Published on February 23rd, 2014 | by Shitiz Bhagal0
Strider Review– Legendary Ninja Returns
Capcom’s Strider was first conceived as an arcade game in 1989 and was perceived by many as one of the best games available during that time. After many years, Capcom has released a reboot and the fans of the series will be happy to know that it doesn’t shy away from the original formula. From the moment you boot up the game, you find yourself hang gliding into Kazakh City, a communist metropolis where your mission is to defeat the main antagonist Grandmaster Meio. At the same time, the reboot is not a simple straightforward hack and slash game… instead it follows the Metroidvania concept, similar to like that of Shadow Complex which was one of my best 2.5D games.
One of the first things that will catch your eye are the cartoonish visuals and vast array of particle effects. When you run/jump to get to the high grounds you leave a trail of cartoonish dust and when you hit an enemy with the Cypher– sparks are a pleasure to watch. Initially the red scarf-donning bad ass ninja is armed solely with the aforementioned plasma-like blade called Cypher, which can slice cyborgs into half and a climbing scythe which will allow you to climb walls and ceilings to access higher areas.
The reimagined Kazakh city looks gorgeous with its futuristic industrial Neo-Soviet setting. There are tons of impressive locales to gander at. As you advance, you will unlock specific abilities by defeating new boss enemies which will allow you to gain access to new areas. In addition, you’ll find health and energy upgrades, alternate skins, concept art and tons of other collectibles which are scattered throughout the world.
The combat system is great and satisfying, this is not just a one button mashing game, though the pace of your Cypher attacks does indeed depend on how fast you can press that button. As you progress and level-up, similarly your foes become stronger. Some of the enemies later become invulnerable to basic attacks so you need to shift between your Cypher types. For instance only charged attack can break through shields, you can even deflect bullets with your default red Cypher, with the orange one you can set enemies ablaze, the blue version can freeze them and with the purple one you can shoot a projectile; the latter comes in handy to take out enemies from a distance.
There are three powers which are available at your disposal such as summoning a cyber panther to attack ground-based units, a small droid which works as a temporary shield which you will often use in boss battles and an eagle beam attack which has area-effect damage. You will find plenty of health pickups and even killing an enemy will restore little bit of your health. But most of the times you will be low on health, which means whenever you enter a boss room it can lead to frustrating moments. The checkpoints are placed out of the room which is full of inescapable traps and laser beams that causes large amount of damage to your health before you face the boss again.
All-in-all the Strider reboot is a fast-paced enjoyable game which marks the return of the legendary Ninja once again. Double Helix has built a game that will not disappoint fans of the series while at the same time entertaining those new to it.
Check out the first ten minutes of Strider in the video below. Enjoy !