COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: 'Strider' PS4 Review

Updated: 03/05/2014 4:10 PM By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of CAPCOM
Photo courtesy of CAPCOM

Back in my early NES days, one of my favorite games to play was CAPCOM’s “Strider.”  I really thought the game was a lot of fun, and I really liked the main character of the game who was a highly-skilled assassin. 

This past week I received a review code for CAPCOM’s “Strider” for the PS4, and it brought back a lot of great memories.

The story takes place in the future, and Earth is ruled by an oppressive ruler named Grand Master Meio.  You play as a character named Hiryu who is an assassin that is an expert in sabotage.  Hiryu is one of the youngest recruits that has completed the Strider training program.  Your mission is to eliminate Grand Master Meio. 

“Strider” is a fast-paced side scrolling action game that is very exciting and also very challenging to play.

The graphics are awesome and look great.  There are ten different areas to explore, and each area is very unique and has its own unique design.  The bosses and enemies look fantastic and are extremely detailed.  The cut scenes also look amazing and are very well done.

The controls are very easy to learn, and you can pause the game and look at the controls to see what the buttons do.  Plus, when you get to an area with something that you can interact with or learn, a new ability text will come on the screen and will tell you and also show you what buttons you will need to push to perform that action.

Hiryu can jump, climb up walls, hang and climb ledges and ceiling.  Hiryu’s main weapon is called a Cypher and has a few different attacks that he can do by pressing the square and triangle buttons.  If you push the triangle button, Hiryu will slash upward, and he will do a normal attack by pushing square, and you will eventually find an upgrade that will let you charge up your attack.  If you push and hold down the square button, you will start charging and when you weapon flashes you can let go of the square button, and you will do a really strong attack.  This is very helpful when you are fighting enemies with shields and heavily armored robots. 

You can also control where you attack by pushing the attack button and the left directional pad.

When you start playing “Strider,” you will notice a couple of meters at the top of the screen.  The top one is your health, and you can refill your health meter by finding canisters that are scattered all through the game.  There are small and large ones and there are tons of them.  You will also gain health when you defeat enemies

The meter underneath your health meter is your plasma energy meter.  Some of the power ups you will find are called “options,” and in order to use them, you will need to use plasma energy.  One of the options is called “robot eagle,” and you will release and eagle that will attack enemies or if you are in a certain area that has a perch the eagle will pick you up and take you to a higher area on the map.

There is also a “charge strike meter” that is located to the left of your health and plasma meters.  When you attack enemies, this meter starts to fill up, and if you get hit, the meter will go down.  Once the charge strike meter is full, you can activate it and your attacks will go out twice as far, and you will do twice the amount of damage.

Below the charge strike meter is the “plasma catapult meter” and once this fills up, you can do a special attack.

There is also a little map on the upper right of the screen, and this shows you where you are and if there are upgrades or power ups nearby.  I thought that this was very helpful.

One thing that really makes “Strider” very unique is that you will find power ups and weapon upgrades that will give you the ability to gain access to areas you were not able to reach.

For example, one of the items you find are boots that will give you the ability to slide through grates on the floor, plus you can also attack enemies when you do the slide attack.

I really like this feature a lot, because I think it’s exciting.  Once you get the new upgrade and learn what it does, you think about where did I see a great that I could slide through or where did I find an area that I need to do a double jump.

If you push the touch pad, a menu will come up and here you can view many different things.  You can see a larger version of the map and you can see where you need to go and also where all of the power ups and upgrades are located.  You can also view and change your costume and also see all of the power ups and upgrades you have unlocked. 

There are many secret items that are hidden throughout “Strider” that will unlock extras such as concept art and character and story Intel.  I thought that it was really fun to try and find everything and I also think it gives “Strider” great replay value.

One neat feature is that you can compare your “Strider” skills with your friends online.  There is a leaderboard option and you can go on there to see who completed the game the fastest.

I really enjoyed CAPCOM’s “Strider” for the PS4 a lot.  I thought it was a fun and exciting game to play, and it brought back a lot of great memories of playing “Strider” as a kid.  The graphics were amazing and the controls were very simple to learn.  I also thought it was very challenging, and I also liked all of the upgrades special power ups.  I know that fans of “Strider” and players who are looking for a fun and unique gaming experience will really enjoy it.

“Strider” is rated “E10+

Aaron Chalich is a entertainment columnist.