Today’s topic : Strider.
The Strider series was developed by Capcom, Yatsui Koichi’s team and a group of mangaka called Moto Kikaku, produced and published by Capcom. The first game came out in 1989 for the arcade and NES and released in 1992, 1994 and 2012 on the Sega Mega Drive, the PC Engine and the Nintendo Virtual Console[the Mega Drive version] respectivelly and the second game came out in 1999 for the arcades and ported to the Playstation in 2000 as well with a bundle with both games for the Playstation.
The original Strider game.
In the near future, a special mercenary force of trained individuals of advanced ninjutsu and new cybernetic based martial arts called Striders exist. A very talented individual and the youngest Super A rank Strider, Hiryu has to assassinate a terrorsit called the Grandmaster. It was an action platforming game, an arcade style one like the first Ninja Gaiden for the NES and seemingly the answer to TECMO’s franchise with a focus on rapid slash moves and complex for the time, climbing skills.
And that was seemingly all there was to this game. But Capcom had made a contract with a manga artist called Motomiya Hirsohi and his group of manga artists called Moto Kikaku to develop the character and create a plot and designs.The manga was a sucess and it was adapted in later versions of the game, such as the NES version. The manga went farm more into depth about the characters and the drama that befell them, along with the villains and their motives. All in all, a solid manga and a great game with a good manga tie-in.
But people wanted more of Strider and so they got it…via video game sequelsploitation.Yeah…the 80’s were bad enough with “exploitation” movies of this kind[not actual explotation movies, just knock-off and shameless sequel without the actual liscence, exploiting the title for quick money], the video game industry had to do that to. Capcom endorsed the efforts of Tiertex and U.S. Gold, a developer & publisher combo that made famous Capcom “sequels”. Not to mention anything else, the game Strider Returns didn’t fare well and didn’t even have a fun aura around it. It could like the so bad they’re good Godfrey Ho movies, but that combo didn’t achieve that.
Almost 10 years after the first Strider, Capcom finally released the proper second Strider game, Strider 2. The game was out in 1999 for the arcades and was ported to the Playstation as well and was far superior to the first one, it could almost be a new game. It was like seeing the evolution of Shinobi and the Ninja Gaiden franchise, before they happened. The game was a soft reboot to the story, featuring a new Strider 2000 years after the original, but still seemingly the same, an ancestor possibly and the same Grandmaster being revived.
Strider would continue to live as part of the Marvel Vs Capcom franchise, being in every game up to date[Marvel Vs Capcom 3 doesn’t count due to the upgrade “sequel”, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3] even being part of several other Capcom games either as a character or as a cameo and that was a true testament to his popularity, being able to stay on the pantheon of Ninjas along with Ryu Hayabusa and Joe Musashi.
Capcom understood his potential and tried to re-invent the series, like they did with Bionic Commando and worked with GRIN to develop an enhanced remake of the first game, called Bionic Commando Rearmed.The game was great and it was the stepping stone to tranistion to the new 3D age of gaming, leaving the 2D sprites like Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi did. Capcom aranged with GRIN to remake Strider along with Bionic Commando and they did. The new Bionic Commando was out, a long with Terminator Salvation in 2009. Both games failed misserably and fans of both were displeased with the treatment they received and were especially angry with how Capcom pushed for this grim-dark atmosphere for the game, somthing they still don’t understand how much it hurts with DmC : Devil May Cry. GRIN was forced to close due to financial losses and Capcom never bothered to ask anyone else or even bother themselves to remake Strider.
The return of the futuristic ninja!Too bad it was never followed up on…
Even though Strider would continue to exist as a cameo, his spirit lives on as one of his two creators Yatsui Koichi, having left Capcom for sometime, co-developed with feelplus a game called Moon Diver, a game eerilly reminiscent to the original Strider and Strider 2, agame published by Square-Enix of all companies! Even if it wasn’t as good as the older Strider games in this day and age, it was a good and fun game and a testament to Strider’s influence as well as a legacy that Capcom wants to ignore.
Right now Ninja Gaiden reigns surpeme as a ninja game in the world while Shinobi attempts to reclaim it’s position on the Pantheon and while Tenchu and Shinobido are still there with the latter being more active as of now. The Ninja pantheon must be whole again and Strider is the only one missing here. These games are really good and even now can compete with other platformers not to mention how fun the story and characters are. They are a great antithesis to Ninja Gaiden’s more level-headed stories and Shinobi’s serious stories. These games have to return and not in the classic platform style anymore, that’s got to be reserved for a side game, like Shinobi 3DS does and focus on the next stage of Strider’s evolution.
Hey look,it’s Arcade Strider evolved!
Please Capcom, I know it’s a hollow plea, but please do it, please revive Strider like SEGA did with Shinobi and TECMO did with Ninja Gaiden. If people are desperate enough to get Moon Diver to convince themselves that Strider isn’t dead or are willing enough to buy Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 to play as him, that should say something.
He is loved by the community Capcom.Belive it…to be true!
I have to admit that I have my concerns with Double Helix Games being the developer…so far the only game that came close to being decent was Green Lantern : Rise of the Manhunters. Hope this is a turning point for them, though I would have prefered if Capcom themselves handled the remake like with Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins or Mega Man X : Maverik Hunter. Also, if there was a handheld version for that, since it’s digital-only, it would be a godsent.