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Old 12-01-2004, 03:11 AM   #152
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,147
Here is the Strider mega-blowout! I review every version of Strider for consoles all in a row (scroll down for more versions). Strider II will not be reviewed alongside Strider. But if you must know, the Genesis version of Strider II (also called Strider Returns) was extremely weak in all areas but had decent-quality voices. The PlayStation version of Strider 2 was fun, but grainy looking and incredibly easy.


Arcades usually have goofy artwork.

Strider is one of those games which really stands out. All though it is a hack-and-slash platform game, the unique style of everything really makes it stand alone. The arcade version was definitely the best of ANY Strider game, but what else would you expect? This was made back in the day when Capcom made many great arcade games that made you stop and look as you walked past them on your way to go play a Sega game. You may have even put in a few dollars worth just to play. Good for you, as it's definitely worth it! The arcade version of Strider weighs in at a hefty (for the day) 5.3 megabytes, or 42.4 megabits in console terms.

Your mission is to slice Russians!
Is this game about "ethnic cleansing"?

Graphics: 10/10
Wow. Great artwork and design in this game. Lots of diagonal lines of varying degrees give this game an "angular" look and definitely makes it stand out against many other games that use "patterned" backgrounds. Much of the artwork here has a very "hands drawn" look to it, and the colors are superb. You will find up to 4 independent layers of scrolling backgrounds which add to the depth and overall look of the game. The animation on all of the characters and bosses is top notch, and the cut scenes even look pretty cool as well. Memory definitely wasn't a problem when designing this game, so they went all out in every way they could.

My favorite scene from the game.
It's so profoundly purple!

Sound: 8/10
When I hear the music to this game, I immediately think "Strider" for obvious reasons. The music is not absolutely amazing or anything (it's certainly not bad), but it fits the game EXTREMELY well and I can't really imagine listening to anything else as I play. That says quite a bit. Most stages have multiple scores, one for each section. Stage 1 alone has 5 themes to add to the mega-variety. There are tons of voices in this game, as all of the cut-scenes are voiced over in a usually bizarre manner. The Japanese version of the arcade even has a vocal grunt made by Strider every time he swings his sword, and for some reason this was removed from the US version of the arcade game. I guess America was just not ready to hear the grunts again and again. Maybe when our civilization advances more, we will be worthy. But overall quite a nice sound package, with nothing to hurt your ears.

The top of the tower of stage 1.
You can even get a mecca-eagle and jaguar!

Gameplay: 8/10
Run, jump, climb, flip, swing, hang. All fun stuff to do when playing Strider. There isn't much that you can't cling to when you're jumping around like a madman, and that makes it fun and sometimes frustrating when you accidentally cling to something you didn't want to. But when that happens it only means that you suck at gaming and also as a human being. Fighting the bosses can be extremely cool, especially at the end of level 3 when you're stuck rotating around a large orb's gravitational pull. What's more is that the bosses aren't ALWAYS at the end of the stage. In the aforementioned stage 3 you have to escape after you have defeated the boss, and the boss of stage 2 is actually right at the beginning, if you can believe that. The "mid-boss" is halfway through stage 2 and you don't even have to defeat him. It's design like this that really puts this game in a class by itself. The control is great and it's just an absolute blast to play. The game is pretty short and not overly difficult by any means, but it really is worth the trip again and again.

The Russian congress joins together
in a unanimous vote to whoop your ass!

Wrap up
One of the most unique arcade platformers and definitely worth your quarters! More than an 8, but not quite a 9
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