Somehow, I've been writing here for over a year and haven't said a word about run n' gun shooter Blazing Chrome - something I'm rectifying now, thanks to developers JoyMasher releasing some new footage of their upcoming game. It is utterly, unapologetically a tribute to Konami's classic Contra series - specifically to my favourite; Contra Hard Corps on the Mega Drive/Genesis. That means constant swarms of enemies, bosses every thirty seconds or so and explosions that just don't stop. The game is due out in "early 2019". Take a peek at its robot-infested world below.
There's not a massive amount I can say about the game other than 'yep, that's Contra'. In the style of Hard Corps, you can pick up several extra weapons to switch between on the fly, although unlike the Mega Drive game, the two characters are functionally identical in combat. While most of the action shown in videos so far features the players chewing up robot armies ala Probotector (the bizarre European adaptation of the Contra series), it looks like the later levels have all the alien monsters and meat-tunnels you'd expect. The sprites are chunky, the music is full of FM synth jams, and the explosions are just right.
Some other clips show off co-op. In this much older segment (from way back in 2017), the players board a moving train on hoverbikes for some Sunset Riders-by-way-of-Appleseed action. Some fun enemy designs in there, including robot ninjas that sprite-scale in from the foreground to jump aboard the train. Sadly it looks like co-op is going to be local only, but that's not too big a surprise.
Excitingly, JoyMasher are working on a second spiritual successor that also sets my heart ablaze. While not as well publicised as Blazing Chrome, Moonrider looks a whole lot like Shinobi 3: Return of The Ninja Master given a fresh lick of paint and some fun new systems like chained ninja wall-jumps. Also, great music, huge screen-hogging bosses and big anime lasers. Far as I'm concerned none of this ever went out of style - folks just forgot how cool it is, somehow.
Blazing Chrome is due out "early" this year. You can find it on Steam here or its official page here. It's published by The Arcade Crew. I also highly recommend people check out Odallus: The Dark Call, which fittingly for today feels like a Berserk tribute in all but name.