Strider Starts Out With All Of His Core Abilities And Has Touches For MvC Fans

By Spencer . July 26, 2013 . 6:31pm

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Capcom is reviving Strider with a new game in development for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Double Helix is developing Strider which blends explorative gameplay with the high speed action the series is known for. When Siliconera spoke with senior producer Andrew Szymanski he promised that Strider won’t start off strong and suddenly lose all of his powers like Metroidvania games and explained how he was able to get a new Strider game in development.

 

How did you get started on Strider? It feels like fans have been requesting a new Strider game for a long time, but it finally got the greenlight.

 

Andrew Szymanski, Senior Producer: I was working on [Lost Planet 3], as you know. That’s been a three-and-a-half-year project. During the ups and downs, when we first get a project kicked off there’s a lot of work that goes into it. There’s a lot of work in the backend, like times like these when we are doing interviews and things like that, preparing before the game comes out. But during that in the intervening span, I obviously wanted to get some kind of pet projects, if you will, off the ground. Strider was really a labor of love for me because a lot of people of my generation grew up playing it. My first exposure was the Genesis version, which is a port of the first arcade game.

 

It was a perfect storm of different factors. I was looking to try to bring back some of the Capcom feel in terms of doing side-scrollers. You know there’s a bunch of great digital side-scrollers titles out there right now that marry modern graphical techniques with more an old-school gameplay style. I’m looking at these and thought these are a good fit for a lot of our IPs, and I’m thinking “Where should we go with that?”

 

Obviously, being a personal fan of Strider, but also we did a lot of research amongst our fans, on our Capcom-Unity community pages, and forum posts. I looked at replies we are getting from people what kind of games they wanted and what kind of characters they wanted to see. For me, personally, I could easily envision a concept to bring it to modern consoles. That concept was marrying the fast-paced old-school gameplay, the jumping, the acrobatics, the Cypher, with a more of a non-linear map design. To me, that concept came together very easily and organically. That’s why, it’s not super easy, but it was relatively low impact in order to get the game off the ground and get people to sign off everything inside Capcom.

 

For Strider, you don’t need Capcom to sign off. You also need Moto Kikaku to sign off too, right?

 

AS: We have a great arrangement with the manga artists that helped with the initial development of character. Capcom actually owns the rights of all the characters. When the first game came out in the arcades they actually ran a manga alongside it. Basically, you can even see it down there, it’s copyright Moto Kikaku. It’s just a courtesy and a thank you to say “Hey, they played a part” in doing this. They are always receptive when we go to them and say we want to do things with them, whether is Marvel vs. Capcom or it is a new game. They just love having these characters out there.

 

Huh, I’m a little surprised because I thought for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Capcom needed to get licensing rights to Strider which is why he didn’t appear until Ultimate [Marvel vs. Capcom 3].

 

AS: Well, it’s easy in the fact that it’s a standalone title. In other words, it either works or it doesn’t. Obviously, I wasn’t directly involved with Marvel vs Capcom, but that’s one characters of many. Everything is going on parallel. For us, we have to get permission. Assuming we get permission, we move on. This has been in the works for 18 months or so before we announced it.

 

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When I saw the gameplay my initial impression was Strider meets Shadow Complex. Since you had the acrobatics Hiryu is known for with exploration and the 2.5D perspective.

 

AS: I think that is a compliment. I love Shadow Complex. Our biggest goal with the gameplay execution on Strider was figuring out how to create this golden ratio between the combat and the speed and sort of the exploratory elements. And the reason why this is a little bit challenging is because most games that sort of have an interconnected map like this don’t move as fast as this one.

 

The movement speed of Strider in this game is 8 times as fast it was in the original arcade game, just in terms of the actual physical movement speed covering ground. Trying to find that sweet spot between we want him to be constantly in motion, be fast, be jumping, and climbing up ledges and everything, we want to be slicing up enemies left and right, but we also want to have those exploratory moments. That really formed the level design and formed the overall game design. That’s going to be a constant tuning challenge to make sure that there’s enough speed and it feels like Strider, but you’re also going be able to extend it out to full-fledged experience.

