Throughout the ages, we’ve seen countless heroes rise and fall in the superhero genre. With Chou Dengeki Stryker, we get to see a new one born from an unlikely place. At first, Stryker reminds me a great deal of both One Punch Man and Majikoi, but it’s a lot more than that.
Disclaimer: I have played the first route thus far, which overall probably accounts for less than a quarter of the game.
Chou Dengeki Stryker starts with our protagonist, Yuuki Yamato, as a young child playing with his childhood friend Haruna. When bullies start to pick on Haruna, Yamato jumps in headfirst to defend her... and it backfires. While the bullies leave Haruna alone, they shift their attention to Yamato.
After the fight, Yamato learns that Haruna is moving away. Distraught over his inability to protect her, he goes to the shrine and wishes he could be the hero Stryker Zero from his favorite manga. A mysterious man named the Memory Collector offers him just that if he gives him a memory and signs a contract. Yamato agrees, only to learn that the memory collector needs all his memories because he has so few.
Thus, Stryker Zero was created. With no memories, Stryker Zero acts exactly like his manga character and believes he is a defender of Japan from the Balbora Empire. He decides to continue his life as “Yuuki Yamato” in order to continue his mission in secret.
But a hero is nothing without his villain, and it’s soon revealed that Stryker Zero isn’t the only thing that the wish brought into the world. With that, the story begins.
Overall Chou Dengeki Stryker does an excellent job of framing a superhero narrative and delivering a fresh take that’s welcome in a currently stagnating genre. Early on, Stryker reminded me a lot of Majikoi due to its absurdity and over-the-top action. It’s got amusing subversions of various villainous archetypes, ranging from the narcissistic tsundere to the emotionless captain. On the hero’s side, you’ve got Stryker Zero himself, a guy completely incapable of proper social conversation. You’ve got Haruna, his childhood friend, who... he meets again when he moves to the city. Eventually even a ninja from America shows up who is able to fight toe-to-toe with the super-powered cyborgs that usually are doing the fighting.
Chou Dengeki Stryker is turn-your-brain-off entertainment during the early chapters, but like most Overdrive works, it steadily becomes more serious as the story continues. Thus far, they’ve done pretty well with it and I hope the other routes are similar in this regard.
Thus far, I’m pleased overall with Chou Dengeki Stryker. Its framing device is solid, the narrative consistent and amusing, the action surprisingly well done, and the OP is Masaaki Endoh (that’s an adjective right?). I’ll more than likely be making a review when I finish the entire visual novel. See you then.