Forum > Blogs > Greatest Video Games of All-Time (IMO) - #10
Greatest Video Games of All-Time (IMO) - #10
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Sat, 21 Jan 2017 21:15:43
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10| Strider

Released: January 1989 (Exact date unknown)

Definitive Version: Arcade; Also on: MD, Virtual Console (Wii), PS, PCE

Well, you've finally reached this point. The top ten of my Greatest Video Games of All-Time (IMO) list. There were literally dozens of games that fought their way to get on this placement, however only a couple made it through. It took me a while to think which titles left as big of an impact and are enjoyable enough to actually rank in this area. I feel it is pretty fitting that Strider would make it to this level. For those unfamiliar with the game it is a side-scrolling action game set in the future that stars a highly acrobatic ninja named "Strider Hiyru". The game was released at that start of when these side scrolling hack-n-slash games began to become the standard in the market. Ninja Gaiden for the NES was released just a few weeks prior, while Sega was set to release Revenge of the Shinobi in a couple months. What made Strider standout from these games, as well as almost every other game that followed, was that platform it was developed on. Strider was developed for the arcades, therefore it didn't have to work around the limitations of consoles. The game featured huge sprites, many enemies on screen, and even an in-game physics system that calculated gravity. This alone made Strider head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd.

That said, despite the game's technical prowess, few people care or even notice it. There are two things that make Strider such a beloved game. How well the constant breakneck pacing mixes with the games acrobatic and fast paced gameplay, and the game's marvelous setting. To make things simple, there is always something going on in Strider. The heroic ninja constantly walks around the area (usually to the right) and uses his long range sword to slash at every enemy he sees. His ninja flexibility and agility allow him to scale and climb nearly any platform or building in the area. Every time the X or Y axis of the screen moves, there is usually something prepared as enemies and platforms are placed very well in the game. Not only that, but the game features array of unique levels and segments. From scaling to the top of the sky-scrapers of Neo-Moscow to assaulting the inners of a zero gravity airship base, Strider offers plenty of variety and excitement. It's non-stop action from beginning to end.

There is also the title's awesome setting. It takes place in the distant (while I guess today not so distant) future where cyborgs, robots, and magic dominate. The game is like every ten year old kids fantasy come true. There is even a level where you travel to the amazon rainforest and interact and fight with dinosaurs (both organic and robotic)! The game's art style is very comic booky and bright and the music manages to be both dark and cartoony at the same time. If you were going to point to someone what would be the quintessential example of a video game setting and atmosphere, Strider would be a top candidate.

The game isn't without its faults however. For starters the game does decline in a quality after its third level as the final two stages aren't as enjoyable to player as the first three. This goes double with the final stage which is far too punishing and dare I say confusing for its own good. While the cutscenes are a great touch, and it's even cooler that they are voiced with each character speaking their native language, they are far too short which leaves the story to be practically nonexistent in a game world that has so much potential.

Like Duke Nukem 3D, Strider was an excellent title in the series in which the developer could never come close in matching again. Strider 2 for the Playstation was widely regarded as a disappointment. The recent reboot by Double Helix was regarded as good...but that's just it, it was "good". Strider isn't suppose to be a "good" game, it's suppose to be an incredible one. Hence why the original Strider is still talked about while the few year old reboot is all but forgotten.

Despite staring in only three official games, Strider Hiryu has been featured in many more. Despite hardly being Capcom's most popular franchise, it seems that whenever there is a Capcom ensemble involved in a title, Strider WILL appear. This is probably due to the fact that the character is just so bad ass. He's a futuristic ninja who is a master in acrobats and wields long reaching plasma sword. Why wouldn't you want to play as him? He is a regular in Monolithsoft's "X" SRPG series which gathers Namco, Capcom, SEGA, and Nintendo characters all together as playable characters. But where Strider is really well known is in the Marvel vs Capcom series. Most of this is due to the highly praised Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. The game boasted an insane roster of 56 playable character in a 3 vs 3 team fighter. However, the game contains insane speed and complexity at high level play that very few other fighting titles feature. Due to this the roster of viable characters for competitive play shrunk to around 16. Of these 16 only just 3 or 4 of them were from the Capcom side. Strider was one of those characters, and it really propelled him to being more recognized in the gaming community, especially since his character was so fun and unique to play as. Strider also returned in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 where he was once again viable in a game that boasts a huge roster that significantly shrinks when accounting characters that are tournament viable.

In age of where Capcom has all but become a shadow of its former self, it's worth looking at games like Strider to remember just why they were held in such high regard in the first place. Sure Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Devil May Cry all have great games in their series, but Capcom has produced tons of exciting and entertaining games over the years. And that's worth to remember.

Edited: Sun, 29 Jan 2017 21:28:08

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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:05:50
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Ahhhh yes. While I'm not familiar with this particular version of Strider, the NES version was one of my favorite 8-bit games. Everything about it was amazing. Traveling from one part of the earth to the next, grabbing power ups, getting stronger, and weilding an awesome sword that made a really cool "CHERCHING" noise everytime you used it. Plus it had a darn good story for an 8-bit action/adventure game. I always thought Capcom dropped the ball when they didn't reintroduce the series after he showed up and became the fan favorite of MvC2. Good call man. Nice to see it make the top 10.

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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:28:45
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STRIDER!!!
Such a great moment in gaming that period of time was.

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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:38:41
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robio said:

Ahhhh yes. While I'm not familiar with this particular version of Strider, the NES version was one of my favorite 8-bit games. Everything about it was amazing. Traveling from one part of the earth to the next, grabbing power ups, getting stronger, and weilding an awesome sword that made a really cool "CHERCHING" noise everytime you used it. Plus it had a darn good story for an 8-bit action/adventure game. I always thought Capcom dropped the ball when they didn't reintroduce the series after he showed up and became the fan favorite of MvC2. Good call man. Nice to see it make the top 10.

Yeah I really enjoyed the NES Strider game as well. It was quite good and had a pretty cool soundtrack as well.

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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:07:41
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If you go back and look at the games Capcom was cranking out during that second half of the 8-Bit era, they were coming up with some pretty amazing music. Duck Tales, Little Nemo the Dream Master, Strider, and obviously the Mega Man games all had top notch soundtracks. Not sure if I'm just old but not many developers seem to be able to make them like that anymore, Capcom included.
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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:14:10
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robio said:
If you go back and look at the games Capcom was cranking out during that second half of the 8-Bit era, they were coming up with some pretty amazing music. Duck Tales, Little Nemo the Dream Master, Strider, and obviously the Mega Man games all had top notch soundtracks. Not sure if I'm just old but not many developers seem to be able to make them like that anymore, Capcom included.

Most soundtracks these days feel pretty generic. Kind of like the new Metallica, it sounds like they're TRYING to sound a certain way or follow a certain formula. Probably why I prefer it when games today just use ambient atmospheric stuff.

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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:54:51
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robio said:
If you go back and look at the games Capcom was cranking out during that second half of the 8-Bit era, they were coming up with some pretty amazing music. Duck Tales, Little Nemo the Dream Master, Strider, and obviously the Mega Man games all had top notch soundtracks. Not sure if I'm just old but not many developers seem to be able to make them like that anymore, Capcom included.

Indeed. Near the end of the 8- bit era and during the 16-bit era them and Konami were cranking out some really awesome tunes especially on the SNES.

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Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:01:43
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I hear Strider 2 is one of the best arcade games ever.

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