I'm glad to see that the PSOne Classic line-up still continues to expand and include more obscure games. This week saw the release of every volume in the Namco Museum arcade compilation series, and next week also sees the return of another arcade classic hero, Strider.
Capcom has confirmed that the PlayStation version of Strider 2 will be released on the PlayStation Store next week on Oct. 7, and it will come with the perfect arcade port of the first Strider as well. Japan saw these releases on PSN back when the HD reboot of Strider launched earlier this year, so it's nice to finally get what I hoped was coming to us.
For those who don't remember, one of the greatest bungles ever in video game distribution came from the physical release of these games. Capcom accidentally switched the discs for Strider and Strider 2, and many were confused when they threw the game in their PlayStations for the first time. I can only hope that the CD 1 and CD 2 of this digital version will also be swapped as well.
For what it's worth, Strider 2 is a decent action game with some excellent level designs and a great sense of style thanks to 2D sprites on a 3D background. However, the console version's infinite continues defeat the purpose and make it a little bit too easy, so you'll have to impose your own restrictions in order to get the authentic arcade action experience. Otherwise, it's a boring tread through a game you are guaranteed to clear in about half an hour.
Arcade games of this type were designed to be practiced and perfected, not merely beaten like today's action games. Do the right thing, and just hit that reset button after three continues, and you'll be fine.
The original arcade version of Strider is the more exciting game in the package. It's an absolute classic from beginning to end, and there really isn't any other action game quite like it. The subtle story elements which unfold in the game's background animations and the absolutely insane level design are unlike anything you've ever seen. Plus, Strider's sword is just so fast!
This PlayStation 3 release makes it the most authentic way to play the game on a console. The only other modern version out there is in a Capcom PSP arcade compilation which can only be enjoyed to its fullest on the PS Vita these days.
More importantly, with this release of Strider 2, it shows that Sony has not given up on the PSOne Classics line-up. There are still many great games which haven't been re-released yet, and while voice acting and music licensing issues might hold some back, every game from the old days deserves a chance to thrive in this modern world.
Strider 2 will be the 50th PSone Classic in my collection, and I am patiently awaiting for Sony to announce how I can play these on my PlayStation 4.
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