Strider’s one man invasion of NYCC show ends with me wanting to play more Strider.
Unlike other platformers, momentum is king in Strider. At a glance Strider looks like it could have been an endless runner in the way he speeds through a stage jumping and sliding through foes while cutting them half along the way. Fans of Strider will immediately love the look of the game. The style still manages to keep the identify of the Strider we grew up with while giving it a modern look that just works.
The level I played had Strider hang-gliding into the heart of Kazakh Republic with the task of assassinating the Grandmaster. Lucky for us that subtlety is not Strider’s strong suit and manages to put whole country on alert. As the Grandmaster’s armies prepare to repel the graceful ninja, I had to navigate a military complex with numerous locked doors and platforms to ninja-flip on. Strider can climb certain parts of the stages but it was tough to get a grasp on what is climbable and what is not.
Much like a Metroid or Castlevania, locked doors require Strider to obtain some sort of new ability in order to continue on. The first ability I got was a charged slash attack that allowed to break the kinetic generators that powered said locks.
The charged slashed had to be earned though. As I made my way through dozens of easy-to-decimate enemies my first real challenge came in the form of Vityaz-1, an elite robot ninja, armed with an electric power staff. Unlike my previous enemies that were defeated in one or two good slashes, the elite guard required me to make use of my slide ability that got me under his main strikes and opened up his rear for a proper beating.
Once he was dealt with, I immediately busted my way onto a catwalk where my once easy to kill enemies were replaced with stronger shield bearing enemies. These enemies I couldn’t run through mashing the slash button like I did previous.I had to use my new charge attack to disarm and destroy their armor, which made them vulnerable once again for a volley of ninja cuts.
Just like that, the difficulty spiked when I found another elite guard waiting in the wings to cut off my head. He had a new ability sending out shockwaves from his staff and to make matters worse, he could make copies of himself. Screw that guy.
My demo ended with an exhausting battle that demanded masterful dodging along with some pretty solid pattern recognition. Two things that I lack more than anything. So you can imagine how this fight turned out.
Strider seems like it could please fans of the original in its difficulty and frantic action. As hard as the game got, I didn’t want my demo to end, so I’m looking forward to getting more time with Strider. There’s a Grandmaster to be assassinated after all.