The mix of running, jumping, dodging, and shooting is clearly based on?Contra, but the melee attack, along with the occasional use of mechs in combat, gives?Blazing Chrome?a strong?Metal Slug?vibe as well. Where the game mixes things up a bit is with the weaponry. You can carry up to four weapons at once, including a grenade launcher, a laser that can be charged up, and a whip-like energy weapon. You can also melee enemies with a laser sword if they get too close.
Further Reading: 3 Underrated Contra Games You Need to Play
While Blazing Chrome plays it safe with its level and enemy designs, again taking pages from Contra and Metal Slug‘s books, it’s no small achievement that JoyMasher has succeeded in bridging the gap between these classic series, creating something that feels fresh but will also please longtime fans of both franchises.?
In a way, Blazing Chrome is easier than the games that inspired it, as there are regular checkpoints, yet there are no continues when you run out of lives (the number of which are determined by the difficulty you select at the start of the game).?It makes for a slightly different type of difficulty that’s not unwelcome in the genre. The game is no cakewalk, but once you’ve figured out the layout of each level and a particular enemy’s attack pattern, completing the stage should be manageable.
One thing that consistently struck me was how well Blazing Chrome sticks to the 16-bit aesthetic throughout. Not only do the graphics look like they’re running on a Genesis or SNES, but the music and sound effects do as well, and they’re consistently great homages to the games of the era. Blazing Chrome features one of the better retro soundtracks of the last few years.
Unfortunately, Blazing Chrome keeps it a little too retro in one regard: there’s no online co-op. While you can play through the entire game with a second player locally, that’s the extent of multiplayer support. It’s a really unfortunate omission here that hurts the experience.