Real Talk By: KJ
Finally it’s the return of Capcom’s Rebellious Ninja. There hasn’t been a solo game since PlayStation One. Safe to say it’s been a while. Was the wait worth it? The game takes Hiryu against the Evil Grand Master Meio. This is to be considered a reboot of the series, but to me, it feels like Strider Part 3.
Gameplay overall is fast-paced, and challenging. The way Strider jumps and slashes is absolutely reminiscent of the past games. Button mashing is actually rewarded. When fighting close-ranged enemies, or gigantic ones, Slam on the attack button. Doing it enough will make your meter build. Your character glows, and attacks do much more damage. Controls are easy to pick up, and quite responsive. You’ll even see some tricks he used in The Marvel vs Capcom Series.
Use the claw and climb all around. Platforming overall feels smooth. The well designed levels make for great challenges. The game always has a good mix of jump, slashing, and exploring. Its fun running at Ninja speeds from door to door, but try not to go to fast. The game is jammed with bonuses. Areas hide secrets. Concept art, costumes intel, as well as life upgrades and energy meter enhancements. Life is one you should be on the lookout for. You’ll need it. More energy, more opportunities to use special moves.
Without spoiling to much of the really sweet upgrades, know that Strider can Launch a red bird at his enemies. This kills normal grunts in one hit, while making a decent dent in bigger foes. He can also Throw Kunai Blades too. They’re weaker but work well against smaller, distant enemies. One technique that is incredibly useful and may even be my favorite, is the deflection power. Timing a normal attack right will allow you to send enemy fire right back at them. Your reflexes have to be spot on, but it pays off.
Boss Battles are plenteous, and they are all enjoyable challenges. You look forward to the next fight or Ability earned as you progress. Some will remind you of past games, others will need players to use some newer techinques. The items are just some of the constant nods to the past, making this feel like just another adventure in the series. Zero Gravity stages, and other character appearances will make longtime fans happy.
The Soundtrack is well done. Classic tracks are reworked, and other new sounds were added to the game. Overall production on this end reminded us of Bionic commando Rearmed. In fact Traveling around Kazakh City did too. Certain places will be blocked off. Usually it’s because of an item you’ll retrieve later on. So that adds to the games decent length, while establishing a MetroidVania style to the series that never existed before.
The whole color palette looks rich. Graphics look clean, and backgrounds stand out. Nothing jaw dropping, but sharp enough for a downloadable experience. Next-Gen versions offer speedy 60 FPS gameplay.
Playing on Normal is a challenging way to play the game, but not out of reach for the casual player. Expect to die at parts, but nothing like playing on Hard. Your reflexes need to be sharp as no mercy is given. The Challenges you can find include Survival Maps, and Beacon Runs. Survival sees players outlasting enemies in the quickest time, while battling for leader-board supremacy. Beacon Runs demand gamers to make it through a level without dying, dodging all obstacles in the process.
The effort put forth in this reload is reminiscent of Bionic Commando Rearmed. It never steps on history of the series, but builds on top of it with new ideas, and style. Fairly priced at $14.99, and possibly an early Downloadable title of the year contender. Welcome back Strider.
Out of Five
+ Feels Classic/Fresh
+ Solid Extras
+ Boss Battles Rock
-More Regular enemy variety