Strider is back, this time with an arcade style game that will appeal equally to both old-school players and modern-game enthusiast. Its progress mechanics are similar to Metroid or Castlevania, the control system is excellent, the difficulty level is just right and the graphics are great. All in all, a very well thought production.
A classic-style remake
The new Strider is great because it's built on a very strong and effective foundation. But it is also, to some extent, very conservative. That could be the biggest con: the gameplay isn’t innovative enough and is based on a game system that has been used over and over again. But like all classic formulas, if used correctly, it always works.
Strider gameplay has two very differentiated parts: the first is a platform system where you’ll have to fight the enemies you’ll encounter (at an incredibly fast pace). Skip, kill, jump, jump, kill, kill. Simple and straightforward, but at breakneck speed.
For the other half of the game you’ll have to explore and improve you character. New weapons and abilities will not only make you fight better, but will also help you to unlock new sections and areas of the map that make you progress through the game.
Both are mixed and combined in a very fluid game in which exploration doesn’t down play the fighting and vice versa. One second you're fighting for your life against multiple enemies and the next you’re travelling along sections that require skills like jumping and climbing walls. Sometimes you’ll even do all together, these being the most epic moments of Strider.
But none of this would be possible without the game’s extensive map and levels ready to be explored.
The city of Kazakh has many different interconnected districts. There is always one main goal, but it doesn't prevent you from exploring the rest of the map. As your skills improve, you can go back and rediscover unseen areas or even discover improvements in Health and Energy by collecting hidden items.
Excellent command response
One of Strider’s best features is how well it responds to your commands. All movements are agile and effective. In addition, the character evolves gradually throughout the game and every new movement is useful, it makes sense within the adventure.
The tool you’ll use the most is the Cypher plasma sword, which has different power stages. Each is effective with a particular kind of enemy, so you should be changing from one state to another as needed. You can also take advantage of magic, or Drones, which you can invoke whenever you have Energy.
Strider can also hang from walls and ceilings, which is not only useful but will become essential to survive.
Good graphics, but lacks variety
As it’s published directly in an "arcade style," the graphics are are good, but not amazing. It looks better on PC and current generation consoles, obviously, but this isn’t a game with too many graphic details. That said, what it does it does very well.
For example, the characters and animations are certainly achieved. Especially the final enemies that come out gradually. The scenarios are well designed, but don’t vary their visual appearance much. The same goes for the background of each level: with some exceptions, they are generic and repetitive.
The worst is perhaps how little enemies there are. The soldiers are repeated throughout the game, varying in color and difficulty. And the enemies of average difficulty appear here and there, but not too often.
The good thing is that these details don’t diminish a game that performs well on screen. Especially with the fluidity and camera angles, which always let you see the action without missing anything.
Don’t miss the remake of this ninja from the future
Strider is one of the best remakes of recent times. Double Helix Games has been able to adapt this classic game from the 90's, combine it with a NES version and give it a shake to create a game that is enjoyable and can even seem too short (but it’s not). It’s varied and entertaining, fast and easy on the controls, and keeps the player's attention because you will always discover something new. Strider follows the game design manual very carefully and that is why it works.