Destructoid Interviews Andrew Szymanski Regarding Strider Reboot!

This one's already been making the rounds for a few days, but in case you missed it when it dropped (like I did), here's the link. And here's a few of the highlights:

We needed somebody who’s going to be able to take that and bring it into a multi-platform, 2.5D polygonal world. Double Helix had not only the engine tech and the expertise, but also the passion for the project. When they came to us and we said, “Hey, what would you do with the Strider?” They came with just an amazing amount of background research, amazing amount of love. Again, knowing what to pull from the old games, what things to sort of hint at and what homages to put in but also what to make new, and that was just incredibly compelling pitch to get from them.
We have a dynamic camera system. It actually zooms in and out depending on the best approach for any different area. Sometimes it’s scripted sometimes its procedural. Basically, how do we make Strider look badass and how do we make sure you have enough viewpoint of what’s going around you. One of the advantages of going with a 2.5D view opposed to a sprite based system is to have that camera.
If you go back to the gameplay video, the very first 30 seconds or so is a homage to Strider 1. We got the camera way up and he’s as big on the screen as he was on the first one. Then we reach a point after 30 seconds where we pull the camera back and say actually this world is much bigger than you thought and it’s not a linear experience.
We’ve got bosses in there that are brand new. The best hint I can give is most people know one of the plot devices in the Strider games is when Meio takes control he establishes his multinational army of generals that you have to fight. We have a nice eccentric cast of characters that we will be showing over the coming months.

That should fuel a lot of discussion and debate over on the Citadel. At the very least, it's MUCH more informative than that P4R article, amirite?

Posted by Scion on August 9, 2013 22:54 CDT

ScrewAttack's Death Battle: Ryu Hayabusa vs. Strider Hiryu!

Of course there's a fair amount of joking involved in a given Death Battle, but since we were actually consulted during the making of this installment, we'd encourage you to accept the ending of this one as more definitive than most. ;)

EDIT 08/09/13 22:54 CDT: We apologize. We originally had a YouTube stream instead of the direct ScrewAttack stream, due to SA's proprietary video format making the LSCM's frontpage lag horribly. To watch it directly on SA, go here.

Posted by Scion on August 3, 2013 14:37 CDT

LSCM Pwn3d, Goes Offline, Returns with Breaking News!

Yeah, so... that Play 4 Real article? A complete fake. Apparently P4R is The Onion of gaming journalism, and I had no idea. Double Helix gave no interview to P4R and all of the quotes below are bogus. I didn't catch it until Rey Jimenez called it out over on the LSCM's Facebook page. Good one guys. You even suckered me into thinking it was real. ;)

What's that? You didn't know the LSCM was on Facebook? Well, now you know. There's an LSCM discussion group on Facebook, as well; and while you're bookmarking, you might as well go ahead and bookmark Double Helix's official Strider reboot page, along with their own discussion subforum devoted to the game. You can always hop over to Capcom-Unity's official Strider reboot subforum as well, and of course there's always the Citadel, accessible by the "Forum" button in our menubar above.

Now that we're done with the linkage, on to some actual news!

First up, there's a video interview with James Vance, Capcom's producer in charge of the reboot (thanks again, Rey!), that GamerHub.TV put up a few days back, wherein he discusses the influences that previous entries in the Strider series are having on the reboot:

Thanks for the lead on that one, Sombra!

Next, it's just been announced that the next entry in ScrewAttack's "Death Battle" series is set to pit none other than our own Hiryu against Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa! This looks like it could be a tough fight, as it turns out that this is the modern Ryu and not, say, the "Worlds of Power" Ryu that Hiryu would easily trounce, even on a bad day. Head on over to the official discussion thread on the ScrewAttack forums (or the thread on the Citadel) and let the debate fly! Or slash, if you prefer.

One last thing: the press kit. I know, I know. We're behind. That's what happens when your webhost kicks you offline for literally no good reason (which is why we were down, earlier in the week). We'll be getting that to you shortly. In the meantime, stay tuned as there's sure to be more news to come!

