If “Because Ninjas” isn’t reason enough for you to blow your last $15 before next pay day, please let me tell you why you’ll be ok eating Ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the remainder of the week. Fanboyism aside; Strider is a well-crafted side-scrolling action/platformer that does extremely well establishing a solid title in this genre on current and next gen consoles (and PCs). Its last independent titles were arcade games and an NES installment, and the game’s protagonist Strider Hiryu hasn’t been seen much at all since Marvel vs Capcom. So, it was well overdo for a current gen reboot. It runs quite smoothly, I personally have yet to encounter any lag or a single glitch. And it is easy to jump into and play with a simple button configuration that ultimately centers on button mashing. Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of cool ninja things to do like throwing shuriken (ninja stars), dropping tiny bombs, and running faster than a human being should be able to. But if you’re looking for fast paced action that allows you to attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, this is a game for you.
The gem in this game for me at least is the subtle ushering of players to think “like a ninja.” No really. As much as I love to run around in a game and kill everything in sight, that’s not always the best option in Strider. There are segments of the game where you may be rushing across screen to beat a clock or environment hazard with 100s of enemies in your way. Some you’ll kill, some you’ll dodge and keep going. Trust me on this; you do not want to end up at the end of these segments with low health. There are areas where you’ll climb, areas where you’ll run, and some where you’ll free fall. Sometimes you may even have to backtrack to previously inaccessible areas after you obtain a new ability. It’s up to you to determine the best route on a given map to get to your objective. Though linear in style, this title offers character boosts to health, ninjutsu, and other miscellaneous bonuses that you have to find along the way. Thankfully the most important ones (health) are marked on your mini maps.
It’s got a decent sound track but at the same time this is one of those games where audio isn’t necessary. So if you’re the kind of gamer that likes to mute your tv and terrorize your neighbors with your custom stereo playlists, you want this game. It’s very fast paced and it’s quick to beat with its throwback arcade-style. I think I saw a trophy for beating the game under 4 hours, or 5? Something like that. But this being said it’s a great title to throw in when you’re really looking to just veg out and enjoy a day off from work without doing any intense strategizing or trash talking over a headset.
This game is very straightforward, and as such I’m keeping this review short and sweet. I will however offer you some gameplay videos I recorded during my time with this game. All in all Strider is a solid title. I was lucky enough to get it for free on Playstation Plus, but sacking lunch for a few days is well worth it.
Check out a cool mini boss and some great gameplay.
If that is not enough, here is a boss demo for your viewing pleasure.
Pros: Smooth gameplay, fast paced, moderate replay value, short game that can be beaten without worry of being stuck somewhere for a week or three.
Cons: Short game, not everyone likes that sort of thing.