Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Strider (2014) Review

Strider is one of Capcom's series that I've often admired from afar; I've watched Twitch streams of the 8-bit and 16-bit games, and I've looked longingly at the box art of the PS1 game as a broke kid in Walmart, but I've never really dug into any of the games myself. So to close out my celebration of #CapcoMonth, I decided to finally jump in with the most recent entry in the series, Strider (2014), which I was able to pick up as part of a Humble Bundle.

Strider (2014) is a 2D "Metroidvania"-style platform game that serves as a revival of Capcoms's classic ninja action series. In the game, an elite ninja operative, Strider Hiryu, must infiltrate a heavily fortified cyberpunk dystopian city to assassinate an evil dictator. As he explores the city to gain access to the dictator's stronghold, he acquires a variety of new abilities and faces off against the dictator's generals. This review is based on the PC version of the game.


  • Being a ninja is awesome! From the get-go, Strider can climb almost any surface (including ceilings), slide, dash, and flip through the air. Even with his most basic starting sword, he can pull off rapid slashing attacks in multiple directions that have both ground-based and aerial variations. There area lot of games about ninjas out there, but this one really stands out for absolutely nailing the lightness, speed, and agility that you would expect of a classic anime ninja.
  • The game features a couple of cool set pieces, like fighting a dragon flying through the sky that breaks up the regular gameplay and solidifies this as a Strider game and not just a generic ninja Metroidvania.
  • While much of the music is fairly indistinct, the electronic remixes of classic Strider tracks are very catchy and kick in at just the right time to enhance the action.


  • With a few exceptions, the game's environments are primarily drab industrial areas that don't make for a particularly memorable setting.
  • Strider's difficulty was often inconsistent. In some cases, I would breeze through several areas and boss battles, only to be hit with an abrupt difficulty spike. However, on the normal difficulty level, even the spikes were approachable as long as you have a good grasp of the mechanics.
While Strider (2014) lacks some of the bells and whistles that many newer Metroidvania games might have, this game nails the most important facet of the genre: character locomotion. Ninja-ing my way through the dystopian future landscape and cleaving through waves of enemies always felt satisfying. For that alone, I can comfortably recommend Strider (2014) to any Metroidvania fans. This experience also has me interested to go back and try the older Striders that I missed; maybe I'll finally pick up that PS1 game that my younger poorer self missed out on.

Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Completion Time: 6 hours, 17 minutes (Normal difficulty, 68% map completion)

Note: This post is part of the Chic-Pixel community's #CapcoMonth event. For more info and their full list of events, check out this page: Community Game-Along Master List 2020

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