 

The first two games, they were quarter munchers right? If you play them start to finish they are about half an hour, maybe. Strider 1 is probably even shorter. The difficulty is jacked way up. It’s all about trying to kill you and get you to put more quarters in. The question was how did we take that and turn it into a six hour experience on consoles, which is what people are going to expect for a game of this type. That’s really were the balance between the speed and combat, and that sort of fast-paced frenetic ninja style combat with exploration came about.

 

 

What kind of things will Hiryu be able to find? He’s pretty powerful already, so what kinds of things will I find if I go through that exploratory route?

 

AS: You saw some of the stuff at the show where you got the ability to get powerups that both affect combat and also affect traversal. A great example of that are the different plasma affinities for the Cypher. One of the concepts behind the game is the idea of the Cypher being a plasma weapon. Why don’t we actually extend that out to encompass all of Hiryu’s ability being plasma based. That’s actually the impetus behind to make his scarf to be made out of plasma instead of fabric.

 

The idea is actually a vent, an exhaust vent of plasma trailing behind him as he’s running. When James was doing the demo yesterday, and you saw when he got the explosive plasma. When you change to that, it actually changes your Cypher to an orange color as well as turning the scarf to orange. That’s the UI element to indicate that you’ve switched a plasma type. It allows us basically to ground the Cypher weapon with multiple abilities. The Cypher is part of the silhouette, if he’d change to use a different weapon, his character silhouette would be broken up. But, obviously you can’t play a six hour experience with only the same attack pattern. So the idea being is keep the silhouette and keep the actual physical Cypher attack, but change what it can do. We showed the explosive one, and there’s other that he’s going to be able to do as well. Do you want to add anything to sort of the cypher background?

 

James Vance, Producer: I can just give some background on the characters, if you are interested. As Andrew explained, there is a jet coming out from the back of him and the lore behind of the Hiryu character is if you are a normal man and you are to swing the Cypher sword, it will just be a plain sword. However, he’s being able to build up his psychic energy such that when he swings it, it actually affects the plasma that comes out of the sword. The setting of the character is he’s a super A-ranked strider. He’s so powerful that basically his plasma energy is an excess. He doesn’t actually need all of it, that’s why it comes out of his back of the scarf. A little background for you there.

 

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Will we see Hiryu’s allies like the robot panther and hawk?

 

AS: Before you get any additional powerups, his core ability set is the same as it was in the first two [games]. Actually it’s even more. You got the climbsickle that allows you to climb on any surface. You got your standard jumping both straight up. You got you cartwheel jumping, sliding. All of these are his basic move set. His move set at the beginning of this is his classic move set. Every upgrade that you get actually adds on to that.

 

One thing we didn’t want to do that’s kind of common in games like this is have him be completely powered up at the beginning and then in like five minutes, he loses everything. We didn’t want to do that. We want to show that he was at his peak at the beginning and he gets even strong through the course of this game.

 

To answer your question, I don’t want to give away too many details. Because we have a lot of cool things we want to show. But, we will be seeing return of a lot of those classic sort of companions that everyone is familiar with. The one that we showed in the panel and in the gameplay video is the bot.

 

The little two-legged bot. It’s a little two legged mushroom-looking mechanical thing. In the old Strider games, it will walk along the environment and you could slice it open to get powerups. In this, it actually orbits an acts as a combination of both the shield, and it also sends out a projectiles to the environment. So it’s a great way to extend the reach and attack power of the Cypher. And you can engage it at any time. You have a life gauge and a sort of a power gauge. As long as you have remaining energy in that power gauge, you can engage it at any time once you obtain it.

 

Will Strider be able to use multiple companions at once like the panther and the bot?

 

AS: Stay tuned. But there’s definitely more than one. And once you get them, you’ll be able to engage them.

