Armed with cypher and scarf once more, Capcom’s Strider Hiryu is back in an all new adventure coming early next year.
Not counting his many roster appearances in Capcom’s crossover titles, e.g. Marvel vs. Capcom and the like, Strider Hiryu hasn’t starred in a ton of games. And only one, his arcade debut in 1989, Strider, could honestly be considered his best effort out of the bunch – although to be fair, Strider 2 did give it a run for its ruble.
Despite that, the fevered love for the sword-swinging future ninja hasn’t waned one bit. That’s one of the main motivations behind the excellent San Diego Comic Con news of a brand new Strider game in the works, a side-scrolling action affair coming to the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. And lordy does it have some flashy visuals.
Don’t get the impression though that this Strider is just taking all of its cues from its arcade papa and just presenting it in modern era pants. Capcom explained during their announcement that the game would be open-world, as opposed to Strider’s arcade linear progression, consisting of a large interconnected map that would allow players to freely explore its spaces.
There’s even changes to Strider’s flashy red scarf, which is being used as a interesting signifier of the assassin’s different upgrades that can be earned throughout the game… Hmm, wait a minute. *sniff* *sniff* Open-world progression? *sniff* *sniff* Leveling-up system? *sniff* *sniff* OM MY GOD IT’S A METROIDVANIA. (Also when did I become a dog?!)
Really though, anyone knowledgeable of Strider’s gaming past shouldn’t be too alarmed at this revelation.
1) It seems like a style of gameplay that would be perfect for a 2D character of Strider’s hack-and-slash abilities. And more importantly, 2) Capcom tried this same gameplay set-up once-a-upon-time with the NES version of the arcade game, which unfortunately due to some lazy programming and shoddy controls, never quite reach its awesome potential.
Perhaps 24 years later Capcom has learned a thing or two and finally wants to make right in a Quantum Leap-esque way. Oh, but they’re not solely taking up the task themselves this time; they’ve commandeered Double Helix Games to take on the brunt of the programming, which wouldn’t be so worrisome if not for their less-than-stellar track record.
Silent Hill: Homecoming (yikes), Front Mission Evolved (whoa boy), and few poor movie-licensed videogames make up their pedigree, but honestly who’s to say that when given the proper opportunity to shine – say, the backing and guidance of a historic publisher such as Capcom – they can’t slice their way to a solid title. Hopefully, that’s the case here.
Sadly, since Strider won’t be out until early 2014 at best, we won’t know the answer until then. Can’t say I’m not a little hyped myself for this project – Strider is one of my favorite games of all time. So please (please) don’t mess it up, guys! I mean, the worst I’ll do is grumble about it on Twitter… other entrenched gamers, well, I doubt they’ll take it as well.