Strider, known in Japanese as Strider Hiryû (ストライダー飛竜), is the fifth entry in the Strider series. As with previous Strider games, it is a 2D side-scrolling action platformer; however, this game introduces a semi-open world and exploration elements. The game was developed by Double Helix Games, while working closely with the Capcom team in Osaka, including the designer of Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and the enemy artist from Strider 2 (Koji Oda and Sho Sakai, respectively).
The game was released through digital distribution in February 2014 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and on PC via Steam. In 2018 it was added to the subscription service PlayStation Now, making it available for play in PlayStation 5 as well.
Strider is said to be a retelling of the "classic Strider story", the basic setting used in both Strider and Strider 2 centered in the battle between Hiryu and Grandmaster Meio, but intended for a modern audience. Although often called a reboot of the franchise, the developers at both Double Helix and Capcom didn't intend for it to be one nor for it to replace any of the previous games in the franchise, instead treating it as another entry in the series with no direct ties to its predecessors, just like Strider 2 and the James Bond film franchise.
Strider is set in the year "Meio 0048" in an alternate dystopian future Earth under the oppressive iron-fisted rule of the mysterious and all-powerful Grandmaster Meio. Having appeared suddenly on Earth one day, Meio waged war with his own army and took over the whole planet in only a few years, and now exerts complete control from his base at Kazakh City while secretly having more sinister plans for all the life on the planet. Hiryu, the youngest agent to reach Special-A Class in the hellish Striders training program, is sent on a mission to eliminate Grandmaster Meio, as he is the only one capable of carrying out such assignment, with other previous Striders given the same mission slain.
Strider is described as an intense side-scrolling action platformer, in which the player controls Hiryu and freely explore the expansive metropolis known as "Kazakh City", gaining new abilities and support items which, in turn, can be used to open up previously-locked areas of the city. Hiryu retains his acrobatic movements and ability to climb through any surface. Also, he inherits techniques from previous Strider games as well as his fighting game appearances. In addition, he can acquire powers that are new to the Strider series.
The game's main mode, "Story Mode", includes three selectable difficulties. There are two unlockable Challenge Modes to be found in-game: "Beacon Run" is a race-style mode where players are challenged to reach checkpoints across enemy-infested areas as fast as possible; while "Survival" test a player's fighting skills against waves of enemies. All three modes have ranked scores for fastest times and global leaderboards.
There are also a set of 11 costumes to be unlocked, and a customization option after all are found that lets the player alter the colors of Hiryu's uniform.
Unlike previous games in the series, Hiryu's health is represented by a Health bar positioned at the top-right side of the screen. A Plasma Energy bar below it represents energy required for some of Hiryu's techniques. Left of both bars is a circular gauge marked with Hiryu's "Hi" kanji, known as the Charge Strike Meter; this gauge fills up as Hiryu hits enemies and decreases when he's hit himself, and when filled up Hiryu goes into Charge Mode: he starts glowing and his attack and range are increased for a short period of time. The top-left side of the screen includes a mini-map which shows Hiryu's exact location and his current objective. During boss fights, the map is replaced with the boss' health bar.
Hiryu's trademark freedom of movement and agility remains intact in this game. Hiryu can jump, cartwheel, slide, dash, perform flips and move across any direction, as well as climb through almost any surface and angled platform in his way to maneuver around and reach new areas. During the course of the game, Hiryu will unlock several moves which further expands his mobility options, such as the "Double Jump" or the "Plasma Catapult".
Hiryu retains his iconic Cypher as his sole weapon of choice. His attack options have been greatly expanded, now being able to swing at different angles, below and above him as well as perform an overhead uppercut slash that sends enemies flying upwards. The Cypher can also be upgraded with several new moves found throughout the game. Hiryu can also perform his signature Slide attack and later obtains throwing Kunai, which lets him attack enemies at a distance or who are otherwise difficult to approach.
Hiryu can unlock several different techniques and modes for his Cypher as he progress in the game. This time, however, they are also vital for stage progression as they are required to open or break through closed areas. These techniques need to be obtained from special pickup containers or "cradles" scattered across the game, hidden away and/or protected by boss fights.
- Physical Techniques
- Slide Assault - An upgraded Slide kick which destroys any enemy in its way. It can also break through closed ventilation shafts.
- Double Jump - Hiryu performs a second jump in mid-air.
