Double Helix Honors The Way Of The Ninja - Strider - Xbox One -
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Double Helix Honors The Way Of The Ninja

Strider is one of those awesome classic characters that for some reason Capcom never got behind fully. After the gravity-defying ninja’s first arcade outing in 1989, there was only one sequel on PlayStation, and that was over a decade ago. With such drastic gaps between entries, its that much more important that the new Strider game is done right. I’m happy to report that Double Helix nailed all of the classic elements of the series while launching it into the modern era.

There is so much here for fans of the previous games. Strider controls fantastically and always looks like a total badass. He leans forward to sprint, kicking up dust in his wake. His attacks are simply a blur of death. In the rare event that he’s standing still, he settles on a cool pose with his plasma scarf trailing dynamically behind him. He takes on favorites like the Ouroboros, the triplet fighting sisters, the mecha-gorilla, and several new characters in a plentiful array of entertaining boss battles.

The world is split up into many large chunks instead one cohesive 2D Metroid map. Areas range from the futuristic Soviet metropolis of Kazakh City to a mad scientist lab to dark underground caves infested with insect-possessed troops. The depth and detail in these environments is impressive – especially the outdoor areas, which convey a massive scope to the world just off your path. Hidden passages and rewards offer plenty for the curious explorer, and color-coded doors taunt you to return with upgraded equipment. 

New abilities are unlocked at an ideal pace throughout the six- to eight-hour completion time, pulling you forward with an enticing breadcrumb trail and allowing you to smoothly incorporate new moves into your repertoire. The Cypher, a plasma-based blade, switches easily between four different attributes at the tap of the d-pad. Strider’s scarf changes to orange to indicate explosive attacks, blue for freeze slices, and so on. The variety of armed guards, flying turrets, and venom spewing insects are all strong and vulnerable to different attack styles. It effectively keeps you on your toes, and by the end you are constantly swapping attacks to stay alive. 

Tricky platforming sequences add variety and challenge. Since Strider can climb on the walls and ceiling, it takes a lot to trip him up. Buzzsaws, laser grids, and crushing pistons all result in our hero’s trademark phase-out death. Fortunately, he merely loses a small sliver of health and teleports to the closest safe platform. This generous respawn system combined with the tight controls means frustration is kept to a minimum. I never got hung up for long on one particular obstacle.

There are only a few spots that the ninja’s blade could use a little sharpening. Not that I was expecting The Last of Us, but the story isn’t all that great. You’re basically out to kill the last boss and all of his minions. There’s not much beneath Strider’s cold assassin heart. The game doesn’t have a traditional teleportation system, so it can be a pain to trudge all the way across the world when you’re trying to mop up the last round of collectibles before the last boss. Then, when you beat the game, you have to decide whether you want to save and lose your current game or not save and shoot back to the last checkpoint. There’s only one save file available, so you can’t duplicate it and have it both ways. Some might also feel that the normal difficulty is too easy, but a hard option exists if you’re looking for a more intense challenge right out of the gate.

In the grand scheme of things, these complaints are relatively minor. Strider is a great reboot for old-school arcade junkies and at the same time a fresh action experience for newcomers to the franchise. 

The Edge
If you’ve got the option, be sure to play Strider on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC. These platforms have a crisper resolution and a smoother framerate. If PS3 or 360 is your console of choice, it’s still a great experience as long as you don’t try to compare it side by side with the others.

User Reviews:

  • 9.00
    After a jaded history of attempted reboots and missing sequels, Strider finally returns once again on next gen consoles. With such gaps between entries, it’s very important to get a reboot done right so that it can be accepted by audiences and have a lasting effect. Strider takes a page from the...
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  • 8.25
    If you go back through Capcom's gaming history, you will surely find several interesting characters that haven't seen the light of day in a long while- despite us always seeing the same old Resident Evil and Dead Rising announcements everywhere. After all, those games are the cash cows for Capcom...
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  • 9.50
    What is there to say about the series other than all of the games have been great? Strider, ever since it's first carnation, has held a special place in my heart. Not only does the series hold a great story, the difficulty has always given a person an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. This entry...
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  • 9.00
    Strider is an absolutely awesome game series that’s been in desperate need of a new entry, and leave it to Capcom to finally oblige. Of course concern slipped in when it was revealed to be developed by Double Helix, who doesn’t have the best reputation. But everyone deserves another chance...
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  • 9.00
    When I first booted up this game I was expecting a cashgrab from the publishers reviving an old long since dropped series wanting to cash in on gettin as much money as possible with a new downloadable title on the ps4 (as we all know that the current number of titles is of course not that high but alot...
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  • 9.25
    @kvannatt First up a mind is the terrible thing to waste. Owning a PS4 isn't the only way to experience this game. It is also on the Xbox 1, but on another not this is a excellent game & the way how they recreated this game for next gen was a remarkable job.
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