ストライダー飛竜 || Capcom 1989 (AC) / 2000 (PS)
Original Post Date: December 10, 2019
Strider is an action platforming masterpiece ported near flawlessly from the arcade. It was initially conceived as a multimedia project spanning a manga series, an arcade game, and an NES game completely independent from its arcade counterpart.
A joint venture between Capcom and a team of artists known as Moto Kikaku, Strider follows the futuristic adventures of a ninja named Hiryu who belongs to an elite group of assassins known as the Striders.
Hiryu is armed with a plasma sword known as the cypher, which can be swung rapidly with next to no downtime between shots.
By crouching and pressing the jump button, Hiryu can slide forwards to quickly cover some ground, and he can freely latch onto and climb just about every surface and wall in the game, a revolutionary feature at its time which is implemented beautifully in each stage.
There are also a number of power-ups to find, including a cypher extension that’ll boost your attack range for 100 swings, and three mechanical companions that’ll assist you in damaging enemies, the most useful and iconic being the robotic orbs that’ll circle Hiryu like a shield.
The level design was always the major draw to Strider, and its brilliance is even more apparent once the game’s mechanics are fully learned. Each level features vastly different environments, throwing new mini-boss encounters and traps at each step.
Like the iconic Siberian level, where you’ll go from outrunning explosives down a mountainous terrain, to soaring the sky and leaping from enemy aircraft to aircraft while dodging a rain of missiles nearly one scene later.
The game prides itself on its presentation as well as its ability to keep things fresh all the way to the final stage, which combines elements from all prior levels.
Strider is a meticulously crafted platformer that never settles for mediocrity in its stage design, and demands the same level of respect in turn from its players.
One’s perception of Strider might seem to fade when its initial “wow” factor wears off, but its beauty shines brighter than ever when the game is mastered in full, and all of its pieces fall into place.