 

Strider has some very memorable music and sound effects. Like I still remember that sword slashing sound. How are you going to stay true to that part of Strider?

 

JV: To Andrew’s point about Double Helix understanding the IP, that carries over into the music as well. Some of the music you’ll hear in the video is a homage to the classic theme. We have that kind of music in there. We also want to take the game a little step forward in the future for modern gamers, so we added a modern twist to these soundtracks so it’s not playing back the same BGM you heard before, as well as original ones. We always want to keep the what we call "analog future" design of the Strider world, it’s this strange mix of high technology and low technology, we want to carry that into the world as well.

 

[Laughs] The same for the sound effects. I mean, you probably heard in the demo we put in the Meio laugh. That was an overt reference, but there are all kinds of little references like that throughout the game. If you’re a real hardcore Strider fan you can see that in there. We definitely made sure the sound that when he swings his sword, the sound that he makes when he jumps, some of the things the soldiers say when they are coming at you are a direct replica of the previous one or a reference to evoke the same emotions that old school players had when they played it back in the day.

 

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What about people who only know about Strider from Marvel vs. Capcom? Do you have any references there?

 

AS: I know there are a lot of questions of why were calling it Strider, why isn’t it something else. It’s not a remake. It’s not a reboot in the strictest sense. Every Strider game has the exact same setting which is Grandmaster Meio has taken over the world and Strider is sent in to kill him. And that’s it. The second game takes place a 1000 years after the first one and Strider is cloned or resurrected or something… there’s not a continuity.

 

What we said is there are these core components of Strider. This is the first Strider, by the time it comes out it will be fifteen years since the previous game. This is Strider. It’s Grandmaster Meio and Hiryu has to come in and kill him. Along the way a bunch of stuff happens and there are a lot of references to the old games. This is a retelling of the same story, retold in a new game.

 

For fans that never played the old ones and only played MvC, we actually went through quite a bit of trouble to incorporate little touches from MvC as well. Some of the animations are directly inspired by the old side-scroller games and some of the animations are inspired by MvC. We wanted him to play as fast and fluid as he does in MvC. We wanted to have that side-scroller gameplay like the old games, so the design is kind of a marriage of the old and new [Strider]. His character design has been completely redone, but contains elements from everything. In the first one he didn’t have his facemask. It also contains a couple of touches from Marvel vs. Capcom.

 

JV: I think the way the robots move as well, as you saw in the demo, is a specific reference to Marvel vs. Capcom. Where the robots shoot out the circular blasts like they do in the hyper combos. They don’t move that way in Strider 1 or 2.

 

AS: Also his lifter is from MvC. His straight up jump, not the cartwheel jump that was from Strider 1, is from MvC. It’s what we can take from the history of the character so he feels like he’s been built up in the course of 25 years.


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  • AkuLord3

    I always wonder where he got the cyber animals though he didn’t have them in his games (maybe in 2, i sorta don’t remember 2…ahhh i wish i could play it again).

    • Suzaku

      They were powerups in the original arcade game.

  • anthony apduhan

    Is this a hint for MVC4? I will wait in these years 2014-2020…

  • Solomon_Kano

    It’s always nice to see the developers show reverence for what came before without becoming slaves to it. I’m putting my faith in DH on this one. Hopefully they deliver.

  • Guest

    This game actually looks very interesting!
    I’ll be checking out more news of this.

  • Vash bane

    was other M bad?

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      It was a fun game. Although maybe a little linear and short for Metroid veterans, but it was a good game.
      Now that you mention it, I never got to play on Hard mode…

      • Vash bane

        ah cool i’m thinking of buying it along side prime 3
        (making a reason to bust out the wii and also because I like Metroid XD)

    • epy

      It was an excellent game gameplay-wise. People just got upset over its characterization of Samus so it tends to get bad rep just because of that.

      • Vash bane

        what happened to her in it?

        • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

          She was found boring and weak by most people. Most of her lines involved “The Baby, the Baby, the Baby, the Baby, Adam, Adam, the Baby, Adam, Adam, it pierced my heart, Adam, the Baby.” Maybe this helps.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE8RTKBFlBI

          • Vash bane

            wow…
            I knew the baby was special but it was literality mentioned that much lol

            I really never knew much of that adam guy beside the fact he was a AI in the other games

        • Juan Andrés Valencia

          Tecmo thought they could write a decent back story for her. They might make good and stylish games with women whose breasts are made of jello but instead they decided that turning Samus into a mix of Rei Anayami from Evangelion, Tina from DOA and a stereotypical girl with daddy issues was a great idea.

          It wasn’t.

      • PotatoPower

        It really wasn’t that excellent gameplay-wise, you seriously could dodge everything just by mashing the d-pad and the exploration was very weak.

  • BlueTree

    That whole “The old games were just half hour quarter munchers” doesn’t really inspire my confidence in this project, I feel like it really communicates a lack of understanding of how those games were different and how they functioned. Rehearsal is a big part of action games, and it’s a fundamental mistake to say they were just there to take money.

    • http://truner.beluva.hu/ Truner Razer

      I never had the chance to play the real arcade version, but the PS1 game is basically an arcade perfect port. Now that, I played a lot. A lot of the situations in the game are done so you spend more and more money on the game.

      Sure I love the game, I love the franchise, but the games are made to eat money. They are also not longer than half an hour, so I think he was pretty spot on about the old games. Shame he didn’t talk more about the NES game.

      • BlueTree

        My problem with what you’re saying and what these developers are trying to sell, a supposed understanding of the previous Strider Hiryu games, is that what you and others may be saying/thinking about Strider’s design shows a lack of competency regarding action games.

        Strider Hiryu is a legitimate action platforming game. There is no fundamental difference between the basic idea of Strider Hiryu the arcade game and Castlevania 1 on the NES. Both games emphasize positioning and level knowledge, penalizing players with death for getting into certain situations in a level. Funny thing, though, Castlevania doesn’t require any quarters, so a great video like Egoraptor’s didn’t have to explain that the production values of an arcade game, combined with there being a monetary exchange prior to playing a relatively short title, necessitated difficulty.

        No one was paying to own Strider 1, they just wanted to beat it in the arcade. It’s very easy to look back, or even play an arcade perfect port of an arcade game, and go “You were just spending money, guys.”

        Don’t be that guy.

        Strider 1 affords players a lifebar, but it’s a much shorter length than Castlevania on the NES. It also has pits that can kill the player or result in guaranteed damage. The shorter length of the lifebar combined with areas where you will take damage or die are there so that Capcom has some kind of guaranteed return on their investment. The game’s overall length is short to justify that type of design. Can you imagine an actual 6 hour game that penalizes you as hard as Strider at the cost of money? There’s no justification for that.

        The production values are higher than an NES game and no one’s paying to own Strider 1, the idea is that if a player likes what was played then they’d be willing to spend money rehearsing until their skill grows enough to complete the game. If they continue to the end, the enjoyment of the experience would hopefully provide them their money’s worth. Strider 1 offered multinational voice acting from a bunch of language students, it had dynamic stage music, and incredible set pieces. Players were paying to overcome the game’s difficulty so that they could experience that, some in a way that was uninterrupted. They wanted to “get it right.”

        Arcade games are different in terms of how you experience their time investment. This interview communicates, to me at least, that the guy is a fan, and that he thinks credit feeding an arcade game to “get to the end” is the core experience. Action games make people say this all the time, and it shows that the person doesn’t understand what it is they’re speaking about.

        Instead of making any kind of reference to the satisfaction of solving a particularly difficult section and executing it perfectly by either assessing it without error, or dying a lot and then piecing it together so that you don’t die, he more or less says “I had to spend a lot of money and it wasn’t worth it.” Why would I be excited that this man is helping make a new Strider game when his view of the series is so limited?

