Xbox One

  All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One



Score: 85%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Double Helix Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Platformer/ Classic/Retro

Graphics & Sound:

Lately, it seems that Capcom's had a thing for revisiting its illustrious past. And why not? The storied and rich heritage of that great development house is legendary, spanning from Mega Man to DuckTales and Bionic Commando. But with recent releases Mega Man 9 and 10 being too difficult to enjoy and DuckTales: Remastered being far too easy, it seemed that these fondly-remembered treasures might not live up to their respective legacies. That is, until now. Double Helix Games, fresh off their success with Killer Instinct, has partnered with Capcom to deliver a reimagining of the 2D classic Strider. The results are a resounding success, an exciting action/platformer hybrid that borrows the best elements of what the genre has to offer while remaining true to its original vision. Strider is a must-buy for anyone who enjoys a good 2D action game - particularly those who enjoy that specific game type popularized by Metroid and Castlevania.

On Xbox One, Strider's visuals look like a natural extension of the excellent graphical design of Killer Instinct. The palette is rich and doesn't skimp on saturating the primary colors. Hiryu is fun to control, but he's almost as much fun to watch. He claims a spot on the list of excellently-animated ninja heroes -- alongside Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa and Shinobi's Hotsuma. Ninjas are the only individuals who can rock the scarf (hipsters only think they can), and Hiryu's might be the best; it's a wispy crimson slash that appears to be made of vapor. Environments might not hold up so well alongside all the insane on-screen action, but they are faithful to the original.

Strider's audio design takes cues from the past, much like Bionic Commando: Rearmed does. There are some hints of what once was, but they are blended into something arguably more modern, which is apt, given both the game's futuristic setting and the technological renaissance we are currently experiencing in our own world. The voice acting could have been skipped altogether, but what's here thankfully doesn't take itself seriously at all. In this day and age, nobody can insert a ton of stereotypical evil Eastern Europeans into a game and not crack up laughing.


You are Hiryu, one of an elite team of Striders (read: badass future ninjas). Your mission is to infiltrate the totalitarian Kazakh City and take down Grandmaster Meio. Do not think about this game's story; it's absolutely bonkers, and not necessarily in a good way. Instead, focus squarely on the mission, or rather, the multitude of obstacles that stand between Hiryu and his goal.

Strider hearkens back to those good old ninja games that revolve around flipping out and slaughtering everything on the screen. And since all of Hiryu's enemies are robotic, this means a smorgasbord of ninja violence the whole family can get in on. There are no flying heads, severed limbs, or gouts of blood; Hiryu is an efficient operator and cuts cleanly through steel and circuitry.

There's always a clear-cut goal, and you'll never find yourself wondering where you need to go next. However, the game encourages you to go off the beaten path wherever possible; exploration is one of Strider's key pleasures. Though the rewards for hitting every nook and cranny might not be all you'd hope for (artwork and upgrades to Hiryu's health and energy), it's still a great deal of fun.


Strider isn't difficult, but it is challenging from time to time. Indeed, you can get through most of the game by simply moving towards your objective while slashing indiscriminately. I would recommend against that, however, as the game does have its share of challenging encounters. Hiryu's got the tools to unleash devastating charge attacks, scale walls and ceilings, and even reflect enemy bullets with a well-timed flick of the Cypher. Boss fights generally devolve into a simple matter of staying out of the way while they attack, then rushing in for a string of attacks. Luckily, the act of staying out of the way is a joy, thanks to the excellent animation work and the sharp controls.

Going for total completion is another matter, though it isn't all that demanding of your time, at least not in the way that it was in Darksiders or Shadow Complex. The map will always tell you if there's something of interest you haven't discovered yet, and special icons indicate if a certain ability is needed to access these areas.

Game Mechanics:

Strider is an empowering action experience that gives you the tools that you'd expect a futuristic ninja to wield. First and foremost, he's really agile and can leap into the air as easily as he can slide under the legions of Kazakh machinery. He's got a special scaling hook, which can be used to help him climb walls and traverse ceilings. And he only gets stronger from there.

Hiryu's only artificial tool is his Cypher, a plasma weapon that is like a Swiss Army Knife crossed with a Transformer. Standard attacks have Hiryu executing a series of precise and impossibly fast cuts, but as you progress through the game, new upgrades, or "Options" for the Cypher are unlocked. These options range in effect, but always give Hiryu more of an edge. Options are fun to mess around with, though one in particular feels a bit overpowered. It's not a big deal, though, since the end of the game isn't really playing around.

If you've been craving for a good Metroidvania-style game since Shadow Complex, you would do well to purchase Strider. It may not be best in class, but it's confident, attractive, and full of style.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Sony PlayStation Vita Toukiden: The Age of Demons Microsoft Xbox 360 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated