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While the graphics in Strider 2 now consist of 2D character sprites overlaid over 3D backgrounds, its gameplay remains similar to its 2D side-scrolling predecessor. The controls consists of an eight-way joystick and three action buttons. The plaer character Strider Hiryu can now perform new actions in addition to the ones he had in the first game. Hiryu can walk, jump, crouch, slide, and climb walls and ceilings like he would in the original game, as well as dash by pushing the joystick left or right twice, do a double jump by pressing jump in mid-air, and do a backward somersault jump while sliding. When climbing a wall, Hiryu can perform a thrust jump by holding joystick away from the wall and pressing the Jump button. Added to his regular sword attack, Hiryu can now do a "Savage Slash" technique in mid-air by pressing the joystick down and up in mid-air. In addition to the Attack and Jump buttons, the player can power-up their character by pressing the "Boost" button if they have at least one Boost item in stock. While in Boost mode, Hiryu can shoot Plasma Waves with his sword for a limited period until the Boost gauge under Hiryu's life gauge runs out. Throughout the game, the player can pick up power-up items such as health replenishments and extensions, a cypher extension, and additional boosts. The player can obtain various miscellaneous point items based on other Capcom games, such as the Yashichi and the Sakichi symbols from Vulgus and the "zenny" coins from Black Tiger and Forgotten Worlds, that will increase the player's score.
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