- Plasma Catapult - Hiryu does a quick dash in mid-air. This technique can be aimed at any direction and can be used to pass through traps like laser grids, or to perform a swift evasive dash. It can also be used to traverse through warps. When unlocked, a small circular blue meter appears next to the Charge Strike Meter, which depletes after each use and refills automatically. Four unlockable upgrades can also be found which embeds the plasma trail with properties of each of Hiryu's Cypher forms: "Reflect" grants the plasma trail the ability to deflect bullets, "Explosive" damages any enemy in its path, "Ultra-Cold" freezes enemies in place and "Magnetic" stuns enemies and attracts bullets towards them.
- Charge Mode: A super mode activated after filling up the Charge Strike Meter. Hiryu's body is wrapped in white plasma and both his attack range and strength are doubled. All action is shown in slow-motion as well. This mode last around 5 seconds.
- Cypher Techniques
- Charged Cypher - Hiryu charges up the Cypher and swings with twice its normal range. This technique is the only one that can destroy the big defense shield carried by certain enemies and is required to charge the "Eye Gates" to open up closed doors.
- Down Strike - In mid-air, Hiryu charges up and then dives downward to strike the ground with a powerful shockwave attack. This can destroy any enemy in close proximity and break through weak/damaged floors.
- Cypher Upgrades
- Reflect Cypher - Indicated by the scarf turning a deep red/crimson. Hiryu deflects any shots he hits away, and if hit with perfect timing, the shots will reflect back at enemies.
- Explosive Cypher - Indicated by the scarf turning orange, it increases the strength of the Cypher and sets enemies on fire, draining their life further. It also breaks through doors of the same color.
- Ultra-Cold Cypher - Indicated by the scarf turning blue, the Cold Cypher freezes any enemy it attacks in place, creating a temporary platform for Hiryu to use. It can also break through doors of the same color.
- Magnetic Cypher - Indicated by the scarf turning purple, the Magnetic Cypher lets Hiryu shoot plasma waves as projectiles which later return to him like boomerangs. It can also break through doors of the same color.
- Kunai - Hiryu throws 3 Kunai at enemies. Can be done from standing or while climbing, but they use the Plasma Energy bar. They are also used to open special locked doors. There are upgrades for the Kunai as well: 4 Kunai upgrades (increasing number of Kunai thrown up to 8), 3 Range upgrades and 4 Plasma forms like the Cypher:
- Reflect Kunai: The Kunai bounce off surfaces when thrown.
- Explosive Kunai: In this form, Kunai become sticky bombs, sticking onto enemies and exploding after a short time.
- Ultra-Cold Kunai: Provides the throwing knives with the same freezing power of the Ultra-Cold Cypher.
- Magnetic Kunai: Kunai gain homing capabilities when thrown, swarming enemies before returning to Hiryu.
Hiryu also gets access to his three support robots, the Options. They have been updated with new attacks, inspired by their behavior in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and functions. When obtained, a small square icon below the energy bar indicates which Option is active. They can be summoned at the same time now, but each summon uses up part of the Plasma Energy bar.
- Option-A (Dipodal Saucer): The Satellite Option. Once active it produces two satellite bots that spin around Hiryu, protecting him from projectile attacks as well as shooting yellow plasma orbs whenever Hiryu attacks. They can also be used to hack through computer-protected control devices.
- Option-B (Tetrapodal Robo-Panther): The Panther-type Option. Once obtained, Hiryu can summon it to attack crowds in front of him, doing more damage with each slain enemy. When used near the Panther monuments, the Option will perform a speed-dash or "Panther Run" to carry Hiryu across long distances.
- Option-C (Robot Eagle): The Eagle-type Option. Once obtained, Hiryu can summon it to perform a quick swoop attack from above at enemies in front of him. When used near Eagle Perchs, the Option will carry Hiryu across the stage to another perch.
Pickups in Strider are meant to be found and collected rather than being temporary power-ups or score-up items, like in its predecessors. As such, these items are often not readily visible or they require backtracking and using skills that are unlocked as the game progress.
