It’s time to rebel against the machines that have dominated the planet! Choose your hero and shoot yourself like you used to do in this fabulous Run’n’gun, heir to the legendary Contra saga. In the analysis of Blazing Chrome, we tell you this fabulous journey into the past.
Just when I finished with the final boss of Blazing Chrome, one of those tributes that are made to put your nostalgia to the surface appeared. It does so by “loading” an audio track to accompany the final scenes of the game and emulating the scratch-disk sound that those first compact disc players had when they had to turn awkwardly to find the specific track. Yes, that noise that sounded like you were scratching a crystal.
Like this, there are many examples in JoyMasher’s work. They do not stop being beautiful, but gimmicky. The best ones, however, are the ones you get while you play. Who does not remember those slowdowns of games in the 16 bits that, without intending it, turned the whole sequence into slow motion? There are bosses in Blazing Chrome who use this same resource, although now on memory everywhere, to return to the past, but with the knowledge that this particular boss would be practically impossible without this slowdown. That is nostalgia applied to game mechanics. You can not ask for much more.
Blazing Chrome has been a revitalizing experience. I have fallen into all the traps of my own memories, playing Run’n’guns and Shoot’em ups. Wanting to evoke those moments as they were. Here, Blazing Chrome proposes that to you, but from a reconciling perspective, that understands perfectly that the player you were twenty years ago still lives in you, but probably does not have the time or the patience to go through again. Hard: Corps, for example, in one sitting.
So Blazing Chrome offers you an alternative. Finish the game on medium difficulty, with five lives, infinite continuations, and some well-measured control points among the five missions that the arcade presents. Once you get it, if you get it, which is not an easy task, you can unlock the most classic model, with three lives, limited continuations and no checkpoints between mission and mission.
With this decision, which tries to address your nostalgia and your belief that you can with the hardest mode, JoyMasher makes sure that you see the whole game until the end and that you learn their patterns. Train, feel the challenge that hides and unlock the other two characters and modes available. And now, if you want, you can try to finish the game with three lives and three continuations, or with that much longed for 1cc. But at least, for those who no longer have the nerves, the patience, the time, or the reflexes, they will feel the same sensations as when you manage to advance in Hollow Knight or overcome a world of Celeste. That satisfaction when overcoming a challenge, together with the progression.
Blazing Chrome, run and shoot
Blazing Chrome is able to perfectly emulate the original sensations of that Run’n’gun representative that was Contra. Perhaps being his stage in the 16 bits with Contra Hard Corps of Mega Drive and Super Probotector: Alien Rebels of Super Nintendo his biggest inspirations. From the graphic palette to the rendering techniques for special phases, which emulate the famous 3D effect through Mode 7, you can find your way through the five missions that Blazing Chrome proposes is a true delight. And yes, of course, the video game does not forget those spectacular phases on a motorcycle or aboard gigantic wicks.
I like even playable additions or how to interpret the already known ones. The ability to get rid of enemies that get too close by a melee attack is very well implemented, although sometimes it is more difficult to understand how to execute it perfectly. The ability to stop your progress at the time of shooting by pressing a button, I feel more useful than ever, because although Blazing Chrome knows that there will be good speedrunners that cross the levels at high speeds, has built each level so you can clean it better than in the original Contra. Combining these two skills, you can perform better control of the attacks that arrive not only in front of the player, but the feared enemies that attack from the back and from the air.
I like the feeling of not feeling pressured to move forward quickly. It is still a good option since there are Power Ups that increases your speed and unlocks the double jump, but if you are a more methodical player, you also have your site in Blazing Chrome. After all, any strategy is good as long as it brings you alive to the end of the level. I think Blazing Chrome does a great job of giving those clues to the player, making him aware of which Power Up is better each time. If it is worth collecting the shield or the attack improvement, know when to keep the special weapons to evaporate a hard enemy at a stroke and when to use the standard weapon to advance.
It emulates with wonder the original sensations of the mythical Contra
It is not exempt, however, from some things that could improve or from a certain involution, even if we keep to the most recent deliveries of the Contra itself. The enemies are very well designed, but maybe they abuse the repetition of the most basic in the final stages of the game. In addition, although finishing the game in normal mode unlocks a handful of options, we have seen other examples, such as the wonderful and somewhat unknown Hard Corps Uprising, who knew how to give a longer life to these types of arcade experiences through progress options or the inclusion of an online mode for two players, something that is missing in Blazing Chrome. The study says that they are discussing the possibility of incorporating this facet in a cooperative line, but at the moment they do not promise anything. Not only that, but the factor more platformers that explored the saga here has been omitted to focus all their attention on the classics. There is however a classic Boss Rush mode, to face all the final bosses of the game and the addition of Two extra characters focused on the melee once we finished the adventure for the first time.
Although Blazing Chrome aims to emulate this graphical characteristic of the 16-bit 2D, the images can be misleading, since the game in motion displays a greater variety of effects, scenarios and, above all, colors that could be created at that time. Just take a look at the final heads, multiple and varied in each of the phases, which will always test our nerves to learn correctly all their patterns, while sometimes leaving us some sequences and very successful effects. Special mention for the final boss and his “dimensional alterations”. The options, in addition, allow us to add a few filters for pixelated graphics, among which stands out the option of emulating a classic CRT monitor, even with its curvature.
Blazing Chrome is a good game not because it rescues a successful and classic formula of the Run’n’gun, but by recreating it with a great design of levels and mechanics that at all times look for the player’s demand, with a very well measured difficulty. JoyMasher wants you to play your game. Although that means endless continuations, the moments in which we appear are perfectly chosen so that you feel the challenge and improvement through the practice and learning of patterns. Once the adventure is over, it is where the arcade begins and this time machine takes you completely to that past that you are so eager to show yourself and so eager to relive.
- Great interpretation of the aesthetics and mechanics of the time, but evolved.
- Difficulty very well measures, for those who want a challenge of the present and the past.
- Repeating some enemies in the final bars.
- It is missing more game modes and online options.