REVIEW: Neon Chrome

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

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Title Neon Chrome
Developer 10tons
Publisher 10tons
Release Date October 12th, 2017
Genre Twin Stick Shooter
Platform Switch, PS4, XBox One, Steam
Age Rating Teen
Official Website

I haven’t played a twin stick shooter in years. In fact, the last one I can remember playing is Total Carnage on a Midway Arcade Treasures collection for the PS2. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this genre, I just rarely get a chance to check one out. When I got a chance to look at Neon Chrome on the Switch I decided what the hell, it’s been years, may as well give this a go. Let’s see if these are still fun or if I annoyed quickly at my old age!

The story here is the basic run of the mill big corporation Neon Corp has taken over the world. The Overseer is making life miserable for everyone. You must now climb the giant tower known as the Neon Chrome (see what they did there?) and defeat The Overseer in order to free the city from his iron grip.

Neon Chrome | Boom

I didn’t go into this one expecting much story, so the basic save the city deal was just fine. I feel like most folks playing this one are here for the gameplay. Neon Chrome is a mixed bag in this department. In this world your created characters are called Assets and they come in three different flavors. Techie, a solider that has better shielding; Hacker, which can unlock extra doors and chests and Super Soldier, which has high HP and can use more powerful weapons.

The controls felt great. The thumb sticks being offset really made this a cut above the PlayStation Vita version. That version felt awkward with both thumb sticks being in a straight line. The controls here are also tight and very responsive. I had no issues blasting away wave after wave of baddies with ease.

Neon Chrome | Blast

This is a rouge-like, meaning your levels are generated at random, but the problem is they mostly all feel the same. I blame the graphics for some of this though. They do have a great cyberpunk look and there’s nothing wrong with graphics, but not very much changes during the course of the game either. The boss models are really cool, but general textures of the floors and enemies are the same. The game does attempt to spice things up with unlockables that modify some of the mechanics post game, and while this does help you’re still doing the same thing over and over. Start level, shoot things, make big chain explosion, repeat. The game does run at a solid 60 fps in docked and handheld mode, but I think the graphics look a lot clearer in docked mode.

While the gameplay can get a little repetitive, one place this game really shines is in the audio department. The sound effects of the different weapons and the massive explosions are impressive and immerse you in the action. The techno inspired soundtrack is wonderful as well, and you will end up humming these tunes long after you stop playing.

It took me around 8 hours to get through all 30 floors and I did play around with post game extras a little bit. While Neon Chrome is basic and repetitive I wouldn’t call it a bad game. If you are into this genre I think you would most likely get enough fun out of this to justify the $14.99 price tag. I’ve seen this game go on sale quite often as well, so if you wait for a sale you would probably come out even better. I would have a hard time recommending this one to anyone outside of twin stick shooter fans, but in the end I think fans will find a lot here to love.

Review Score

Review copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.