After a long decade of waiting, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is finally out, and the game features dozens of old and new faces. However, there was one fan favorite who was noticeable by his absence: everyone’s favorite non-ninja, Strider Hiryu. After helping to sell thousands, if not millions of Genesis units before Sonic came along, Strider went into obscurity (with the exception of the lame U.S. Gold Strider 2) until reemerging to prominence in the two MVC games, bringing with him a plethora of badass moves. Surely this should have been the catalyst for a Ninja Gaiden-like revival. Or at least it would have been, have Hiryu not squandered his comeback opportunity on a mediocre side scrolling action game.

Now to be fair, Capcom’s Strider 2 wasn’t a bad game by any stretch, and it was certainly better than U.S. Gold’s crapfest. The graphics were good, the polygons were bright, huge, and well-animated, the controls functioned well, and the music was catchy. However, the game was way too easy. There were only 5 stages in the game, and a stage select allowed you to bypass the first two, so you could only beat the game in 3 levels! Thanks to the unlimited continues in the Playstation version (which allowed you to continue right where you left off no less), you could beat the game in 20 minutes, literally! By the way, where were Hiryu’s robot pets? After featuring his falcon and panther in his MVC special moves, you’d think he’d be able to use them here.

Now, Capcom did everything they could to extend the life of Strider 2’s Playstation release. They included a hidden playable character, a hidden prelude stage, and an arcade perfect port of Strider 1. Still, it just wasn’t enough to compensate for the fact that you could play through the game in the time it takes to bake cookies. Maybe one day, Capcom will release a real Strider reboot, or at least include him as part of an MVC 3 downloadable. Until then, hunt down Mitchell Corp’s arcade title Osman. It was designed by the same people who worked on Strider and is more of a Strider sequel than this ever could be.