barely been represented in the indie scene... until now. Joy Masher has proven they truly know retro with their third home-run in a row: Blazing Chrome.

What was it that made Contra such an indelible action series? It was a combination of several factors that Joy Masher understood would be important to implement into Blazing Chrome. Drop in and out local co-op, huge bosses, extremely high difficulty with impossible odds, tightly responsive gameplay, and, of course, a rocking soundtrack that is impossible to not bob your head up and down while listening. Blazing Chrome has all these things and then some. The team at Joy Masher seemingly went through all the best Contra titles with a fine-toothed comb, and carefully chosen the best aspects of each to craft what would be the best entry in the series had Konami published this and slapped a big fiery 'C' on the cover.

In spite of its core concept being derivative of a venerable franchise, Blazing Chrome still manages to stand on its own merits and have its own sense of style. There is a nod to classic manga like Appleseed as well: the second playable character is very clearly inspired by the robot companion, Briareos. There is even an unlockable ninja who bears an uncanny resemblance of the protagonist from the Strider games. They team at Joy Masher were very careful with their homages and references, so as not to make it a distraction. Blazing Chrome is very much its own animal thanks to its own unique gimmicks and set-pieces. Some of Metal Slug managed to creep in here as well; expect some machine riding, and a similar style melee attack.

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on Nintendo Switch

The core appeal of games that inspired Blazing Chrome was the adrenaline-fuelled action. Hands would clench controllers tightly, as players would have to dodge countless bullets and blast alien guys coming in from all directions. Eyes would bulge from the overwhelming platforming sequences, where a massive mid-boss, and friendships would be reinforced from a second player helper who just saved your life. After the sweaty palms dried, and air is finally gasped in a huge gulp, a huge wave of relief washes over as a weird room-sized, H.R. Giger style monster succumbs to the heroes' lead-filled wrath. Its moments like these why anyone played these kinds of shooters. From the impeccable pixel art/animation that perfectly emulates the scaling effects of 16-bit hardware, to the beefy sound and music; Blazing Chrome sets out what it aims for and it hits all its marks perfectly.

Finding issues within Blazing Chrome is not easy. Its worst aspects can be overlooked and would only be noticed by those looking for them. Smalls issues like not being able to drop down from platforms will confuse those with muscle memory for this basic feature; the melee attack not being as reliable as it should will lead to a couple of cheap or unfair deaths; the dodge roll having no invincibility frames which is meant for only a quick burst of speed does not make too much sense, and makes the move close to useless; not being able to replay completed stages for practice is a pain, and requires a fresh new file; and, finally, the overall package also feels a bit shorter than it should be. One or two more levels would have made the experience truly complete. Some of these qualities are more noticeable than others, yet Blazing Chrome is such a wonderful run-and-gunner in spite of its flaws.

Screenshot for Blazing Chrome on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Konami might be reviving Contra in its own way, but it is unlikely it will scratch the same itch that fans have been grasping for all these years. From the wild rail gun shooting sequence, to the frantic battle with a huge cycloptic Terminator knock-off, Blazing Chrome is worthy to be held in the same league of the action games that inspired it. This is easily one of the greatest 2D action games on the Nintendo Switch, and it is made all the better thanks to its accessible two-player co-op mode. It is fun with friends and enemies. It may not burn for long, but Blazing Chrome burns extremely bright.




The Arcade Crew





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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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