EDIT: Betcha weren't expecting something THIS quick. Also, there's an in-depth interview with Andrew Szymanski that Spencer of Siliconera just posted yesterday. There's some good stuff in there, particularly some things that we'd all often wondered about, regarding the legal status of the character, Moto Kikaku, etc.

Posted by Scion on July 27, 2013 15:36 CDT

Double Helix Has No Idea Why They Got The Strider License

Play 4 Real has a Cliff's Notes digest of some things Double Helix VP Patrick Gilmore said at SDCC over the weekend, regarding how they manage to come by popular licenses like Killer Instinct and Strider:

To be honest, no one at Double Helix has played any of the Strider games. I never even heard of Strider until we were approached by Capcom to help develop this new title. [...] I really don't know why. I know it sounds like we don't deserve these types of franchises, but I kind of agree with the critics. There are so many more developers these companies could choose from. Many of them could develop the games internally, but they choose Double Helix. I'm not sure what that says about us.

It's actually kind of refreshing to see a developer admit that. Kudos to them. Patrick Gilmore goes on:

I just hope we can do justice to this old classic or at the very least, make the game playable.

This touches on something that's been brought home to me in the wake of the announcement itself. Along with the ecstatic joy that's accompanied news of us finally getting a new entry in the series, there has been an undercurrent of resentment that Double Helix was the one who wound up developing it. Some have even gone so far as to call the game crap merely because Double Helix is involved. I think that's taking things a bit too far. No one could argue that Double Helix's track record has been all that stellar, but it seems they themselves are aware of this, and they at least want to do the series justice. Honestly, I really don't care if Double Helix has not done justice by some people's standards of what their favorite franchise is supposed to be. As long as they do right by Strider, they're okay in my book.

There is one other thing, though. After the quotes from Gilmore, the article contains the following little... well, I'm not sure what this is:

Capcom said that they needed a budget developer to help quickly work on this title to gain fan support knowing they have to counter the negativity from the fact that they have nothing Mega Man related to show this year.

This? This is odd. Not because what it's saying doesn't make sense. Not because it doesn't sound true. Not because it's false. It's odd because... Capcom never talks like this. Not current Capcom staff. Not on any level, in any capacity whatsoever. Even if that's the case, they would never, ever own up to it. Especially not at SDCC, of all places. They would spin it to make them look good, somehow. In fact, when I consider what this quote might represent, I start to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I'm seeing signs across the Internet at large that are telling me this game is not going to be well-received, even if it is a good game.

I pray I'm wrong. Prove me wrong, people. Since we can't omit the apocalyptic pronouncements altogether (this being the Internet and all), could we at least hold off until after there's a playable demo? Could we wait until we actually have the thing in our hands before we start trashing it and spreading half-truths and derogatory nicknames, all in the name of tearing the game to shreds? Could we give Double Helix the benefit of the doubt until then?

Or is that just too much to ask of gamers in this day and age?

EDIT 08/09/13 22:54 CDT: Yeah, so... this Play 4 Real article? A complete fake. Apparently P4R is The Onion of gaming journalism, and I had no idea. Double Helix gave no interview to P4R and all of the quotes below are bogus. I didn't catch it until Rey Jimenez called it out over on the LSCM's Facebook page. Good one guys. You even suckered me into thinking it was real. ;)

Posted by Scion on July 23, 2013 21:53 CDT

Game Informer Interviews Double Helix Regarding Strider

Game Informer has a new interview up with Double Helix senior producer Andrew Szymanski and Strider producer James Vance, discussing the development process of the upcoming 2014 digital release. Some highlights:

