Game Review: Neon Chrome (Switch)

Last year Finland-based-development studio 10tons released Neon Chrome, a top-down cyberpunk sci-fi styled twin-stick-shooter, onto a variety of platforms; and now this charmingly difficult game has arrived onto Nintendo’s hybrid console – the Nintendo Switch! Is this a good thing? Well that all depends if you like Twin-Stick-Shooters; but there is no denying that Neon Chrome finds itself as a welcome addition to the Nintendo hybrid console.

  Title: Neon Chrome
Publisher: 10Tons Ltd
Developer: 10Tons Ltd
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Resolution: 1920 X 1080
Audio: English
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1 – 4
Online Players: N/A
Install: YES (200mb)

Our View:

10ton’s may be known for making marble-busting games, such as the recent Nintendo Switch release of Sparkle 2, or simplistic twin-stick-survival shooters such as Crimsonland; but unlike these aforementioned games you will be screaming in agony at the insane amount of deaths you shall receive from within Neon Chrome. It’s not that Neon Chrome is difficult, nor are the enemies difficult to kill; it is just a game that this game has been designed to give you a difficult time. As such this is a part of what makes Neon Chrome so enticing to play as it offers that perfect “just one more go” experience that many games tend to lack nowadays.

In Neon Chrome players take control of a randomly generated character known as an Asset and they must fight through thirty levels in order to reach the facilities boss known as the overseer. It sounds like a simplistic challenge; but in actuality it is anything but easy. The difficult aspect of this challenge is that all thirty levels, and the final boss fight, must be completed within a single attempt because if not then the whole game will change; quite literally.

Players who end up dying will not only have to start from a restrictive set of starting points, with more becoming available as you progress higher up the building; but the entire game world will change around you. That’s right, Neon Chrome offers randomised levels; with each map being randomly generated upon completion or death. That’s not all either; as upon re-spawning from death you will have to choose a completely different asset (character) which will have a different weapon ability and load out to the one you previously used.

This is what makes Neon Chrome so challenging and refreshing to play; it offers a completely new way to play a game each time you die. Of course to some this may be an aggravating feature to include but fear not as thanks to asset upgrades, unlockable weapons and ability perks you can customise your ‘general’ asset however you please.  It’s at this point that you understand what Neon Chrome is all about. It’s not necessarily about rushing to defeat the overseer in the shortest possible time; it’s more about discovering the different enemy types, earning money and using that experience to upgrade your assets abilities so that completing the objective in a single playthrough is achievable.

Of course to aid you in this quest players will have access to a varied amount of weaponry; with classics such as Pistol, Shotgun and SMG alongside futuristic weapons such as EMP Shotguns and Homing Rockets at your disposal, while unique abilities such as EMP Waves and Vampire Drain can provide support when in need. Perks can also be unlocked and equipped to an asset to give them a bigger impact in the game with such abilities including increased speed or higher defence.

Generally weapons cannot be upgraded; but upgraded weapon types can be found in the field or purchased in the hub world and equipped at your desire; however only one weapon at a time can be carried – so choosing an effective weapon is critical if you wish to proceed forward. While weapons and abilities cannot be upgraded you can upgrade your asset (character) which in turn it gives your asset more health, higher damage and additional slots for perks and support abilities to be equipped.

All asset upgrades; be it abilities, perks or weapons, are done through the games hub-world and each time your asset dies you will find yourself re-spawned in this area. This hub world is your safe heaven and as such you can spend your time in here upgrading your asset without worrying about the enemy. Ironically enough if you do not want to use weapons or abilities you can simply ‘punch’ your opponent to death, as in Neon Chrome you can melee enemies, however it will not be very effective; especially when it comes to the ever challenging boss fights that appear.

It’s worth noting that while your asset can die the upgradable stats will transfer over from one asset to another; so money is never really wasted. It’s about effectively using these stats and your current generated asset in order to beat the game as any previously equipped perks will have to be re-equipped if you still wanted to use it. It sounds relatively complicated but the simple fact is; upon dying you must re-equip your character before venturing out into the campaign otherwise you will die.

This Nintendo Switch release of Neon Chrome retains all of the visual flair and gameplay features found within previous release of the game; but with the added bonus of being able to play it on the big screen as well as out and about. Unfortunately while Neon Chrome on the Switch may offer that ‘flexibility’ in where you play the game it does not offer the same when it comes to the Co-Op functionality.

The game’s co-op mode, just like with previous releases, is offline only and while this does not exactly present a problem (as the screen is more than big enough to accommodate) in order to use the Co-Op feature another pair of Joy-Cons (or a Pro Controller) is needed. It’s obvious why, as it requires two analog sticks; but it is a shame that some form of ‘single joy-con’ gameplay isnt available for co-op as it would have been great for playing with friends who don’t own a Switch console or controller set.

In short; Neon Chrome can prove to be a frustrating and challenging experience however it is an innovative and refreshing twin-stick arcade shooter that’s enjoyable by yourself but even better with friends in local co-op play.

Score: review-stars-4

Neon Chrome is now available for the Nintendo Switch via the Nintendo eShop and is also available for the PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One and PC.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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