        Making a broad sweeping statement like “These games are quarter munchers” communicates throwing the series under the bus to me, because it’s an incredibly hamfisted description of what was going on with the arcade Strider games.

        So when you, or in this case, a developer comes up, and boils down the essence of Strider Hiryu’s difficulty as “Quarter Muncher”, it communicates that his fondness for the series is something that rings hollow.

        • MrSirFeatherFang

          only if I had the time to learn these arcade games… for some reason they feel kind of special the way they were designed. I consider Ikaruga like a masterpiece and I’m fortunate enough to own the GCN and XBLA version so I could learn how he game works.
          I do get that feeling when I die “what can I do better next time?”.
          Although I understand some people… there were some frustrating part of Strider 1 I never put the time to learn. This trial and error sort of thing is what I like about action games.

          • BlueTree

            Yeah, you really have to like the system you’re playing with to justify the experience. If you don’t like the mechanics or something about an action game, or even shmup or fighting game, then there’s no logical reason for the user to spend money. Having to market that kind of design to as many people as possible takes talent, and that’s something that should be noted for Strider 1. It managed to have difficulty while attracting as many users as possible with its presentation and design. That’s no small feat when it’s something that can easily just piss people off.

            “Quarter Muncher” doesn’t really communicate any of that. Neither does saying “I beat this game while dying a bunch so it’s not really that long” when it comes to action games. Strikes a nerve in me, I guess. Especially if it comes from someone who actually designs games, I’m just a player lol.

          • malek86

            I haven’t played Strider in particular, Quarter Muncher is actually a pretty good definition for most arcade games. Like it or not, these games had to kill you fast. A bit because they wanted more money, and a bit because you had to leave the spot to the next guy in line who was waiting for you to die so he could play too.

            There’s a reason if very often, home console ports of arcade games were made a whole lot easier (Wizard of Wor comes to mind: the arcad eversion becomes fast very quickly already at the 2nd level, while the home console version waits until the 8th level, and still takes longer).

            It’s not that the execution is necessarily unfair, but the difficulty curve was far, far steeper than a console game. Today, the difficulty of many old arcade games would probably be considered unbalanced or even unfair just for the sake of making you pay more, which is probably what the developer is referring to.

          • BlueTree

            Quarter Muncher is pretty faux intellectual, to be honest. Calling Strider an Arcade Action game is fine, You’re making a pretty grievous assumption that it’s somehow not worth someone’s time to know that the types of games that would be seen in an “Arcade” would typically be shorter flights of fancy with several factors as to why, and thus we should just say “Quarter Muncher.” Words have meaning and impact. I’d say that a fighting game actually inhales quarters quite a bit, but there’s no derogatory air to calling an arcade game an arcade game and realizing that your investment is what you make of it. One aspect of the highest level of play or the lowest level of play does not define the entirety of the arcade experience. You’re essentially selling the idea it’s fine to cheat people out of understanding that arcades are a social environment, and that the experience isn’t just about spending money.

            It can, and often was, a very communal experience. It remains to this day. Shmup players share strategies on how to score well on certain sections, or just to pass certain sections. Players do their best to eventually clear a game without losing their money, they create a state of the game where they don’t spend lots of money and the rehearsal that they had spending money pays off with them being able to display their skills, either for personal satisfaction or for onlookers.

            “Quarter Muncher” is not an accurate description of this. Using the term arcade game; however, actually does communicate this and if the person doesn’t understand the term then you can enlighten them without caveats.

            And your statement about console ports often being easier isn’t necessarily true. Strider’s Sega Genesis port actually significantly toned down the effectiveness of the Oroborous/Mechanical Drones. The arcade version of Strider’s Oroborous drones made mince meat of enemies easily. Really, it’s a game by game basis, there’s no sweeping statement to make there.