[I]t’s the retelling of the classic Strider story [...] we wanted to avoid any sort of having to create a direct continuity by saying we’re retelling the story for modern gamers.
The core concept when we came up with this one was how do we marry the fast-paced gameplay and the action and the acrobatics and the environment traversal that Strider is known for with more of a nonlinear, open-ended, exploratory-based map design, where everything is interconnected and seamless and you’re exploring and unlocking the map as you move along [...] How do you take that and turn it into a six-hour console game? Even though we’re a digital download title, we still wanted to have a robust campaign that lasts about that long. You can’t make a totally linear 30-minute game and expect people to enjoy that in this day and age.
The character himself includes elements from all the previous games. It’s a brand-new Hiryu character design that’s been slightly tweaked. It’s kept the iconic silhouette, but some of the details are different. It was done by one of our artists in Osaka who’s been doing most of our character designs, and he actually did the character designs for Strider 2. So we have the pedigree there that’s doing all the work. The plasma scarf, instead of being a piece of cloth is now an exhaust vent, which is where his excess plasma energy trails behind him. That’s the biggest character change, but we’ve also incorporated some changes from the Marvel vs. Capcom character models as well.
The setting behind the character is that he’s a Super A class of the Strider organization, which is super rare. He’s the top of the top, cream of the crop. The sword he has is special, because unless you have a certain level of psychic ability – like your chi – if you swing the sword, nothing will happen. But because he has that ability, when he swings the sword it gets an extension of the plasma energy. He’s so badass that even when he uses his sword, he still has plasma energy to spare within his mind, and it comes shooting out this funnel in the back of his neck, which becomes this cool-looking jet. We also use it as a UI element in the game, because when you change your plasma type, the scarf will also change to a different color. He keeps changing his mindset, so now you can see the difference.
We’ve taken the surface of Kazakh City that actually appeared in both previous games and then expanded it out to be Meio’s home base. It extends deep underground, it extends into bunkers, and various military installations, as well as Meio’s actual residence. Even though one of the classic parts of the old games was this type of globe-hopping nature, where one minute you’re in Kazakh, next you’re in the Amazon, and then you’re in Siberia, that was really cool, but that doesn’t mesh well with the idea of interconnected space.

Hmm. I guess NES-style transport tubes were out of the question. Of course, since the concept artist from Strider 2 is involved, the burning question is whether or not Isuke is also involved, and unfortunately, the answer to that is, "No". Also, Isuke's praying for Capcom USA.

Posted by Scion on July 20, 2013 10:05 CDT


Well, remember that rumored Strider game? REAL. Don't take my word for it. Here. Watch the trailer.

Now, watch the gameplay trailer:

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!? This was so big it actually brought me out of retirement. I'd been hearing rumors for some time that Capcom was going to do something special for Strider's 25th anniversary next March, but at the most, I hoped for a "Strider Collection" disc with all the games.

We got way, way more than that.

Apparently the Double Fine rumor from March was actually true, because this new game uses the logos (and presumably also the trophy icons) from that. Also, there's this link that Rodrigo shot my way, detailing some more interesting images that aren't on Capcom's own site. I in particular love the "Authentically Strider" headline. As in, "This isn't that GRiN thing everyone hated. Trust us."

And, well, you guys know me. I'd be skeptical. I'd be sarcastic. I'd rip this to shreds if I could. But I can't. I'll honestly say I'm digging this. These guys dug deep for the gameplay on this reboot. They're pulling in Hiryu's launcher from MvC. They're using the Options from the first game. Heck, they even gave Hiryu a shuriken move that he didn't use anywhere outside of the manga. Double Fine is doing this because they love the series and want it to look and play awesome. That much is evident.

I won't be able to say whether they pulled it off until I actually play it myself, but if they've got it at least as tight as Moon Diver in terms of gameplay, they'll be fine. (No pressure, guys!) My only real concern is whether they've managed to craft a story worth playing and replaying. Because if they've done that, then this might just turn out to be the best entry in the Strider series yet.

In short, if anyone at Double Fine is reading this, I'm in. I like what I see, and I trust you so far. If the gameplay lives up to what the trailer shows, I'll be more than happy.

EDIT 7/20/2013: In my excitement, I confused "Double Helix" with "Double Fine". Apologies, everybody; and thanks, Kenny, for pointing this out!

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