DISCLAIMER: I have NEVER played any Strider game in my life so I can't judge the game as an old-school fan of Strider. Consider that as a warning for old Strider fans.
Let's see... Strider is supposed to be the reboot for Capcom's famous arcade game Strider which was a side-scrolling platformer that had innovative gameplay and music at its time which is a great hit for Capcom before they made Street Fighter II. Now the reboot is made by Double Helix, the developers of Killer Instinct which was impressive, Silent Hill Homecoming which was okay, and movie tie-ins like Battleship, Green Lantern and others which were terrible. I was kind of skeptical about Strider reboot from just knowing Double Helix since they make hit or miss games other than Killer Instinct but they did not disappoint with this game as I had fun with Strider. It is a great game but not perfect one though. I applaud Double Helix's effort with the game though.
Strider, like its old arcade self, is a side-scrolling platformer that is also a hack and slash game that is made by Double Helix and published by Capcom. It is available for Playstation and Xbox consoles, and PC.
The game has you play as Strider Hiryu, a highly experienced Strider having been the youngest ever to obtain the high rank of Special A-Class in the organization's history.
Like I mentioned in the overview, you play as Strider Hiryu who has been sent on a mission to assassinate Grandmaster Meio in Kazakh City.
That is the premise as the game doesn't focus on the story at all. Hiryu basically has no substantial personality in the game as he is emotionless while exploring Kazakh City and killing soldiers and bosses that stand on his way. It seems that he is loyal as a Strider but other than that, he has no personality besides loyalty and killing.
The dialogue also felt forced too as the writing was just basic and predictable. You just kill soldiers and defeat bosses until you reach the main antagonist and kill him just like the old arcade days. I just want to ignore the story as I didn't feel that it had any quality in it. At least the story wasn't horrendous but it was just simple.
Now this is where the game shines. I bought this game to expect fun game to kill enemies and have challenge against some bosses and I got what I expected.
Hiryu has brought with him at the beginning of the mission with just a starter sword which is his trusty weapon called Cypher. You use Cypher to kill enemies that stand in your way while being careful about your limited HP and energy. Yes the game makes you start with a very short HP and almost no energy as you don't have special abilities to use in the game but trust me, once you get more upgrades for your Cypher like having the ability to have magnetic attacks against the enemies when Hiryu just slices his sword and a purple aura from Cypher will come to attack at the nearest enemy or item, and another good example is that you can freeze enemies with your Cypher. There are also abilities like Plasma Catapult which lets you make small teleport dash to the area you wish to be on
The game also makes you explore around for collectibles and upgrades for your HP and energy. Let me tell you something...the stages are big. They are big that you could get kind of lost if you don't follow the mini map from you HUD. I really liked how you could explore around areas as you hunt for more enemies, upgrades for HP, energy and kunai, and finding concept arts, enemy intel, and more.
There is also a leaderboard that show how much time the players finished the game. It could bring some competition for some completionists that love to complete games as fast as they can. There is also a challenge mode if you want to challenge yourself for some time after you finish the game.
My problem with the game is that it has difficulty spikes on certain stages. The strong enemies would be in high numbers against you on Normal mode. Yes even Normal mode is hard if you don't plan your attacks well enough and don't study the enemies' patterns. Even if you did, there are some soldiers who hold weapons that could kill you a bit easily if you don't have a certain Cypher upgrade. I like challenge, but the spikes were kind of exaggerating in Strider so I wasn't really pleased with that as I played on Normal mode.
One of the most important things on those kind of games are the bosses. Even though there were difficulty spikes on soldiers and other enemies, there were bosses that were kind of easy, and bosses that were a challenge and I liked that. The bosses had interesting patterns when you fight them as they change when you get their HP lower and lower every time as they get desperate to kill Hiryu. This is the challenge that I appreciate in games and I am glad that Double Helix did a good job on making bosses enjoyable to fight.
The background in different areas you explore in Kazakh City are a pleasure to look at. The quarantined city that has soldiers around the roofs of the buildings and looking at the tower as you try to find a way to enter can be nice to look at for sometime. The textures aren't jaw dropping but that doesn't mean that the backgrounds and how the enemies and Hiryu himself looked are horrible. In fact, I really liked the visuals on the enemies and Hiryu. It was kind of weird to see Hiryu's hair move around when he upgrades after he defeats the bosses but it was nice.
The music in this game would engage you to fight against enemies and bosses in certain parts which is good to hear. It could make you just want to jump around and kill a poor soldier doing his routine to make sure the area is safe as he meets his demise. Yeah, the music is that good. I could be kind of biased to the official soundtrack but I really liked the music in Strider so I applaud to the composer. It isn't the best but it is enjoyable.
The voice-acting though isn't that great. You can even tell some characters from their voices that they were trying to act as a crazy guy or something since it didn't really feel genuine in my opinion. I also felt that the accent from one of the main bosses was kind of fake unless I really can't confirm how a Russian accent sounds like so don't quote me on that!
The game is really fun to play and is worth $15 if you don't care about the story at all and just want to play for some killing and exploring around the areas of the stages. It isn't a big example of how next generation of platformers would be like but it is a good game to own for your next-gen console if you are planning to buy it. It isn't cross buy though so you won't own the Playstation 3 version if you bought the one of Playstation 4.
I missed playing side-scrollers as this game made a great job to make me satisfied. Double Helix, you are slowly getting respect so please make good games!