(3DS eShop)

Chain Blaster (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Chain Blaster Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Blastin’ makes me feel good

It’s been just over a month since G.Rev’s Kokuga hit the 3DS eShop, and now we’re already being treated to another shoot ‘em up with the release of G-Style’s Chain Blaster. Though shoot ‘em ups have been few and far between since the home console took over the industry and put countless arcades out of business, it seems as though developers have recently taken an interest in the 3DS as a new home for the genre. No one here is complaining though, as these types of games tend to be simple fun and are usually worth revisiting over and over again.

Unlike Kokuga, the gameplay in Chain Blaster is designed as a traditional top-down vertical shooter, with all of the action taking place on the 3DS’s upper screen. The thing that sets this game apart from others in the genre is its chain-killing mechanic. While your ship is equipped with a normal shot that can easily KO enemies, it’s your Chain Blast that really makes the magic happen. If this special shot makes contact with an enemy, it’ll immediately trigger a chain that engulfs all enemies in close proximity to the blast. Timing these attacks just right is crucial for increasing your score and making your way through the campaign.

Killing enemies is also necessary for filling your Blast Gauge, a meter located at the bottom of your screen that dictates how many Chain Blasts you have stocked up. Only three Chain Blasts can be held at a time, so using these strategically is essential. The good news is that if you effectively land a chain, then the enemies killed in that attack will go towards refilling your meter. If you can keep the cycle going, it’s actually relatively easy to always have at least one Chain Blast on hand. Portions of the Blast Gauge can also be used to activate Overdrive, a special attack that slows enemy ships and makes you momentarily invincible.

On the bottom of the screen adjacent to the Blast Gauge, you also have a second meter called an Extend Gauge. Simply put, this meter acts as a health bar. There are three portions on the meter that are also filled up but slaughtering enemy ships, but three deaths in succession without a portion of the meter filled will result in a game over. As there are so many enemies on screen at most times, it’s actually very easy to keep your Extend Gauge full. As long as you’re fast enough to dodge enemy attacks, completing the campaign shouldn’t be much of a problem for most players as health is abundant.

This is definitely the type of game that is reflective of an arcade experience and warrants multiple playthroughs. Featuring an online leaderboard that allows you to upload your highest scores, Chain Blaster makes it easy to see where your skills lie in comparison to the rest of the world. Scoring a certain amount of points in the campaign will also unlock an addition “advanced” mode that increases the game’s difficulty by changing up and limiting your weapons. Between the leaderboards and new challenging game mode, there’s easily enough reason to revisit this one, in spite of its relatively short campaign.

Chain Blaster controls simply. Your normal shot, Chain Blast, and Overdrive are assigned to the A, B, and Y buttons, respectively, while movement falls to the responsibility of either the Circle Pad or D-Pad. The soundtrack and visual style also lend themselves nicely to the shoot ‘em up genre, combining to creating a heart-pounding intensity that’ll keep your knuckles white. The stage backgrounds are a bit bland, mostly consisting of black space with slight details, but this actually helps to increase the visibility of enemy fire, so it’s a difficult complaint to make. The 3D effect is also used well to add depth to the otherwise flat stages - it’s not necessary, but visually pleasing nonetheless.


Chain Blaster may be flawed in that its campaign is short and not entirely difficult, but it’s still a whole lot of fun. It’s the type of game that reflects both the advantages and flaws of an arcade-based genre, but it does so with an irresistible style. Fans of shoot ‘em ups, especially of the bullet hell variety, should definitely give this one a shot.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (23)



XFsWorld said:

Well I'm definitely downloading this once I get an eShop card. I have 21 remaining times to play this. [Usually I play a demo once or twice.]



unrandomsam said:

There is loads of bullet hell shooters available. I find them easier than the old style and less satisfying to play.

Don't mind stuff like :

Strikers 1945
1944: The Loop Master
Aero Fighters 3

What we need is some more that are like what Compile used to make. (They were unique in that they never had slowdown but there should be enough power these days so it is not an issue).

