Strider Review: Revived Yet Flawed
Who would have thought we would have gotten a new Strider especially in this form, while Capcom Japan isn’t making this new installment American developers Double Helix have assumed the challenge of bringing back this classic ninja in a new light.
One thing you’ll notice as soon as you select start game is that Double Helix throws you straight into the action. Combat is very fluid, so buttery smooth, everything feels just right as you slice and dice your way through enemies. Is slicing and dicing all your doing? Not really, there’s a lot of exploration and puzzles that make you feel very ninja-like and the game very reminiscent of older platformers from generations ago, Metroid is the one that comes to mind most easily. One problem that this leads to though is that it seems like Double helix doesn’t allow you to control Hiryu with the d-pad. I know some won’t mind but I like options and more precise movement wouldn’t hurt, especially when fighting a certain flying boss (not going to name him, he’s just a very bad man).
You do get upgrades and they make boss battles easier. These upgrades all depend on how extensively you explore areas as you can literally explore the entire map unlocking power ups and goodies for later use such as survival missions and artwork. You don’t really have to follow the main path unless it’s a completely new area and there’s always a visual indicator on your distance from the next story mission, so explore. While following story missions I did run into a few bugs which almost made me stop playing, one example was during a jumping puzzle, where a laser would disable as the platform moves across it. The only problem is that the laser wasn’t activating at first, so I kept leaving the room and checking my map to see if there was another way. That didn’t work, so I quit the game, saved and started it over and the same thing happened. It wasn’t until the second time I turned off the PS4 that it decided to work. It also happened when opening a door with projectile attacks. All those things could have been game breaking experiences and should have been squashed before release, and while the game is only $14.99, that fact doesn’t give it the right to release as buggy as it is.
While Strider runs nice and fluid, it has a very generic art style, besides Strider himself. Its very boring to look at in some areas and could turn some people off. The enemy design is very forgettable with a few exceptions, like one of the few bosses. What I remember most is some of the great tunes playing, some of which were remixed from the original Strider, but the iconic sword sound effect is sorely missing. I mean come on! Strider does have a fanbase and if it was looking to appeal to that fanbase it should have been included. On another note the game’s voice actors are laughably bad with Strider sounding a bit like Jackie Chan. I hope no one jumped into this for the story, but its unintentionally great as a comedy.
Overall Strider is a decent game and it does deserve a shot if you’re into classic beat em ups or platformers, especially for the price, but it does have a few shortcomings, which can hamper the experience. If you have spare change around and need something new why not give it a shot.
Verdict 3 / 5
+ Fast & Fluid
+ Difficulty feels just right here
? Jackie chan voiced strider ?
– No d-pad control for movement can make some parts tricky , options, developers options!
– Seems buggy, there are a few instances where I had to reboot the game because 2 jump puzzles weren’t working correctly and there were a few other incidents.
(* Was Played on Playstation 4)