          • courte

            alot of poop. i’ll take the games as the past as what they were. great. however i’m not going to lie and say i want very difficult very short game. from what i hear tell of the nes strider game, it sounds very attractive. i’ve never played it back then because i was at the horrible age where arcades were on the decline and the ones around me i couldn’t get to at the time easily, not that it had it anyway.

            a new strider game, hell any game in this day and age [i'm sorry to say it] needs to bring more to the table. if i wanted to die fast and speed run a game, i’d play the originals. don’t hear quarter muncher and get offended. most arcade games were ‘until you learned them’ which lets be honest wasn’t the primary purpose of the developer. when it comes to the arcade owner, it was spend money. heres fingers crossed that this game will be long difficult and fulfilling

          • BlueTree

            You’re right. Can’t believe no one thought to add exploration, RPG elements, and item pick ups to an action game like this, maybe they’ll do it to Castlevania some day.

          • courte

            man you’re angry. its not my goal to make you upset, but you look to be defending your stance of the game as you know it. it comes off as condescending to other fans of the game

          • loempiavreter

            Im with bluetree on this. There’s nothing “faux intellectual” about learning games. It’s what your taught to play by other players in the arcade, who share their information with you, a bit like forums are used today or walkthroughs.

            As for currentgame design, there’s a lot of stereotyping mistakes, like adding rpg element to a beat’em up. The Capcom Dungeons & Dragon games used “rpg-like lvling” but is in fact a clever score system. Much beat ‘em ups now add them but make it resolve around lvling and therefore add grinding element to the game, and to me, grinding was never fun. Same with action platformers, add metroidvania style it made sense since nes strider also uses it. But people forgot that back when nes strider was released it wasn’t hauled as a great game. Especially compared to a great game like arcade strider when so much action packed stuff happenend injust a few minutes, one boss followed up by another in just a few minutes. Now we get the same sort of treatment, i don’t disagree with metroidvania choice, but put some effort inthe stagedesign and progression. There.s a lack of stuff happening, on screen which is classic metroidvania, more recycle of tiles and enemies then using them good, this way we can stretch thegame length… but in the end you get a lame passive action platform title, with endless array of straight corridors and lame platforming without any sense of danger. I can hardly imagine anyone wants this? Stretching game lenght is a marketing trick, just give me a good action game. Indie dev Locomalito could make great actionpacked games like malditta castilla, why can’t professional devs?

            Someone who said that beat’em ups are nothing but “quarter munchers”, no it’s not it’s all about crowd control game.

          • BlueTree

            Glad I came back to read what was left, because I just downloaded Malditta Castilla as a result!

        • MoriyaMug

          Methinks you’re reading too much into it. Arcade games were typically difficult by default, because they DO need to pull multiple credits to be profitable. Strider was no different in this regard. Recognizing and understanding this fact doesn’t make one any less of a fan of the series. And I say this as one who played both games to completion (on the PS1) without cheating (or continue-whoring, in the case of the second one).

          • BlueTree

            Not really. Saying there’s a well-designed penalty for making a mistake is one thing, and that’s clearly not what was said. A term like “Quarter Muncher” implies “the user only died cause this game is solely designed to take my money and is really short with no real payoff” when you making a comparison to a 6 hour Super Metroid style title. It’s not a very flattering comparison, and it’s not flattering for all the wrong reasons and, again, communicates that this guy doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about. Not that he has to, but if the idea was to assure someone that the series is in good hands, it really only tells me that they’re doing a good job convincing people who really wouldn’t know any better.

          • MoriyaMug

            I really think you’re looking at it the wrong way. The arcade games WERE quarter munchers, in the sense that you either spent money to practice and get better (or in the case of the second one, just fed it quarters to keep continuing where you died… a more literal meaning), or you stopped playing. I don’t think “no real payoff” is implied by the term. Classic beatemups are quarter munchers of the most egregious kind (with the possible exception of the Gauntlet games), but there was always a payoff.

            Given what we’ve seen of the game in action and the philosophy stated behind the development, I think we’re in for a treat. Don’t be so quick to condemn.

