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Throwback Thursdays #01 - Strider 2

Strider Hiryu in more recent years has been best known for his appearances in various fighting games, and in particular those of the Marvel vs Capcom series. Strider roots however lie further back beginning with Strider NES games in the late 80’s, an arcade only game that followed shortly after and then the game which I’m going to be discussing in this post, 1999’s Strider 2 for the Playstation.

Strider 2 Back In The Day

My first experience with Strider 2 was at a friends house, where I got to see some of the game play and try out his borrowed copy for myself. The main section of the game we were on during that gaming session was the mecha multi headed far east style dragon, suffice to say the first thing that really struck me about the game was its art style. There have many Japanese developed games released in the west since computer games were first developed but very in my opinion few if any have the sense of uber cool, over the top flare & slick styling as that of Strider 2.

Strider 2 was a rather good looking game for its time, its art and game play style too was certainly something to take notice of . As mentioned above, when it came to mecha multi headed far east style dragons? Strider 2 said sure why not. Chase across hover cars far above a futuristic mega city? Strider 2 said why the hell not. Perhaps you prefer ninjas high above the earth battling around space stations? Strider 2 doesn’t see a reason why that cant be. These are just a few examples of uninhibited cool to be found in this game, which really didn’t care too much for convention & generic imagery.

Some may not appreciate that, but it certainly is nice to have a game which does provide this, which will only add to the variety in gaming as a whole. Apart from the actual 2D images used in the game, the gradually shifting 3d background added a slightly warped sense of perspective which only bolstered the sheer and uniqueness

Not to be outdone by the graphics, the game play too was a blast. Very megaman-esque , or rather Zero-like the game play consists of a combination of frantic platforming and button mash friendly frenzied hack and slash combat which made for great high octane action. The bosses as well as the stages all had their various mechanics to get around that added variety to the levels. The only real complaint I could have about the game-play was its length (and the simplistic, evil overlord plot), which isn’t much being easily completable in around 5 hours, which is a shame as I would certainly appreciate some more of this game.

Imagining Strider 3

Its been a very long time since the last strider game, over a decade now in fact. With the release of Marvel vs Capcom 3 is it time that Capcom considers releasing the 3rd instalment of the game? With the sort of technology we have, and the sort of game play we’ve seen in various other games a Strider 3 that maintains the earlier games experience is already easily imaginable as the 3rd and ideally first 3D rendition of the franchise could borrow a mix of from Assassins Creed parkour (with perhaps vertical wall running to add the Strider flavour to it), and sliding/jumping found in Vanquish and Tribes to allow for high speed movement and manoeuvrability. A grappling hook to latch on to surfaces wouldn’t go amiss either.

Combat would have to stick to its roots and stay hack and slash like, borrowing from the DMC series and the more recent Bayonetta. The game play challenge itself would consist of platforming in a 3d environment and the use of combat, with the hordes of enemies to keep you on your toes much like they do for recent action platforming titles. Bosses would also have to keep with the stylistic ethos of the 2nd game and be observantly overly flashy in design and combat/movement.

This is all however just a dream until Capcom announce any interest in a 3rd Strider game, which hasn’t happened so far but they could surprise out of nowhere like they some what did with the first initial announcements of MvC3 after the long years of news drought. Until then Strider 2 is still around and probably not so pricey these days – so if you’re looking for some combat platforming, do make sure to check it out!

top two images by genzoman at deviantart

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