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Hiryu is back!
The original Strider games are classic examples of Capcom's mastery of the platforming genre and stand alongside Ghosts & Goblins and Bionic Commando as cracking old-school adventures. This flashy modern remake is one of those updates which does a great job of retaining its inspiration's appeal while adding enough new elements to interest gamers who've never experienced the original, and stands as a corking romp. The story finds you in control of Hiryu, a ninja warrior sent on a dangerous mission to free the land from the machinations of an evil dictator. Of course, standing between Hiryu and success is a mass army of cyborgs, mechs foot soldiers and many more and which are all going to have to be terminated with extreme prejudice. Gameplay is similar to the original, being an action platformer where you slay the bad guys, beat up bosses and seek out secrets, with the main change being the visual style, which is now 2.5D, and the semi-linear nature of the game, this being a little more like Metroid. This version is very fast-paced too, with an emphasis on speed and quick reactions, and this is perhaps where its core appeal lies, as the gameplay is very exciting. You've got a good range of moves to try out to add to the fun, while the controls are tight and responsive. Some of the boss battles are a tad frustrating, as are some of the throwbacks to the old arcade era, but the slick visuals that are packed with special effects and a pumping soundtrack make up for any minor shortcomings, making this a fine addition to any platform fan's collection.