Blazing Chrome : Hasta la vista …metal heads.


Blazing Chrome : Hasta la vista …metal heads.


With its eye melting 16 bits graphics, A speedy metal sound track, crunching synthesized voice samples and a stylish presentation, “Blazing Chrome “ knows from the outset what it wants to be. A fast action packed game that takes pride in showing its inspiration and gleefully blasts the player with all the late eighties and early nineties video game and movie cliche's. Where tv shows like  Stranger Things sometimes feels like a hyper visualization of the 80’s , so does  Blazing Chrome feel like an intense hyper versions of those old bullet hell platform shooters, Games such as Metal Slug and contra, especially Contra 3.

The opening story sequence seems ripped straight from the Terminator movies. You get introduced to the post apocalyptic world that is at the heart of Blazing Chrome. Somewhere in the 22nd century you find yourself in a world , ravaged from years of fighting with a robotic army referred to as the Toasters, which I am pretty sure is not a pet name for them. Human kind is almost extinct. You fight as Mavra a young female resistance fighter with your (t)rusty partner Doyle , a converted Toaster. On a suicide mission behind enemies lines you are the last hope in stopping the metal threat and save humankind.

What follows is a high octane game where one hit kills you and enemy come at you in waves only broken up by insane boss fights and many bullets. In order to make it through you will have to discover each level, the traps , enemy spawns and their behavior in order to survive.
Not an easy task , even on easy which gives you 7 lives to start.  You play over 6 levels , each with a different difficulty that can pick them from a overworld map in any order you prefer. The levels are all long , with multiple parts to them , various boss fights and other challenging encounters. And it will take time to make it through them all.


As mentioned it is a one hit kill situation. That is, one hit for you , while many enemies can withstand a lot more and absorb some of your attacks.  It is going to take cunning and skill to mow through them all. During your run you will pickup power ups that give you more powerful weapons, shields , speed boost, or a helpful gun drone.  Some of these you can only equip one at a time. Weapon wise you can have multiple, but if you get hit and die holding one of them then you lose that weapon. If you were firing your default gun at the time you get to keep your special weapon for the next life. It is important to learn what weapon works best in what situation, Is it best to use at a boss fight , of perhaps for crowd control,  each part of a level will determine what is the best approach which you will learn only over time. Once you got the game beat? Why not do a run it again and beat your high score and rise in the online rankings. Or perhaps you want to do a speed run?  


I am getting too old and slow for these kind of games so I went through a lot of lives and moved through a lot of trial and error phases as well as just plain making dumb mistakes.  In some cases you just die because of the controls. They do not always feel as precise as you would expect for a game where aiming and timing is everything. Perhaps this is more a hardware than software problem. With the pro controller there is a lot of improvement, and especially when using the D-pad instead of the joystick, but with the default joy cons it can be a real drag at times.

Luckily for some weapons you can just hold down that spam button and fire away , while others need a charge or some button mashing. But in return they are very powerful and do a lot of damage.

The level designs are entertaining with fast and varied gameplay, you can go from running to hanging on a helicopter, mowing down enemies while stomping around in a power suit or drive a motorcycle through the various environments. Enemy variety is pretty good with some cool designs such a praying mantis men and electrified monocycles.  Each level has a number of save points but they seem inconstant and are often too far apart making it frustrating if you have to redo an entire part over and over again. On the other end the game allows you to continue from your last spot and offers endless continues to try to break through the challenge and not have to start all the way from the beginning. And it cost you no extra quarters.

Being as the game has two protagonists it should come as not surprise that Blazing Chrome also has a couch co-op mode. And it makes the game even better.Each player gets the same amount of lives and if player two runs out he or she can respawn as long as player one still has lives left. But if they both are depleted to 0 then the game is over and it is time for a continue.
Playing with two player does not change the game and in some ways can make it easier to make it through the level as each can defend different sides of the screen but in some ways it also makes it more chaotic and harder to follow the onscreen action. However the fun of taking on these Toasters together is a great plus for the game. Too bad it is not drop in/out coop as you have to select the option in the menu before you start. We would have preferred the drop in method.

This game is rated by the ESRB as T for Teen, siting blood, fantasy violence and use of tobacco. Nothing in the game is really offensive and it is a great game to play together for for a nostalgic parent trying to relive their arcade glory days and their kids new to the genre and willing to step up to the next level.Just beware the difficulty. 


Blazing Chrome is everything you want an homage games such as Metal Slug and Contra to be.  The game comes at you no hold barred and makes no excuses for what it is and revels in the nostalgia it brings the player. At times It  truly feels like a spiritual successor to the games of the time it is inspired by and should be considered worthy to stand beside them. 






Though the game falters a little in some places ,with some tweaks to the issues we mentioned in terms of controls, save points and adding drop in/our coop the game would near platform shooter nirvana. But beware that the game is tough , and if you do not like grinding it over and over in order to memorize the enemy patterns and traps and make it through each level you might want to skip this. But if you miss the old days of arcade quarter sucking game play and a gaming challenge then you cannot miss out. 






Game information:
Title: Blazing Chrome
DeveloperJoyMasher/The Arcade crew
PublisherThe Arcade crew
Release date:July 11th, 2019 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One,Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed:Nintendo Switch
Official Site:https://joymasher.com/blazing-chrome/
ESRB: T for Teen (fantasy violence, tobacco use and blood)

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