The map found in the Pause Menu shows the total percentage of items collected in any one of the game's 10 areas.
||Small floating containers that can be found in large numbers all over Kazakh City. Destroying these restores a bit of Hiryu's health. They're not a collectable item.|
||Larger version of the Capsule, this item restores Hiryu to full health. There are a total of 61 Large Canisters, and destroying them all unlocks a Trophy/Achievement.|
||A large plasma container that upgrades several of Hiryu's stats as well as unlocking his techniques. There are 53 Pickup Cradles, either hidden away or protected by the game's bosses.|
|Item Unlock Pickup
||A small floating "Pow"-shaped item. Finding them unlocks bonus content such as concept art, Challenge Mode courses and storyline info. There are 97 unlock pickups in the game.|
||A small floating item using the original game's "1UP" item sprite. There are 11 of them, each one unlocking an alternate color costume for Hiryu. Besides the Trophy/Achievement, finding them all unlocks a Color Customize mode.|
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version of Strider provide an increase of resolution and frame-rate over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, 1080P and 60FPS over the latter's 720P and 30FPS. These versions also include extra graphical upgrades such as increased character model fidelity, "Screen Space Ambience Occlusion" (SSAO), better shadow filtering and lighting, and larger and more expressive particle effects.
The PC version requires a 64-bit OS, such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, and comes with the enhancements seen in next-gen consoles.
Out of the five versions, the PlayStation 3 was the only one to receive a retail/physical release exclusively in Japan. Both physical and digital Japanese releases came packaged with exclusive content: a custom "Strider" PlayStation 3 theme, a special video interview with the original coin-op director Kouichi Yotsui, and download codes for the "Game Archives" version of the PlayStation port Strider Hiryu 1 & 2. The physical version was also issued in a limited edition bundle called Strider Hiryu Special-A Class Limited Edition with several extra goods, sold through Capcom's "e-Capcom" online shop.
No exclusive/additional content was included on the game's English release. Pre-ordering the Steam version, however, included two digital bundles: a soundtrack and a pdf "Concept Art" file with 15 pieces of official artwork.
- Official Site (Japanese)
- Official Twitter
- Official Facebook page
- jontucci.blogspot.com - Screenshots from Lead Artist Jon Tucci
- Ishaan (February 5, 2014). "Strider Out This Month; Screenshots Show Off New Costumes". siliconera.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014
- Staff (September 20, 2013). "State-of-the-art old school action "Strider Hiryu"! Stage Report and Announcement of Enemy Characters Pei Pooh and Nang Pooh. (Japanese). DengekiOnline.
- Capcom (2014). "News: (Product Information) PC and Xbox One versions finally revealed!". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- Sledge, Kyle (July 4, 2018). "PlayStation Now Adds Dark Cloud and Other PS2 Games" (English). gamerant.com. Accessed July 5, 2021
- Polygon (July, 2013). News article. Polygon.
- Cork, Jeff (July 19, 2013). We Get Answers About Capcom's New Strider Game. Gameinformer.com. Accessed July 23, 2013
- Emmanuel (February 21, 2014). "Interview with "Strider Hiryu" producer! Talks about the reborn action exploration game which will please series' fans" (Japanese). dengekionline.com. Accessed April 11, 2014
- Gillbert, Henry (July 22, 2013). "Strider isn't a reboot, it's a retelling". gamesradar.com. Accessed April 11, 2014
- McFerran, Damien (January 29, 2014). "Strider: Remaking an arcade classic". redbull.com. Accessed April 11, 2014
- Capcom (July 19, 2013). Official Press Release. Transcribed by Gamasutra.com.
- Sayed, Rashid (Jan 24, 2014). "Strider Interview: How Hiryu Is Making A Cracking Return To Next-Gen Consoles". gamingbolt.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014
|Strider video game series|
|Strider (Home computers • Mega Drive • Master System • PC Engine • Sharp X68000 • PlayStation • Mobile)|
Strider (NES) • Strider II/Returns • Strider 2 • Strider (2014)
Compilations • Crossovers • Related Games
|Hiryu • Grandmaster Meio • Solo • Kuniang M.A. Team|
Tong Pooh • Hien • General Mikiel • Ouroboros
|Striders • Cypher • Climb Sickle • Options • Kazakh Federation|
Anti-Gravity Device/Gravitron • Mecha Pon • Flying Battleship Balrog • The Third Moon
|Capcom • Moto Kikaku • Tiertex Design Studios • Double Helix Games|
Isuke • Patariro • Other key staff • Strider Hiryu (Manga) • Capcom Gamebooks
Merchandise • Soundtracks