Strider 2, released in arcades and on the Sony Playstation in 2000, is the sequel to the popular arcade and multiplatform game Strider. This game is considered the true sequel to the original Strider, rather than Strider Returns. Strider Returns is not considered a part of the series, as it was not developed by Capcom, it was exclusive to the west, and most people hated it. Strider 2, on the other hand, was very well received. Unfortunately, despite being hailed by critics and series fans, Strider 2 did not sell well.
The Playstation version of the game included the original Strider on a separate disc, for those who had never played it to become accomodated with the series. In the United States, there was a printing error for the game that swapped the labelling of each CD, so the Strider 2 disc was labelled Strider, and the Strider disc was labelled Strider 2.
Strider Hiryu has returned, once again wielding his powerful, plasma cypher, called the Falchion. The Grand Master Meio has taken over the world. He rules as a despot, and the world is spiraling towards cataclysmic annihilation. The game follows Strider, as he takes out terrorists, investigates disgusting genetic experiments, takes on Meio's fleet, travels to the Third Moon and ultimately destroys this tyrant, freeing the world from his iron grip once and for all.
Strider 2 is a fast paced arcade-style hack n' slash action platformer. The game's primary focus is fast and furious action, even moreso than its predecessor. Strider, Falchion in hand, will run through each level, taking on a plethora of enemies. Each stage is littered with bosses, too, which provide a suitable challenge for our hero. Strider is unique in that there are so many bosses on each stage. Additionally, at the end of each stage, there is a final boss. Strider begins the game with only four life, which he must be cautious to keep. As the game progresses, Strider can increase his stamina by gathering special katakana. The game draws heavily from other platform games as well, with a number of obstacles in the players way, requiring tricky jumping and expert timing. Strider is more than up to the task, as he can double jump, climb up walls, and hang from ceilings. Throughout each level are flame spitting jets, moving platforms, and other obstacles that break up the action, for a more platforming style gameplay. In true Strider fashion, the game features a number of gravity-defying segments that see our hero running upside-down on walls in altered gravity, as well as spinning around and floating in zero gravity.
Like the previous game Strider 2 plays rather simply. Most of the gameplay is done with two button, one to perform acrobatic jumps, and the other to slice and dice with Strider Hiryu's Falchion. Strider 2 allows Hiryu to run, as well, with a double tap on the directional pad. Strider Hiryu also gains the ability to slide with down jump. Hiryu's prowess with the blade has improved as well, as he gains the "rapid" attack,
initiated by holding down the attack button. There are many powerups for Hiryu to collect, which are both hidden in each stage in special capsules, and dropped by enemies. These include sword powerups and "boost" icons. Sword powerups will increase the effectiveness of Strider Hiryu's Falchion, increasing its length, and improving its power. The "boost" powerups are new to the series, and drastically increase Hiryu's power. When activated, Strider Hiryu will go into "boost" mode, creating a colorful aura around Hiryu, and making him a force to be reckoned with for a brief period of time. His Falchion's power is boosted, and each slash of the sword will send out a colorful prejoectile, which flies around, damaging enemies.
As an arcade style game, points are a major part of Strider's charm. Strider Hiryu will gain points for defeating foes, which are collected when he grabs lorge, colorful orbs that they drop. Each stage also has a number of hidden score tokens, coming in the form of cows, barrels, and other nonsens items, which provide a sufficient score boost. At the end of each stage, performance will be graded, which can drastically increase Hiryu's score. Strider Hiryu is awarded points for remaining life, items picked up, and the "special" bonus, requiring that Hiryu make it through the level uscathed. The game provides leaderboards for top scorers, and the fastest completion times.
Strider Hien Gameplay
Upon beating the game, players will unlock a second character, Strider Hien. Strider controls essentially the same as Hiryu, posessing the same running, jumping and climing prowess as Hiryu. The major differences in gameplay come in combat. Hien wields two cyphers, which he throws at enemies to attack. Each cypher will target a certain enemy when thrown (though they still damage anything they come into contact with) before returning to Hien like a boomerang. Hien's weapon powerup will give him a third cypher to use in combat. Hien has a single close range move, the Savage Slash. Unlike Hiryu, Strider Hien cannot select his level, and must play them through in order.
Strider 2 is divided into five stages which Strider must complete. In the beginning, Strider can freely choose from one of the initial three stages. As each stage is completed, a fourth stage is unlocked, and when the first four stages are comepleted, the final stage is unlocked. Each stage is timed, and the faster it is completed, the better the score. Strider will need to continue if he runs out of time.
- Stage 1: Destroy the Militia group; This stage takes place throughout the diverse regions of Neo-Hong Kong
- Stage 2: Uncover the Origins of Distorted Technology; this stage takes place in the massive Fortress of Wahnen, full of genetic experiments and crazy technology.
- Stage 3: Sneak into and destroy the reseach facility; On this stage, Strider will begin in an arctic trundra, and must infiltrate the research facility. Again, full of genetic experiments and crazy technology.
- Stage 4: Pursue the Battleship Balrog; This level takes place on a favorite location from the original, the battleship balrog. One of the more platforming intensive levels.
- Stage 5: Terminate the Grandmaster; Takes place on the Third Moon. The final level!
- Stage 00: Investigate the secret ruins; A secret stage that takes Strider to El Dorado