Strider was first brought to my attention through the Marvel Vs. Capcom series. He was a different character than I was used to from seeing in Capcom games, and he really grabbed my attention. I didn’t think much of him though as anything more than just another fighting game character. When I heard that he was going to have his own game (rebooted for the new generations), I got excited to see what Capcom and Double Helix had to bring to the table. The game brought more than expected in some areas, less in others.
Players take control of Hiryu, a Strider. Striders are futuristic assassins for hire. In this game, he is hired to take down the leader and ruler of the city of Kazakh. Those players looking for more of a story are out of luck. That is all the game will tell you, if you can gather even that much. Strider is a platformer at its core, which was expected. I was not expecting it to be another Metroid-vania style game. There are many areas that players can go back to and get more power-ups as the game goes further and unlocks new abilities. Players can revisit any area as long as they are willing to travel, and the game rewards players for taking the time to do so. Everything from in game power ups to unlockable extras such as skins, concept art, and more.The game is a jolly good time. The game mechanics are very solid in the classic side scrolling platform style. It harkens back to the Mega Man or Castlevania play styles. The combat is dynamic and entertaining. There will be power ups for the weapon that will affect some enemies better than others. Players can button mash and get through just fine, but it also has more interesting moves that will reward players who can master them. These moves will be necessary in order to beat more of the harder difficulties.
The game has more than just a basic campaign mode as well. Players can unlock a survival mode and beacon mode. Survival pits players against as many enemies as they can survive. Enemies increase in difficulty the longer player remains. Beacon mode is a time trial. There are beacons set up through parts of a level that players must run through as quickly as possible. This is a really enjoyable and challenging mode. While there is the essence of a race against time, there are also enemies in the way of the player. Survival and a race mode combined together provide for a new twist to a normally predictable platformer game.Graphics:
The new look to the Strider game is fantastic. The side scrolling look while still having depth really is beautiful to explore. Some power ups allow Strider to freeze or burn enemies, and the effects of those abilities look realistic. The particles on the flames dancing on the enemies really make the flames look alive, the same goes for the mist falling off the ice pillars enemies turn into. Strider’s cape also accents the futuristic feel with a laser like trail that the assassin leaves in his wake.
The soundtrack is always pumping in Strider. The near nonstop action in the game always feels exciting as the soundtrack plays in the background. The techno beats add to the time frame as well. The entire thing feels futuristic, as it should be. In the slower parts, the music slows down to more of a curious crawl as Strider explores through the area. Perfect atmospheric addition to the game.Final Thoughts:
Though the story is less than desirable, the game is definitely worth the buy. The graphics and soundtrack keeps the game interesting and entrancing. Power up progression makes the game fun while still keeping things slightly out of reach at first. The game provides more of a sense of accomplishment with getting all the upgrades like older Capcom games are known for. It does not try to push to be any different from the classic styles of old, and that is alright. What it does bring to the table, it does so perfectly packaged and wrapped up with a bow. At a price of $15 (only digital download), it is a great price for a game.