Strider review - Sega Megadrive

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Strider box artIt's the year 2048 and a mad Emperor has taken control of Russia. Glasnost has been thrown out of the window and world peace is threatened as he assembles his giant army of robots with the intend of taking over Earth.Only one person can save the day, and that's super commando Strider, an athletic chappie who's perfectly capable of destroying the entire army single-handedly - as long as the player has the skill to guide him through this hazardous mission.

The action is set over five scrolling levels, each packed with human-looking androids, giant robots and huge gun emplacements. All are out to get the hero, and contact with either them or their bullets and weapons depletes Strider's energy bar. Fortunately Strider is armed with a big sword which he can swing at an enemy to blow it up.

There's also help in the form of drone ships which occasionally fly by - destory them and a pod is exposed which, when collected, gives any one of a variety of weapons ranging from extra shot power and energy to bonus points and lives. On the final level is the Emperor himself - destory him and Glasnost will prevail. Fail and it's curtains for the free west as we know it.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" This Megadrive conversion is absolutely stunning in every respect. The main sprite is huge and well detailed, and the backgrounds are simply exquisite. My favourite level is the forth, with Amazon warriors, piranhas, and massive dinosaurs to defeat. The difficulty is pitched just right, although my attention keeps wandering to look at the graphics - they're that good! The sampled speech between levels is the only thing missing, but this doesn't affect the quality of the gameplay in any way. If the arcade game blew you away, expect the same treatment from the Megadrive version. "

" When this was loaded into the Megadrive, you could hear the sound of jaws dropping for miles around - it's an absolutely amazing, truly arcade perfect conversion. The graphics are stunning, with large, beautifully animated sprites and fantastic backdrops, and the sheer colour and variety is superb. The sound is also of a very high quality, with all the tunes and effects of the arcade machine! The game oozes playability, grabbing you as soon as you start playing, and keeping you at your Megadrive for hours on end. It's definitely one of the slickest conversions yet seen on the Megadrive - if you're the owner of an imported machine, make sure you get this now! "


Overall Score92%

Retrospective comments


Let me make something clear - Strider is my number one Megadrive game of all time. With that out of the way, let the praise begin! Back in the early 90's I'd experienced the near-arcade perfect conversions of Golden Axe, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Afterburner. I honestly didn't think Megadrive games could get any more impressive…but then Strider arrived in my Christmas stocking and changed that perception! The game is still the best looking Megadrive title (in my opinion). The character design is stunning, and although many people knock this version for being visually less than arcade-perfect, I actually prefer it to the coin-op - graphically, the sprites look more realistic and detailed. The music is also excellent, with plenty of pumping tunes to compliment the on-screen action. The only negative aspect of the game is the sprite flicker, which makes itself known when fighting some of the bigger enemies.

Rich - 15 Mar 2008, 10:57 GMT

I agree with these reviews.
This game changed my perception of gaming and also the way I would think about the need to go out ever again. :p

A fantastic game from start to finish.

Every platform action game in the world felt so....flat by comparison.
Even the beloved Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and the holy Revenge of Shinobi felt like a 90-degree angled squarefest along with all others until Sonic came out.

The graphics, the sound fx/Soundtrack, the imagination behind the level design, the responsiveness and playability involved made this cart the cart to have back then. (And the Megadrive the machine to have:- It made my Amiga weep in the same way that my Megadrive'd weep a year later when I saw F-Zero and Final Fight on the Snes.)

Always in the top five for guaranteed Megadrive flavoured enjoyment and it still holds it together today too as a viable piece of entertainment in the 21st century.

Tris Wicks - 11 Nov 2008, 02:47 GMT

I never saw the anime this was based on, but the Strider flavour is unique and awesome - the MD conversion is a gobsmacker. If you loved this, I urge you to also seek out Strider 2 on the PS1. (Not Strider 2 on MD that game blows)

Richy Girth - 03 Dec 2008, 16:14 GMT

Yeah that US Gold blasphemy merely compounded the damage done by their disappointing ST-port Amiga version of the original.
Programming game a game totally devoid of any redeeming factors and slapping the name of Strider on it was an integrity raping of the likes that we would have to wait 19 years until 'Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull' to see again.

Dan - 19 Feb 2009, 11:33 GMT

Top notch game with some truely original + bizare themes, ideas and bosses. Fun to play and great to look at, but it did wayne on me after a while. Where I'd return to the likes of Revenge of Shinobi or Mario 4, this wouldn't get anywhere near as many dust offs.

the cool parts in the game (the anti-grav levels, the snow-run etc.) made the game really, and they did get old coming back to them after a while. Still, a top game non-the less and deffinately stands out from the crowd.

Mentasm - 25 Feb 2009, 14:35 GMT

Best Megadrive game ever.

Richard - 09 Mar 2009, 12:55 GMT

It was the most accurate conversion ever from what I can remember, followed by final fight and R-type on the PC engine.

I remember being a kid at the arcades and being blown away by this guy running down an ice slope.

That really did the megadrive justice!

asad - 10 Mar 2009, 15:06 GMT

This is the best coin-op conversion on the Sega Megadrive, hands down. After witnessing the lame Amiga conversion (it seemed to me Amiga owners were too easily pleased), Sega's 16-bit block was the first and perhaps only console to have done justice to this game (Playstation version doesnt count, it comes on a CD and its 32-bit, too easy for it).
Huge sprites, fantastic music (second stage with snow and wolves is awesome!!!!) and a really great atmosphere. Its a shame they couldn't cram the speech from the coin-op in (I Got You!), but looking back coin-op conversions were so much more special in those days because they felt like more of an achievement for the developer.
Alongside Street Fighter 2 on SNES, this was one of the first games to show the gulf between home consoles and the arcades was getting smaller. Brilliant!

Stayrsaigh - 21 Mar 2009, 23:07 GMT

I remember playing the arcade game in one of the huge screened-sit down cabinets and thought it was amazing! This conversion is without a doubt stunning! Definatly a flagship game for the old MD!

DJ Flatliner - 10 Jun 2011, 14:57 GMT

What a game!!!! The graphics were something else. And that music.....

trip2themoon - 13 May 2012, 06:48 GMT

First time I played this was on the ST from US Gold and thank God it didn't put me off trying this. Like Damo I prefer the MD game to the coin op. I think the MD has better music which adds to the atmosphere of the game. Glad I have the Jap import which includes Grandmaster Meio's famous line: "All sons of old gods die". That was cut out of all other versions.

@Asad: I always felt that Amiga owners were far too easily pleased. Thank God for the Glasgow Barras market where we could get Amiga/ST games for 3 quid a pop. That's more than what they were worth.

Mean Machines Issue 2 - November 1990
Platform Game Sega Megadrive
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