Strider 2 Review
Capcom is mostly known for its Street Fighter series, its Resident Evil series, and its Mega Man series. Not only that but those are the three titles that pop into your head when you think "Capcom", but I bet you you'd never think of Strider. Yes, Strider, Capcom's nearly forgotten martial artist. First making his debut on arcades, Strider was a big hit with the arcade people, and after the success Strider had a very long period of him doing nothing. Until recently he re-appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom on arcades and consoles. At the time of Marvel vs. Capcom, Capcom was cooking some good stuff for the die-hard fans who remember playing Strider back in the good ol' days. The project that Capcom was behind was a sequel to Strider. High hopes arose everywhere, including here in the states to some people. As I saw more and more of Strider 2, I started tearing up when I saw the good guy back to where he belongs. Being sold as a package rather than a separate game, Strider 1 + 2 is a worthy pick up for any body. See the in-depth review of Strider 2.
This isn't a complete 2D side-scroller, the dimension is more 2.5, rather than flat 2D. I say this for the fact that the camera may pan around Strider to give the gamer a better look around the environment and to see what's going on around Strider. The backgrounds are full 3D, they are made up of solid looking structures and textures, and nothing here is grain. This is without a doubt the most polished side-scroller yet, Capcom has put some great effort into making this game stand out over games like Tomba 2 and Klonoa. The things that transpire when Strider gets powered up look so awesome, vibrant colors flow all over our hero. All characters look great, they are smooth, well animated and have a comic book look to them. In general Strider 2 has some marvelous looking graphics for a side scroller that is, very minimal slowdown occurs but other than that everything is fine 'n' dandy.
I am doing a review of Strider 2 and not Strider 1, so in the gameplay and the rest of the article I will be referring to strider 2 and not 1. Anyways, the gameplay basics are quite easy. Strider is taken through about six different levels in one stage. He has many different missions to take care of, and believe me they are all a blast of fun. Enemies will attack you from all sides, up, down, left, right you name it they'll come out from there. After killing an enemy you have to pick up the leftovers that it left, use them to your advantage and gain a power up ability. When being powered up Strider can make his blades follow the nearest enemy and give him a hard hit. There are some new additions to Strider 2, unlike its predecessor in Strider 2 you are able to expand your vitality meter in the options menu, and set the clock to infinite. Those two features were never included in Strider 1 and that was the main reason why the game was so hard. Since the whole games text is in Japanese I don't know the games story. But I'll tell you this, the games gameplay meter is through the roof, playing this game is quite pleasing and addictive, at times a little adrenaline may hit you. Throughout a stage you will be required to use one of Strider's many skills. Strider can double jump, climb any wall, jump wall to wall, and some more. Strider's list of moves is quite good, and they are extremely handy when it comes down to playing the game. Every level within one stage consists of one or two mini-bosses, they are fairly easy and also give off some serious pointage. Overall with Strider 1 included, I see no reason why this game shouldn't be purchased by any one.
Accompanying the great game are some moderately average and quite repetitive tunes. Sorry to say this folks but though the tunes may sounds good at the first listen, they get worn out soon and repeat a little bit at times. The sound effects including groans and yells sound pretty good, the only thing keeping the sound from scoring anything higher than a seven is the music.
The control is very, very easy to master. This is a side-scroller so what you basically need is left and right, and then on occasion some up and down. The analog isn't supported but hey it's a side-scroller, although the dual shock is used and used nicely too. The buttons are nicely scattered on the PS pad, and getting the hang of Strider will take no time.
In the end, Strider 2 rose way above my expectations, I thought that I would be playing some average game but as it turns out I haven't played a game like Strider 2, well... since Strider 1 or Streets of Rage on Sega Genesis. The visuals may not be the polygon crunchers, but the quality of them is very inspired. The gameplay mechanics and control is extremely easy, but the only thing is the sound. Overall a masterpiece! If a Capcom rep is out there, this game must be released in the US, it'll be a shame if Strider Hiryu never saw itself in the states.