Strider (PSN) Review

Whether or not you’re already familiar with the 1980’s game which 2014’s “Strider” is based upon isn’t particularly relevant. However, it’s basically the same tale from the NES days albeit with some seriously amped-up graphics, gameplay and art direction. You assume control of Strider Hiryu, a man who’s basically like a high-tech Rambo – shooting first and asking questions later. Naturally, your goal is to take out an malevolent tyrant (Grandmaster Meio), however in order to do this you’ll need to explore the city of Kazakh in search of key items and weapons.

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Gamers who are used to the unique fun and challenges offered through side-scrollers will be particularly thrilled with “Strider”. For all intents and purposes it’s basically the same title that appeared decades earlier, but with a number of awesome improvements. This is the sort of platforming and arcade-like action that most will find immediately appealing. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre or don’t particularly care for the premise, the onscreen action and gameplay mixed with the relatively straightforward controls make it both addicting as well as very user-friendly.

Visuals

Simply put, “Strider” is a feast for the eyes. It contains generous helpings of dazzling lighting effects, sharp HD character models, impressively magnificent backdrops, as well as other visually intense events. Developers Double Helix Games and Capcom Osaka studio appear to have really put quite a lot of effort into this 3D-enahanced 2D experience. Since the protagonist is so versatile and highly athletic every encounter offers an opportunity to pull of some impressive moves which provide a perfect overlay to the general mood and ambience of the city itself.

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Gameplay

The gameplay is very simple in scope, yet deep in execution; think of it as a sort of mix between Shinobi and Metroid if you will, but with mouth-watering graphics tacked on. The main focus is always on the action, but there is also plenty of potential for exploration too. As you track down and slaughter one boss after another your weaponry also gets upgraded; in this sense there’s a bit of Megaman present as well. Of course what makes the game so addicting are the battle options at your disposal. For instance, being able to summon support, repel incoming projectiles, and tossing sharpened blades at your foes allows Strider Hiryu to stylishly dispatch even the strongest opponents. Moreover, as you progress throughout the game you will need to tap into your powers in order to move past blockades – it’s basically a merger between Strider’s reward and campaign progress systems.

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Verdict

As you might expect, PS4 owners (as well as Xbox ONE, Windows and 7th generation console owners) who are into anything suggesting an enhanced 2D side-scrolling action adventure experience will love this title. At the same time, retro gaming enthusiasts will also find plenty to love about this Strider remake. Furthermore, if you are a fan of games which challenge you and require some careful tactics, this HD remake certainly will not disappoint.

Rating - 8.4

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