With PlayStation Now, Sony led the charge in breaking new ground, essentially setting the precedent for a Netflix-style subscription service for games.
Microsoft has picked up the ball and ran with it though, by creating the Xbox Game Pass. The service blatantly tackled several problems Sony’s counterpart was hounded by; a steep asking price, unreliable streaming tech, and a minimal amount of current-gen games.
The Game Pass goes for a fair subscription fee, gives customers the ability to directly download titles onto their hard drives, and now, in a ballsy move, will see all Microsoft-published console exclusives available on day one of release.
The fact that there aren’t all that many exclusives hasn't dampened excitement, and with the recent release of Rare’s much-hyped Sea Of Thieves dropping last month - on both console and subscription - the service has seen a massive surge of its user base.
So, now that you gamers have exhausted pirate adventures on the high seas, what else is there to play?
Well, why not delve into some criminally underrated games that are sitting on the service right under your nose? You wouldn’t be paying a cent extra for a notably rich experience, and would help give these overlooked games their due.
Back in the late 80s, Strider - a relentless platforming slash fest - was one of Capcom’s stalwart franchises. Launching first in arcades, then on the Sega Genesis followed by a sequel. It quite clearly stood next to Mega Man and Street Fighter 2 as a landmark title coming out of the company at the time, and then - nothing.
It took over twenty years, but after the character popped back up in Marvel vs Capcom 3, Double Helix was tasked with bringing back our favourite cyborg ninja back in 2014, but at that point, not many gamers cared. The reception was mild and the title quickly forgotten.
Pity then, since the game is a great ode to the flashy, breakneck action of the originals, evolving it into a lean variation on the ‘Metroidvania’ formula. The rush of blasting through a level like a ninjutsu Sonic the Hedgehog while leaving diced opponents in the dust never grows old. But adding the element of exploration, secret upgrades and imaginative boss fights, are all welcome additions to the retro formula.
It hardly breaks new ground in terms of storytelling or fresh gaming mechanics, but it's plenty enjoyable and brings enough challenge in its brief run-time - making it an ideal weekend playthrough.