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March 20, 2014 / Jett

Strider Impressions

Strider to me is the cool ninja guy in the Marvel vs. Capcom games. Sure, I know he has his roots in manga as well as in his own 2D side-scrolling action games, but I’ve never actually played them before. I didn’t come across a Strider game in my lifetime until I picked up an NES copy of the original game a few months ago. With the reboot of Strider on modern consoles, this is really my first crack at Capcom’s brand of 2D side-scrolling ninja action.

From what I gather, most of the games in Strider catalogue were straight up action-platformers. There is no shortage of that in the new game, but there’s also an element of Metroid-inspired exploration as well. Throughout the game, Hiryu gains a number of different abilities that allow him to access new areas or fight stronger enemies that he couldn’t have otherwise. It doesn’t go all the way with it, as you are moving from level-to-level in a linear fashion, though adding that layer of exploration does give the game a bit more depth.

These expansive levels also act as a great playground for Hiryu to showcase his signature ninja acrobatics. His quick foot speed and ability to cling onto walls and ceilings makes for a character that is a lot of fun to handle. He also has the ability to slash his sword in a number of different angles while on the ground or in the air, making him an even more dynamic warrior. Later on, the game’s traversal elements get really challenging to the point of frustration, particularly when they play with gravity. There isn’t much in the way of nuance to fighting most of the game’s enemies, though I do think that the boss battles are a highlight for their grandiose setpieces and more intricate combat patterns.

I’m about 2/3rds of the way through this Strider reboot, which amounts to about 4 hours of gameplay, though I don’t know if I’m going to finish it. I’m admittedly in a bit of a gaming rut and this one hasn’t inspired me to finish it. Still, I think if you’re in the market for a 2D action game or Metroid-style experience, check this one out.

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