Recently, there has been a string of stellar reboots of classic games on the next generation consoles. “Strider” is a lesser known Capcom character from an arcade and NES game from 1989. There was a release on the Sega Genesis and a minor remake on the PS1; however, there hasn’t been a proper “Strider” game in over a decade. 2014’s “Strider” is a reboot of the series, with updated visuals, gameplay, and a revamped story.
Hiryu is a Strider, an elite super ninja and the youngest “Super A” agent. “Strider” is set in a dystopian future in the year 2048, where a mysterious dictator known as the “Grandmaster” rules over the world. Now Hiryu and his team must assassinate the Grandmaster and liberate the world from his tyranny.
The controls are very slick and precise, and the gameplay is action-packed and very stylish. Hiryu leans forward when he runs while kicking up dust, and he has really cool actions like wall running and super flips, and every swipe of his sword is blur of destruction. One of the most striking things about Hiryu is his cool red scarf that trails behind him and makes him look like a badass.
The original Strider was a side-scrolling action game, but the reboot is very different. The new Strider is still side-scrolling, but it is broken up into large chunks of a map similar to the older 2D “Metroid” games. There are many different types of environments, such as labs, caves, cities, and some more rural outside areas. The details and animations in the levels are quite breathtaking, especially on the PS4 and Xbox One. The levels are huge with tons of places to explore; there are several hidden passages that can only be accessed with certain weapons or abilities that you unlock along the way.
The new weapons are unlocked at a consistent pace that makes you want to keep playing to unlock the next piece of gear. As you unlock new moves, you also get new types of swords, which you can switch between on the fly. When you switch swords, your scarf also changes colors; red is standard, blue is freeze attacks, orange is explosives, and so on. You will need these different abilities to navigate the map and also to take down the large variety of bad guys that are consistently attacking you. You have to mix up your attack strategies to defeat them, so you are always on your toes trying to overcome all of the new challenges.
Aside from the fighting, this game has some excellent platforming sequences. Hiryu has all sorts of tricks to traverse the landscape of deathtraps. He can climb on the ceiling, scale walls, and even do midair dashes in order to stay alive. The platforming can be tough, but if you miss a jump, you don’t really die; you lose some health and are transported back to the next safest spot. You don’t die unless you lose all of your health, and even then, the checkpoints are very lenient. There is a challenge, but the difficulty is never too much to handle. There really isn’t much story in the game, but luckily there are a ton of places to explore and a lot of collectibles to find. Basically, you just collect everything and kill every enemy you see; that sums up the game. It isn’t very deep, but it is a blast to play.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game. The gameplay is fast and very stylish. I loved exploring the game world and finding all of the collectibles. If you have the option to play this on next gen consoles, you definitely should; the graphics are great and so is the frame rate, but if you only have a PS3 or Xbox 360, it is still a fantastic action game. If you like traditional side-scrolling action games, this is the game for you, especially if you are a fan of the “Metroid” series. “Strider” is a great reboot for old-school arcade players and a great action game for newcomers to the series. If you are looking for a great story, you might want to look elsewhere. This game is pure action and is a great downloadable title to keep you fighting at least for a few hours.
-Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.