The game is set in the year of "Meio 0048", in an alternative dystopian future Earth at the grasp of the all-powerful and mysterious Grandmaster Meio, who has suddenly appeared and took over by force, controlling it from his base at Kazakh City.
The secret organization "Striders" send in their best agent and their youngest Special A Class member, Hiryu, on a solo-mission to infiltrate Kazakh City and eliminate Grandmaster Meio. In order to reach him, however, he will have to go through Meio's Army of bounty hunters, corrupt generals and scientists.
- The Four Winds - A team of martial artists that works for Grandmaster Meio as bounty hunters and assassins. The group is conformed of four members: Tong Pooh, middle sister and team leader; Pei Pooh, elder sister and team support, Nang Pooh, youngest sister and team defender; and Xi Wang Mu, master of the sisters and a powerful fighter.
- General Mikiel - A corrupt Kazakh general that has seized the country's military and government in Grandmaster Meio's name. A collector of weapons, he fights Hiryu with a heavily-armed giant tank dubbed "Tornado".
- Professor Schlange - Nicknamed the "Cruel and Heartless Scientist", Professor Schlange is the overseer of Kazakh City's Research Facility, the technological center of Meio's Army. Possessing an unsatiable desire for knowledge, Schlange is a ruthless man with no moral code or ethics, and is willing to conduct horrorifying experiments, even with human specimen, in order to satiate this obssessive desire.
- Juroung - A shaman and self-proclaimed true disciple of Grandmaster Meio, Juroung is the leader of Kazakh City's Underground, where he enforces Meio's will. Known as the "Devoted Shaman", he's a religious fanatic of the Grandmaster who worships him as a true god, following his instructions blindly and regardless of any risks, even to the extent of willingly dying for him. Through his belief in Meio, Juroung sees himself as superior to others whose belief is "weak", and fights with full confidence that Meio's will guides him to victory.
- Black Marketer - A mysterious inhabitant of the Underground who is rumored to have a past connection with the technology used by Meio's Army. Though believed to be a simple merchant who lives and works in the Underground's refugee camps, in truth this is a front for the leader of the Ressistance opposing Grandmaster Meio.
The game 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 one 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.
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 are 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 a skill that's 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.
Version Differences Edit
The PC version came as a 64-bit only game, requiring 64-bit operating systems such as Windows Vista, 7 and 8. It also required a graphics card that can handle DirectX 11 to run. The PC release is typically distributed digitally through Steam. It runs in higher resolutions at par with Playstation 4 and XBox One, with 60fps framerate, especially on capable hardware.
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.
Marketing and Release Edit
The Japanese PlayStation 3 version received an exclusive retail/physical release alongside the worldwide digital version. Both Japanese versions also include additional exclusive content: a custom "Strider" PS3 theme, a special video with an interview with the original coin-op director Kouichi Yotsui, and download codes for "Game Archives" versions of the PlayStation ports of Strider and Strider 2. The physical version was also issued in a limited edition bundle called Strider Hiryu Special-A Class Limited Edition with several extra goods (including the artbook "Strider Visual Chronicle"), sold through Capcom's "e-Capcom" online shop.
At the time of this writing, there are no plans to release any exclusive/additional content for the game's English release.
Box Art and Merchandise Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sayed, Rashid (Jan 24, 2014). "Strider Interview: How Hiryu Is Making A Cracking Return To Next-Gen Consoles". gamingbolt.com. Retrieved 4 Feb, 2014