Strider Review

February 25, 2014

/ by Tin Salamunic

"Strider returns and he's better than ever. The action is fast, challenging, and the graphics are spectacular."

My childhood memories are imbued with Capcom nostalgia. Mega Man, Final Fight, Street Fighter, Resident Evil…the list of timeless Capcom classics is endless. With each generation, Capcom delivered some of the finest arcade-action and was undoubtedly one of the most liked publishers/developers amongst gamers. Sadly, things changed drastically in recent years. Not only with Capcom, but many of our favorite game companies. The industry has shaped into something sinister and watching our cherished franchises destroyed for the sake of mass profit has been disheartening. It’s no secret that Capcom has been under heavy fire for their DLC practices and degradation of Resident Evil…but I’m happy to report that there’s still hope. Gamers have been angry and vocal and it appears Capcom listened to the fans’ cries and decided to set things straight.

The new Strider beautifully mirrors Capcom’s glorious past. It’s a throwback to a time when 2-d action games ruled the industry. Only five minutes into the game and I felt like a kid who just received his first NES. The buttery smooth controls, the fast-paced ninja action, the beautiful visuals…Capcom’s new Strider is a near perfect re-envisioning of the 1989 arcade classic. Whether you’re a fan of the original or a series newcomer, Strider is one of Capcom’s best releases in recent years.

The narrative is a retelling of the original 1989 arcade release with bits and pieces of the NES console version. It tells the story of Strider Hiryu who’s sent to kill Grandmaster Meio in Kazakh City. Like the original, you’re thrown straight into the action without any introductory cinematics or story setups. Within seconds, the fighting escalates to chaotic heights as you slice through baddies while maneuvering effortlessly across vast futuristic environments.

"So far, Strider is one of the best downloadable titles of 2014 and is a must on next gen consoles."

Strider is simple and straightforward. You begin with basic jump and slash abilities and acquire upgrades that allow you to reach new level openings and new methods of defeating enemies. The platforming is flawless. Even when the entire screen fills with enemy fire and explosions, Strider zigzags with lightning speed and effortless precision. Levels are packed with collectibles, which makes finding hidden paths incredibly exciting and the sense of verticality gives the industrial landscape a sense of endless openness.

Visually, Strider is absolutely stunning. Environments are meticulously designed and the game is remarkably stable with very minor frame rate hiccups every now and then. Kazakh City radiates with color and a cool mist-like softness that results from the wintry environment, but I do wish there was a bit more variety to the city’s overall aesthetic. As a whole, a lot of the backgrounds end up looking too similar, especially when you start backtracking to earlier stages, but the style impresses nevertheless. Capcom’s new Strider is a must have. If this is any indication of where Capcom is going with their future releases, then there’s a lot to be excited about. Strider is a reminder of why I fell in love with gaming in the first place and it’s already on my list of top downloadable games of the year. It’s fast, it’s pretty, it’s fun…it’s some of the best ninja action on consoles at the moment!

Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 4


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