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Old 12-01-2004, 03:11 AM   #153
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,147
Sega Genesis

Oh dear God! When did Strider start
looking like a middle-aged Bruce Willis?

I remember a month or so before Christmas 1990 how a local game store in Arvada, Colorado called Powerfully Gay Games.. err... I mean Power Play Games was trying to sell me the $95 Sega Megadrive version of Strider. Why should I get that when the US version comes out in a couple weeks? They kept telling me that the game was so monumental that waiting would not be in my best interest. But I had to wait. So what was so monumental about the home version? Strider was the very first 8 megabit (1 megabyte) game ever for any gaming console. The world was blown away. Official holidays were declared. 8 freakin' megs??? NO WAY!!! This has got to be the bestest most awesomest game ever! But compared to the arcade's 42.4 megs, a couple of compromises had to be made here and there. Considering that limitation, I think Sega did a GREAT job converting this over to the home console. The gameplay remains exactly the same as the arcade counterpart, so we'll look mostly into the differences between the two in this review.

Not too bad when compared to the arcade.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are really good, especially for the time, on the Genesis. The same design was used from the arcade and for the most part the game looks the same. The colors have been toned down somewhat and the backgrounds have lost the 3rd and 4th layers of scrolling, however. In some scenes in the arcade where there were only two scrolling layers (like when climbing up the shaft after defeating the gorilla boss in stage 2 for example), the Genesis version has been reduced to only one scrolling screen. Some portions of the background now have a "patterned" look to them, which obviously saves a lot on memory. Characters have been redrawn to fit the Genesis' sprite aspect ratio and Strider's sword no longer swings... it instead just "flashes" with only 1 frame of animation. You will also notice less animation in general. There is also a lot of flicker, tearing, and slowdown in this game that the arcade does not feature. Don't get me wrong though, this is still a great looking game!

My favorite scene loses some luster.
But at least the music is still good here.

Sound: 7/10
Mono. The entire game is in mono. Why? That pisses me off. The music is extremely similar to the arcade in composition and sound quality, and it fits the game perfectly. The voice-overs during the cut scenes have been removed as well as a few other digitized sounds (like the one made by the boss of Stage 1 as it assembles in the arcade), but the most other voices remain. The Japanese Megadrive version of Strider has the vocal grunt whenever he swings his sword, just like the Japanese arcade. But just like the US arcade, that grunt was removed from the US version of the game for some bizarre reason. Also removed from the US version of the game was a voice that says "All sons of old Gods... DIE!". OK. This is said by the enemy to Strider. Is Strider actually Jesus? That is awesome, I always wanted to play a game where Jesus shows His true powers. Why did they take this out? Did Sega of America think they'd get a whole bunch of letters or something? Now I wish I did go for that Japanese version! Quality-wise, the voices are pretty good, if a wee bit scratchy. And what's with that sound Strider makes as he walks or falls off of the edge of a ledge? It sounds like a mini-vaccuum cleaner and only exists in the Genesis/Megadrive versions.

I am Strider Hyru, hear me roar!

Gameplay: 8/10
Basically the same as the arcade version featuring the same stages and control. What is weird about the Genesis version, however, is that whenever you make it to a "checkpoint" the whole screen will freeze for a second or so, and then continue. What the hell? It's almost as if it's loading whatever is coming up next, even though since it's a cartridge game loading shouldn't be necessary. Regardless, it is a great romp to take on your Genesis again and again, and definitely a game worth owning!

Good thing Strider isn't afraid of creepy-crawlies.

Wrap up:
The best conversion of the Strider arcade for a home console, not counting the arcade-perfect edition that comes on the Strider 2 Playstation disc (the "Strider 2" game is actually on the Strider 1 disc. Go figure).
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