When it was announced that a reboot of the Capcom-produced arcade “Strider” was on the stairs with an American studio behind, I must admit that I became skeptical.
The original “Strider” is an erke-japansk game.
It is colorful on the border with the glorious, but at the same time a polar pole to a level that, with few exceptions, simply can not be afforded in the West.
In addition, it serves an almost fetish glory of swords that far along the way matches the American love for games with firearms.
Fast and smooth
It was also hard to imagine how it would be possible to match last year’s sword party ‘ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ‘ when it comes to pur adrenaline- packed ninja action.
And so far, it has not been done either, because new “strides” go in a completely different direction.
Unlike its two predecessors, who were mainly about turning swiftly between walls and roofs from point A to B at high speed, new “strider” are a so-called “Metroidvania” game. It involves some walking back and forth between places you’ve already been to hunt upgrades that open locked areas – yet can be seen just outside reach.
However, this does not mean that swivel swing and running along the ceilings and walls are eliminated.
When Strider Hiryu, after a brief introduction, jumps from his hangover outside Kazakh City, speeds up and cuts through the first enemy foot soldiers, one immediately gets the feeling of being in the ninja sandals of a brutal but fast, smooth and elegant killing machine.
Strider has all his skills from the first game intact and moves at the same speed and intensity as in the sequel. It’s almost touching how reverently close this has been implemented against the originals.
One of the things that could, for example, be forgotten, but have been recreated to perfection, is the fast-paced chop and immediate response of the protagonist when pressing the sword button.
This allows attack combinations so fast that speed is limited only by the player’s ability to maintain a continuous attack pressure.
And high sword pace one must have to get a bit painless throughout the game. However, pressing the buttons quickly is not enough. Maneuverability and precision are also required.
A real challenge
Another element the developers have managed to bring from the arcade original is the very high level of difficulty sometimes.
The game has individual parties that require intensely accurate timing, knowledge of the landscape and the ability to press the sword button very fast to move on.
These parties usually require a lot of trial and error, but they are never directly unfair and thus fully available with some training.
New “Battles” run this line consistently in some key battles.
The transport stages in the game are really quite relaxing. You cut through regular foot soldiers with their sword like a hot knife through melted butter, but when you hit one of the chefs it becomes serious.
Glovarm hand controls
I do not know how many times I had to fight the finishing touches before I finally managed to give him a good Christmas, but it just approached the limit of frustration without ever crossing the line.
During this game, my hand controller was so warmed that glued to the serial number sticker on the back of it melted. However, when it finally was victory, the joy was great.
Since this is a “Metroidvania” game, there are of course plenty of upgrades to collect that make your job as ninja a bit easier along the way.
Many of the attributes acquired along the way are taken from Strider Hiryu’s guest appearances in “Marvel vs. Capcom »slot game series, but some are also brand new.
Among other things, you get access to four different “cypers” to the sword, which means that with the right timing you can, for example, reflect bullets back on the enemies or freeze them to ice and use them as platforms to climb higher.
If I have something to postpone the game, it may be that some of the sites may be a little exciting in their graphic expression.
It is, for example, a rather long party that unfolds in a gray and boring sewage, combating annoying crabs.
In the original, at this point in the game, in order to put things in perspective, you would be in a jungle and climbed on dinosaurs.
“Battles” is a game that, despite being able to round five to six hours, could actually be even better if it had trimmed its length by removing some of these less exciting parties … and maybe having more dinosaurs.
It seems that in general, there is a barrier in the industry to making “short-term” games. It sometimes feels like the big publishers try to make us use computer games like time sweats.
Personally, I do not actually want games that kill my time. However, I want games that, because they are interesting, make me willing to spend time on them.
But preserved, “Strider” is not the worst culprit in this area. In fact, it’s one of the best examples I’ve been looking at how to update an old classic to both feel like a nostalgic look back to the golden age of the old arcade games, while being able to feel fresh and new at the same time.
NB! The game is released to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.