Strider Hiryu 2

Strider Hiryu 2
PlayStation One Sony

Strider Hiryu 2

ストライダー飛竜2 || Capcom 1999 / 2000 (PS)
Original Post Date: October 11, 2019

Conceived a full decade after the original Strider, Strider 2 was developed to coincide with its hero’s revitalized popularity thanks to his inclusion in the Marvel Vs. Capcom fighting game.

It is a 2.5D platformer that retains the side-scrolling action style of its predecessor, while combining sprites with 3D models and backgrounds, as well as the occasional visual effect making use of the third dimension.

While Hiryu has kept many of his abilities from the original game, it’s fair to say that the mechanics here have been given a drastic overhaul.

When compared to the intentionally stiff movement from the first Strider, here you’ll find Hiryu joining the ranks of some of gaming’s most mobile heroes, with a vast assortment of options for both movement and attack.

Your jumps are now fully controllable rather than committal, you can climb up walls with incredible swiftness by performing rapid jumps along them, and execute double jumps. You can still perform a slide maneuver, though it is admittedly a less appealing option here due to Hiryu’s newfound ability to run at great speeds by double tapping forwards.

Attack-wise, the mighty cypher is still his go-to, although you can perform a number of new tricks with it. By jumping and pressing down, up, then the attack button, you’ll perform a damaging berserker slash in mid-air.

When stocked with the “Boost” upgrades, you can hit a button to activate a temporary cypher power-up, firing mighty homing waves with every slice.

As great as the mechanics are in Strider 2, the emphasis on creative level design has definitely taken a backseat – there are still a great deal of mini-bosses to encounter, but otherwise the levels feel much more padded out and lacking in the endless barrage of creativity and surprise that made the original such a joy to master.

It still has its moments of brilliance, like the zoomed-out series of jumps across the sky found at the start of the penultimate stage, paying homage to the iconic second round of its predecessor.

Strider 2 may prioritize flash over substantial level design, but the fluidity of its control is second to none.

Rating: 8/10

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