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  1. #1

    [NSW, PC, PS4, XBO] Blazing Chrome

    I'm playing the Switch version.
    It's heavily influenced by Contra III and Hard Corps, leaning more towards the latter. The two selectable characters are the same, no different abilities or weapons.
    The options menu features screen filters (two CTRs with different bulge, blurriness, and scanline strenght; smooth; and none), volume, but no ability to remap controls, which right now is my biggest gripe with the game.

    Two difficulty levels available from the start, each with different lives and continue count; a third unlocks after beating normal.
    Controls are explained in a typical SNK function before starting the game proper: fire, jump, switch weapon, stationary fire. I wish I could remap switch weapons to L and R, with stationary fire on ZR or ZL, I don't particularly like having it as a face button.

    There are four weapons including the standard rapid-fire machine gun, and you lose the extra weapons if you die while using them. The extra weapons are a purple snake beam, short range but powerful and you can waggle it around. A grenade launcher, fires in a shallow arc, explodes upon impact and is not fully automatic. A blue charge laser that can fire powerful beams but locks you where you are if fully charged. There are also three support bots, attack, defence, and speed, which I've found more useful than the extra weapons; extra weapons and support bots are collected from the same canisters, which cycle through powerups until destroyed.

    I was surprised to see you can choose the level you want to tackle rather than being a straight sequence of stages. Levels are about as long as the typical Contra level, and might feature several twists, like the highway level on hoverbykes. Some levels also have robots you can ride to deliver extra mayehm to your enemies.
    Blazing Chrome plays pretty much like any 16bit Contra game. If you've played one of those, you know exactly how Blazing Chrome feels.

    Graphics kinda recreate a Megadrive palette: the colour palette is limited and up to 16 bit standards, but the MD could do just a tad more. It's not quite PC Engine too, some elements could have used a bit more shading and overall the game would have looked even more similar to a MD game. Sprites are big, the action is always solid, and the overall design recalls '80s and early '90s anime and manga, with Masamune Shirow (especially his early stuff like Black Magic and the first Appleseed volume) being the most obvious.
    The music feels right out of a MD soundchip, with electric rocking tunes accompanying the action.

    If you miss Contra, Blazing Chrome is here to fill that void.

  2. #2
    Got it yesterday from gamepass and will have a look on Sunday night. Like the look of it

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