A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: February 18, 2014
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language
- Last updated: November 1, 2019
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