I’m rather enjoying the recent downloadable Strider title that’s been put together by Double Helix in association with Capcom.
It’s a slick, briskly-paced dash’n’slash ‘metroidvania’ type game that’s closer to something like Bionic Commando Rearmed in terms of quality than it is to certain other less thoughtfully handled updates/reboots of classic coin-ops. You know like, say, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2.
If there’s one element of Strider 2014 that I’m not so enamoured with it’s that the trademark sch-sch-sching-sching, sch-sch-sching! of Hiryu’s plasma blade is way too low in the mix.
Also, while remixes of the classic themes play throughout, overall I’m finding the updated music sufficiently moody in an unobtrusively poppy sort of way, it’s not quite making my heart surge and the hairs on the back of my neck bristle like (the uncredited) Junko Tamiya’s – aka ‘Swimmer Tamichan’, aka ‘Gondamin’, aka ‘Gon’ – original score.
There’s something about the specific sounds used in the original, and particularly Sega’s wonderful Mega Drive port, that I find unaccountably atmospheric.
There are so many brilliant (if short) pieces to choose from the original game but Siberian tunnel is always guaranteed to send a chill down my spine.
Here’s the original version from the 1989 CPS-1 arcade game:
And here’s how (wonderful) it sounded when translated to the Mega Drive’s FM synthesiser:
Watch out, Mecha-pon – Strider’s coming for you!