If a couple tiny images and a Steam achievement listing are to be believed, Capcom may be planning to resurrect the long-forgotten, fan-favorite Strider franchise.
It's been a long time since gamers enjoyed the last adventure of Strider Hiryu. So long in fact, that most of you likely only know the futuristic ninja from his appearances in the Marvel Vs Capcom fighting game series. Though the character debuted as the titular protagonist of a manga created by Moto Kikaku, he didn't truly rise to prominence (particularly in the West) until Capcom's 1989 arcade game Strider. Despite being successful enough to spawn a port to the wildly popular Nintendo Entertainment System (as well as Sega's Master System and Genesis consoles, and almost every computer platform in existence at the time), Strider wouldn't return until the PlayStation era in the appropriately-titled (and criminally underappreciated) Strider 2.
However, Capcom never truly forgot about the hero, and a recent discovery by NeoGAF user "SalsaShark" seems to suggest that the company may be working on a new game in the franchise. That image embedded at the top of this article appears to be a modern, Xbox Live Arcade-style box art for this potential game, and another, similar image can be found in SalsaShark's NeoGAF post. Further, SalsaShark discovered a Steam achievement listing the game by name. Unfortunately Valve and/or Capcom appears to have discovered this potential leak and has since removed the achievement listing, so while you're still able to access the page that once included this information, it now lists only the words "TestAchievement THIS IS A TEST TEST IT." We can confirm however, that at the time SalsaShark initially posted his or her findings that the page did include text indicating the possible future existence of a game dubbed simply "Strider."
So, what are we to deduce from this information? At this point, not much. It's entirely possible that those images were created by a talented artist armed with a copy of Photoshop. That page listing the achievement could also have been doctored. However, we question what the purpose of this ruse might have been. Why would anyone, even a hardcore Strider fan (of which there aren't many left), want to trick people into believing that Capcom might be working on a Strider sequel? Further, such a sequel would fall right in line with Capcom's modus operandi. The company has long used the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network as an arena in which to revive its older, less popular franchises. Both Bionic Commando and 1942 were rehashed for modern audiences in exactly this way, so the idea that Capcom might do the same for Strider is not just reasonable, it almost seems inevitable.
Still, this is undeniably scant information to work with. Until Capcom either confirms or denies the existence of a Strider sequel, we urge all of you to consider this a rumor. That said, we've got our fingers crossed that there is indeed a new Strider game on the way. Like the aforementioned Bionic Commando the original Strider featured some very clever uses of then-current technology to present a hero with abilities far beyond those seen in other gaming protagonists of the time. It's exciting to imagine how much further Capcom could push these concepts using modern hardware, and if nothing else we love the idea of a game that allows for free-form exploration via a hero who can climb anything, up to and including massive neo-Cold War-era boss monsters.
Double points to Capcom if it resurrects that stupidly difficult cyborg gorilla boss. I hated that guy as a kid and would jump at another opportunity to julienne his simian face with a laser sword.