Genesis Review – Strider


Although it was originally released in the arcades, Strider was one of the first games that I played on the Sega Genesis. I thought the game looked cool (you could be a ninja!), but I died repeatedly on the first level and didn’t have much fun. Years later, I had a change to play it again, and actually enjoyed it. It’s still tough as nails, but I was able to make it much further into the game and discovered how cool some of the levels are! In terms of story, the game takes place in the dystopian future of 2048. A mysterious Grand Master rules the world, and it is up to Hiryu – a top techno-ninja from the “Striders” – to assassinate him and save the world

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In terms of gameplay, this is a 2D action platform game. You control Hiryu and can run, jump, and climb in all sorts of cool ways. You also have access to a cool sword that makes a powerful arcs used to dispatch enemies. There are tons of enemies in the game, most of which are humans in various costumes, but can also manifest in unusual biological-technological hybrids. While the game is very challenging and forces you to use all of Hiryu’s moves, the controls are tight, and if a mistake is made, it is likely your fault. You have a small health meter (3 bars – but can be upgraded to 5). ¬†Once those bars are gone, you die and must start from the nearest checkpoint

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Beyond the regular sword attack, Hiryu can also get a number of upgrades which make him all the most powerful in battle. He can get a weapons upgrade which makes his sword all the more powerful – it gets a range boost as well. You can also get a number of different robots (called options) ranging from two mini robots that shoot lasers, a big tiger, and even a hawk! There is even a star-power like power that provides invincibility for 15 seconds.

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The levels are linear, but are a lot of fun and are spread across a number of different environments. You initially start out in what looks like the city tops in eastern Europe, travel through mountains and caves, head to a prehistoric land with tons of dinosaurs, and a high-tech flying ship! While linear, but there are a couple secrets hidden throughout. What I really enjoyed about the levels was how vertical they are – where you often need to climb walls and even on the roof! There are lots of moving platforms and BIG jumps to be made!

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Each level also has a couple off bosses of various sizes. The bosses were really a strong point of this game, as their designs were fun (especially the first boss which was a robot centipede)! The bosses really introduced some interesting gameplay mechanics such as lower gravity and climbing all over the bosses! And while they were challenging, they all felt fair.

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In terms of graphics, the game still holds up pretty well. The characters sprites are nice and large, and the environments have a cool and varied look. While the colour palette seems a bit limited at times within each stage, the stages themselves are very different from one another. The music was a bit of a letdown for me – the tracks are very memorable, and the sound effects leave a bit to be desired. The sounds of the sword swinging seemed a bit too high-pitched, and not as deep as I was hoping.

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In summary, this is a challenging by fun 2D action platforming game. While the graphics seems a bit simple, the game is still a lot of fun to play – it just does’t sound all that great to me. Overall, I give this game a 7/10. It is worth a pickup!

Final Score: 7/10

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