This is not a traditional review. Do not expect a score or grade.
Finally Strider is back and it’s not in the form of a cameo or part of a brawler. Double Helix successfully brought Strider back in to the new age while retaining a lot of what was fun about it all those years ago. No real risks were taken, so don’t expect a ton of change. A lot has remained the same in fact. This is a reboot worthy of being in the same class and family of the original games.
Everything in Strider pops with vibrant colors and bright lighting effects. All characters on screen have their own little effects that makes them apart of the environment adding to the immersion. With each charged swing, Strider creates a cloud of dirt from the force. The animation may not change, but its a good look. When the action is in the full swing, the imagery melds in to a techno color light show. This would worry anyone who has played some of the more recent Sonic games as your character is quick to get loss amidst the action. But that does not happen here. The camera is pulled in at a perfect place to keep Strider centered at all times. And Strider himself is designed is such a way where you never lose track of that digital scarf thing.
What, was that long signature scarf too un-cool for today’s youth? Back in my day a man could wear a scarf that reached his ankles and not have to worry about what society thought.
Strider has to beat the bad guy. That’s about it. Sorry, you don’t go in to Strider for the laughs and tears. If you’re looking for feels, go play Metal Gear Solid. “You were the lighting in that RAIN!”… The plot seems to follow the original arcade title. Which pits Strider against a army of bad guys that he has to beat up. Oh, yea. We were just here.
As mentioned above, the gameplay in this reboot does not stray far at all from the original games. And that is good news for any Strider fan looking for an honest HD makeover. It is also great for any youngster who missed out on the arcade scene.
Your main weapon will be your Cypher. A plasma sword that you never, ever stop swinging. This is a classic arcade game to a fault. For some, it may get repetitive. Because beyond your regular swing, you have a charged attack that breaks most guards. It does not make for a huge change in gameplay. That is where your options come in.
Options in Strider are essentially sidearms that can take the form of actual weapons or equipment. The metroid style map creates a playground for learning to master all your options. Using your options should be as common as swinging your cypher. Options like your shurikens get the job done long range. While your defensive options keep you alive while cartwheel jumping through enemy lasers. There are a host of options to collect in the game and most of them are dropped by bosses, Mega Man style. Yes, there are bosses. None of them too great a challenge though.
Strider does HD reboot right. For better or worse, it stays true to classic titles. If you are a old school fan, do not go in expecting a huge change in core gameplay. But if you are a fan and want an updated classic, Double Helix knocks it out of the park. The reboot is a great return to form for anyone looking for more Strider. However if you have no interest at all in the character, then there isn’t much here for you. Non fans will experience a good, fun, repetitive hack and slash that they may not finish. This a project for fans, but not fans only. Give it a try, you won’t be blown away but you won’t be disappointed either.