          • BlueTree

            Simply put, after all I’ve said, there’s more to arcade games than “They were designed to take your money”, especially a game like Strider 1. Quarter Muncher is a really backhanded, simplified term, doesn’t accurately describe what was happening in Strider. Money did happen to exchange, but that term really doesn’t have much accuracy for an action game. Strider, again, isn’t different from Castlevania, so is Castlevania a quarter muncher?

            It’s common to see people describe a game in ways such as “This game isn’t really long, it’s just hard”, “This game isn’t long, it’s just designed to take your money.” It’s not particularly insightful.

            That said, nothing I’ve said implies condemnation, more a lack of confidence, which is different. There’s a difference between me saying “This game is going to be awful” and “I don’t see much to think this game is in good hands, but we’ll see.” At no point did I say “This game will suck.”

          • MoriyaMug

            Not in so many words, but you do give off that impression. Taking umbrage at a term commonly used to refer to any and all arcade games and decrying it as “faux intellectual” seems kind of… well, faux intellectual.

          • BlueTree

            Well, we don’t have much to go on in terms of discussing the actual new Strider game beyond our impressions of it based on videos or the testimony of others, something that’s not an issue here, which I didn’t bring up.

            This is a developer interview, I happen to be giving my impressions of someone based on their capacity to sell me on their competency as developers and designers. They offer their opinions and views on the game, and it’s fair to critique them, it should be expected. Andrew Szymanski takes a stab at describing the previous two Strider games as “quarter munchers, right?”, and this interview allows me to formulate my impression of the team’s interpretation of Strider as a property, and I’ve given that impression. He very specifically accuses two Strider games of trying to deliberately take the player’s money, as well as “only being a half-hour long.” That is not what’s going on there and I think it, again, shows a bit of incompetence. He was not using it as a general statement regarding arcade games, so it’s important to be aware of that if you’re trying to imply otherwise.

            Quarter Muncher might be a commonly used term in your mind, but I’m challenging that assertion in what I’m saying because, frankly, it’s wrong. “Quarter Muncher” is a misnomer, it’s an easy out to describing a game, and I think it speaks poorly of Andrew to use the term so thoughtlessly when it’s his job as a developer, here, to represent the brand, as well as show that he has some competency or understanding of game design.

            Strider wasn’t a game that was trying to steal anyone’s money. It doesn’t read your inputs like, say, Mortal Kombat to a capacity that doesn’t even simulate some kind of meaningful challenge or simulation of challenge. That being the case, I’m saying it’s use is derogatory in regard to the first two Strider arcade games because it is. That term does not describe what is happening in a game like Strider at all, it is a term that is probably applicable to the worst of arcade games, which thankfully I can only think of so many, primarily Mortal Kombat of all games where the computer will read your inputs to an extent that throwing a high fireball repeatedly as Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 2 can cause the CPU to crouch then suddenly begin slowly SLIDING along the ground toward you because it is doing frame perfect reactions to what it is you’re controlling.

            Strider 1 had some difficult sections, but usually those would result in damage, I can rarely think of moments where you would simply DIE for rushing head first without thought, it was mostly that those little errors rack up over time and it would cause the player to have to consider not immediately scolling forward and, rather, take the time to progress forward cautiously while taking note of moments in the level and how they can proceed without killing themselves. Doing so means that a player can actually clear the game without spending much money at all. Crowded arcades means that you could actually watch someone spend their money and even learn from their mistakes. It doesn’t go out of its way to make that meaningless and kill you anyway, there’s no “Well you tried but there’s nothing you can do.” It’s not just eating your money because you put it in. Because you can change the state of the game from success to failure, it’s not just taking a player’s money regardless of their capacity to change or strategize.

            It’s, again, in so many ways, not an accurate description of what is happening in arcade games. You will spend money, yes, but the reasons why are that mistakes and the chance to try again are monetized, but it’s important to distinguish the difference between what is fair and what isn’t. The short length of the games relative to console games is just one of many factors that makes this a reasonable expense.

            If your impression of the term Quarter Muncher is “Of course it’s right”, well, show me why.

