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Review | Chrono Rage

Time Flies…

Format: PC | Genre: Space Shooty Whatsit | Publisher: Anime Games | Developer: Anima Games | Release date: 10/11/2010 | Price: $9.99

Leena Van Deventer trips the rage Chrono in space-shooter CHRONO RAGE.

CHRONO RAGE by Anima Games is a space-themed shoot ‘em up where your main aim is to pass each of the 20 levels by annihilating absolutely everything in sight, until you’re the only thing left on the screen. You, in your cute little spaceship, you. Aren’t you adorable! You’re not allowed to meander your way through the level at your leisure though, you have a time limit in order to achieve this goal – and each time you take a hit from one of the enemies you’re docked 30 seconds, making your time to clear the level even tighter. With several game modes to keep you busy, and a whopping 21 achievements, it’s a game filled with the opportunity to sink a hell of a lot of time into if you’re inclined for something a little different.

The first few levels are relatively easy. Despite it not being 100% clear how you’re progressing or when the level will end, you soon kill everything within the time limit and start to understand how the level system works. Using your WASD keys to navigate your ship, and the mouse to shoot and aim, the controls are spectacularly intuitive. The ship is always facing where your mouse is clicking and the synergy between the left and right hands seems to work really elegantly, making for some stellar maneuverability when the battles get really intense and the screen fills up with enemies. There are 2 progress bars on the screen, the top for your Time Warp, the bottom for your Firepower. Once you’ve dealt enough destruction to start filling up your progress bar, you can use right click to enable the Time Warp. This slows all the enemies down to bullet-time so you can get maximum amount of damage done, and is specifically handy for when you suddenly find yourself covered with the little bastards.

The music stands out as it changes a fair bit throughout the game. When I first started the music had an electronica feel with a bit of an edge reminiscent of Regurgitator’s album “Unit”, then progressed to a heavier rock sound. I’m glad the creators decided on this unique music as the graphical style certainly lends itself to 8-bit music or chiptunes, which considering the game’s length (20 levels of about 5 minutes each, with some levels requiring several attempts) would have certainly grated on me after a while.

Cosmic Fools

The enemies take the form of other spaceships much like yourself, some familiar looking Space Invaders and Galaga bad guys, red skulls that come zooming straight for you, and a number of unique aircraft with varying degrees of ass-kickiness. Some enemies require one shot to be killed, some require many. Some are covered by shields and requireyou to find your way behind them to take them out. There are 3 different varieties of homing missle, each with their own weaknesses and strengths, and when all 3 are coming at you at once, it’s a race against the clock to try and shoot their creators while still getting the hell out of the way as soon as possible. I found my heart racing as the levels progressively got harder and harder, with battles much more intense than I was expecting. At times it’s genuinely overwhelming, with what seemed like 10 different kinds of enemy on the screen at once. Trying to remember what each one does, how to take it down, and then enact that, is the right balance of batshit-insane and more fun than you can shake a stick at.

Where Chrono Rage really shines is how it challenges you to get that harmony spot on between offense and defense. It’s impossible to stand in one spot and just try and kill everything, you have to be constantly moving away from potential dangers while still honing in on what you want to take down, all the while making sure the area you’re moving into isn’t infested with peril as well. This on-the-ball quick thinking is what makes Chrono Rage a joy to play. The visceral reward of watching your enemies disintegrate into particles sounds like no big deal, but is immensely satisfying when you get to unleash on a big group of them. So satisfying in fact, I want to stop writing this so I can go back and play some more. Toodlepip!

8/10

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