Strider

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Strider Game Poster Image
Fast-paced action title has nice graphics, repetitive play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Positive messages aren't really expressed within the game. Given that you basically play an assassin who doesn't talk or question his mission, there's no way of finding out what he actually thinks of his task.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play a highly trained assassin tasked with killing the brutal overlord of a dystopic society. There's no overt positive role model to be found here -- the assassin already has his orders as soon as the game starts, and he fights alone against extreme odds. 

Ease of Play

This type of game is often referred to as "hack and slash." Players are focused on getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible while maneuvering through all sorts of obstacles, including defeating every enemy in the way. As such, the game is very easy to grasp, but, as it progresses, it gets much harder. Gamers will need to focus perfectly to succeed. 

Violence

Players must attack enemies during this very fast-paced game. They usually appear small on the screen and are treated more as obstacles that need to be removed rather than fully fleshed-out characters. The art style lessens the impact of the frequent fights. Depending on your attack, enemies may be shown split in half before quickly disappearing from the screen. That depiction may be alarming to some, but, with the zoomed-out view, colorful graphics, and gameplay that never focuses on an individual enemy, it's difficult for the violence to seem very intense.

Sex
Language

Language in dialogue includes "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Strider is a downloadable side-scrolling action game in which players attack never-ending waves of enemies through a variety of landscapes. With the exception of occasional boss battles, all enemies are fleeting and are usually taken out with a single hit. As such, their purpose in the game doesn't serve as a hazard but rather as a series of obstacles that players need to power their way through to progress. The most violent content in the game comes when enemies appear to be split in half before quickly disappearing. But these fleeting depictions can't be taken too seriously because of the zoomed-out view and the art style. Some swearing (for example, "damn") appears in the game's dialogue.

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What's it about?

STRIDER has an underlying story line about the central character, Strider Hiryu, trying to track down and defeat an evil villain named Grandmaster Meio. This is achieved by running as fast as possible through a series of winding environments while taking out henchmen and enemies along the way. This franchise has roots dating back more than 20 years, and its focus has never been on plot or character development. Instead, it prioritizes presenting a high-octane experience in which players barely have a moment to pause from the action.

Is it any good?

Strider is a re-imagining of a classic 1980s arcade game of the same name, in which a hero fights against overwhelming odds to achieve his goal of destroying a dictator. The game's target audience is a group of seasoned gamers who overwhelmingly expressed interest in seeing what the game would look like on an updated platform. To that end, it succeeds. In its own right, it's little more than a typical side-scrolling action game. There's a requisite number of challenges and an expected level of difficulty once players get deep enough into the game, but at the end of the day it's just a lot of running, jumping, and attacking without much else to take advantage of the powerful console's capabilities.

The one area where the game excels is in its stunning visual presentation. Ultimately, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and neither should anyone interested in buying or playing it. It simply fits the bill as a fun, fast-paced, hack-and-slash experience. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Strider. Is it clear that the characters you're attacking are the "bad guys"? When do depictions of violence cross the line from being a necessary part of gameplay to being gratuitous?

  • How detailed is the story line in this game? Would this type of game be better or worse if there were more emphasis on the story?

  • How do you overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in your own life?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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