“Heroes never die. They are reborn.” So goes the tagline in the trailer for the upcoming game, Strider. Well darn, Hiryu, for a hero, you’re a little long in the tooth. I had to consult Wikipedia and TvTropes to figure out your history and significance. I don’t have a huge amount of hands-on experience with arcade- and NES-era games, but when I've literally never heard of a character before, I feel obligated to admit it.
You might know who I’m talking about here if you’re a member of the target audience for Marvel vs. Capcom or Namco x Capcom. Such crossover games are the only appearances the legendary Strider Hiryu has made in recent years, since his native series hasn't been on the New Releases shelves since 1999. Heroes are reborn, huh? Hiryu’s not a phoenix – he’s the victim of a necromancer!
Having been upfront about my ignorance and my lack of interest in the crossover fighters, I now admit this: I really, really want this game to be good! I may tease Hiryu for his age, but that doesn't mean I’m determined to not be impressed. The previews for this reboot look promising, and I’m ready to become enamored of this old franchise.
So who is Strider Hiryu? Hiryu is a ninja with a cool sword and an even cooler scarf who is a member of the Striders, a team of wetwork specialists. In this retelling, Strider is apparently tasked with assassinating the dictator known as the Grandmaster. That sounds about as bare-bones as stories get, but I’ll go with it.
The previews make me think this is a return to the 2D exploration style of Castlevania, which sounds pretty promising. The game encourages free-roaming within the plane, rather than a strictly linear level progression. They will be rewarded with upgrades to their abilities, letting them explore new areas, receive new information on the universe and story, and so on.
As someone who doesn't have any knowledge of Strider’s pedigree, I’m optimistic for this upcoming remake. Let’s see what the scarf-wearing ninja has in store for us. I am ready to like it. Check it out whether you are an old fan or new and curious.