(M.U.S.H.A / Robo Aleste / Super Aleste /SEIREI SENSHI SPRIGGAN / Blazing Lasers) even Master System Power Strike 2 is great.

Probably get this anyway because it is quite cheap.



XCWarrior said:

Wow, reading that review, I thought it was going to get an 8 or a 9. 7 still good for sure, and I'm definitely keeping this on my radar. I think the short campaign was probably deliberate, so that people would have incentive to replay, especially with an online leaderboard.

Really well written review Ron DelVillano, I appreciate that you focused on positive things and not spent half the article complaining about the negative.

Will pick this game up down the road for sure, but I have 4 or 5 eshop games on my 3DS that still need played/beaten. But will buy for sure.



Play-Doh_25 said:

At first I thought I wouldnt like it much but then I downloaded the demo and realized it was SO FUN! Im definitely going to hav to buy this one.



SamuraiShyGuy said:

I've heard complaints about a lack of variety in enemies/bosses/patterns. I'm surprised this review doesn't address that. I wanted to get this game since I liked the demo so much, but this lack of variety has kept me from making the purchase.



sinalefa said:

Need to try the demo. Indeed this review barely mentions negatives, and even has the online leaderboards everyone seems to crave so much, so it sounded like an 8.

The "short campaign" comments barely give me an idea. How many levels, how long is a level, and how many hours to beat the game? Does it have bosses?

Anyway, definitely checking more reviews.



Thulfram said:

This looks cool and I bought it.

Can anyone recommend any other space shooters (shmups?) on the 3DS (or Wii U?). I've always avoided them because I had bad reaction time, but that problem seems to be clearing up.

I started thinking about space shooters after having a lot of fun with Mii Force.



Bakajin said:

I'll have to try the demo. Not my favorite genre, but I've enjoyed the odd shmup on occasion.

I'm surprised no-one's complimented the awesome subtitle. 'Blasting makes me feel good,' indeed.



Will-75 said:

For me its one of those games the more I play it the more I like it . I really like the fact they added online leader boards adds a ton of replay value..



Kilroy said:

@Thulfram On the 3DS eShop (that includes DSiWare):

  • Nano Assault EX. This is an eShop port of a 3DS game from late '11. Gameplay is a mix of Super Stardust (twin-stick) and Star Fox. It's also compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, albeit it isn't necessarily needed.
  • TwinBee, an NES vertical scroller, which can be easy or hard, depending on if you want a better score or different weapons.
  • Xevious, another NES vertical scroller with dynamic A.I. that get harder as you do better.
  • 99Bullets on DSiWare. Vertical scroller with the gimmick of only giving you 99 bullets.
  • Flip the Core on DSiWare. Side scroller where you change perspectives on-the-fly.
  • Metal Torrent on DSiWare. Vertical scroller where you can feed off of enemy bullets.
  • On the Wii U, there is Nano Assault Neo, which is shorter, but harder than EX.

There are a TON of shmups on the Wii Shop Channel. R-Type III immediately comes to mind, although there are definitely more good entries.



WinterWarm said:


Never understood that.

I use up all my demos. XD

Anyway, may get this, holding out for sale.



Freelance said:


You forgot Gradius. It's probably the best SHMUP on the Eshop. I'm more of a fan of those classic SHMUPs than the more modern ones.



Kilroy said:

@Donjwolf D'oh! You're right, I did forget that! I never downloaded it, but only because I've got Gradius Collection on PSP. That is up there on the list, though.



MeloMan said:

I was very surprised by the demo as it was quite fun albeit short. This will be one that will stay in my wishlist in case I run out of things to play (which unfortunately, is not happening any time soon).



XCWarrior said:

Game is short, but endless loop for high score rankings. Now that I've played it a good amount, 7/10 is a good score. With online leaderboards, gives it replay value. I'm enjoying it. Worth picking up!



dronesplitter said:

This is on sale until the end of the year for $2.99, I may have to get it. I'll play the demo again first to see how I like it since it's been a while.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...