  • epy

    “Huh, I’m a little surprised because I thought for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Capcom needed to get licensing rights to Strider which is why he didn’t appear until Ultimate [Marvel vs. Capcom 3].”

    See? Capcom just witheld Strider since they were planning Ultimate all along and gave that “licensing issues” excuse. They were probably going to do the same with X had Ultimate sold a lot. Funny how the lies just casually show up later down the road.

  • loempiavreter

    Let’s set one thing straight here Strider was not a “quarter muncher” if you know how to play it. Nor was it a 6 hour game if you try to learn how to complete the game in a 1cc run. The mindset that you coin mash your way through the game, makes it a short game…

    • BlueTree

      Yeah, I read that and just sort of facepalmed. Arcade games have been, excuse my frustration, shit on for years for this and it just shows that there’s a lot people have to learn about why they are designed the way they are.

      Yes, you have to pay money if you lose, but it isn’t like that experience is going to happen every single time you play. There’s a pay off to improving. It’s not exactly appealing to want to pay to learn a game these days, but it doesn’t immediately mean that these titles are poorly designed or merit a descriptor as derogatory as “quarter muncher.” The game isn’t a quarter muncher just because certain players decide the act of feeding quarters into the machine without thought suddenly defines their experience.

  • Marco Tinè

    As a very passionate fan of the series, I don’t particularly like it to be described as “Quarter Muncher”. When the first Strider came out I was just 8, and it was in fact one of the first arcade machines I’ve ever touched, so I’m particularly fond with it.

    But I’ve played it so many times, and throughout so many years, that I’ve come to appreciate the quality of its design without bothering too much about its difficulty, and the subsequent fact that it would require a certain amount of coins to be completed. It’s neither a fault nor a scandal to acknowledge it.

    In the case of Szymanski, I think he made a poor choice of words while describing the original games: calling them “quarter munchers” downplays their fantastically designed stages and dynamics (ok, Strider 2 was a little weaker). I would have said they are demanding titles for their genre.

    Does this entail a poor understanding of the games’ features? Not necessarily: actually, Double Helix *have* to understand them in order to integrate them into a different design, and from what I read in this interview, it seems to me that they are tackling the right problems. This new Strider is a constant balance challenge indeed.

    Let’s see what they come up with, and be a little more positive about it. There are japanese Capcom designers involved, too.

    • BlueTree

      I think it does entail a poor understanding of the game’s features. But, thankfully, I’m not using that as a springboard to say that the game they are developing will suck, I simply feel that if the idea was to assure or inspire confidence that one developer happens to understand what was going on, then I don’t think he understands.

      He specifically said these games were “simply half an hour” in length, and using that term in combination with that does, frankly, show a lack of understanding regarding action games. Rehearsal is part of the length, repeating a section if you make a mistake is, often times, where many players find the meat of their experience… but since you don’t take issue with the term, I don’t really want to force that aspect of the discussion here.

      I wish to agree to disagree and just say:

      This doesn’t mean that we can use Andrew’s words as “evidence” that the new Strider will be bad, but it isn’t a problem to call out a mistake. That’s not “being negative” or “not showing support.” It’s simply discourse.

      • Marco Tinè

        Got where you’re coming from, thanks for your opinion :)

  • Cuticle

    Quarter-muncher? Hmm. Maybe when you’re just starting out and have no idea what you’re doing, but I was able to single-credit clear the game in the arcade back in the day. And I am by no means any kind of god-tier gamer.

  • Heavenly_King

    Most probably this game will suck, but time will tell.

    • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

      Considering this is being developed by the guys from Battleship and Silent Hill Homecoming… It’s possible.

  • Gethoff Mahfacebuk

    Good job brushing on the fact that Capcom blatantly lied to it’s fans about Strider being a “licensing issue” when it was plainly obvious later on that they just held him back for the second version less than a year later. I’m reluctant to buy even this game now because of how Capcom has been conducting business with it’s fans lately.

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