Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Whenever there’s a game with a hunky dude and a beautiful princess, you know trouble’s just around the comer! What did we tell ya! The stunning Princess Magenta (who’s as captivating as she is captivated!) is being held hostage by the Master. He knows she’s the apple of Strider’s eye and the main man will attempt a rescue mission.
Not to worry, old Stridey’s ready to take on the big cheese and his evil empire. He’s been in training! He’s more nimble than a monkey with its ass on fire!
Not to be outdone, the Master has many devious ways to trick Strider and lead him down the paths of destruction. The route is tortuous, hazardous (and any other frightening word ending in ‘ous’! —Dep Ed), leading through a claustrophobic forest, a castle, across rooftops, an alien labyrinth and finally, the Master’s lair.
Strider’s not only armed himself with his trusty plasma sword but also deadly shuriken which slice through anything or anyone that gets in his way.
That’s the story so far. Down to the nitty-gritty.
Before you play MS Strider 2, choose the difficulty level, Normal or Expert (if you’re feeling particularly brave!). There are two kinds of sword at your disposal. Normal (you just thrust with this one!) or Sweep (which looks graceful but is particularly deadly!).
You start with three lives and up to five continues. Each time Strider’s hit by an adversary, he loses an energy point. When all energy’s lost or Strider falls down a gap between buildings, you lose a life.
Each level has a set time limit. It’s up to you to find the quickest route. So get striding, swinging, leaping, crawling (and any other strenuous-sounding words ending with ‘ing’! —Dep Ed). Normally, you move to the right of the screen, but there are times when you guide Strider up, down or even backwards. Watch the screen at all times for clues.
So what can you expect to find on each level?
Stage 1’s the Forbidden Forest, located near an enemy stronghold. Sentry robots patrol the area. Watch out for the mechobirds’ air attack! You come across Milsoma, the missile-firing machine, Podulous, the armour-plated fire bomb, and Inferno, the flame-thrower.
Level 2’s the Castle Metropolis. Prepare yourself for floating mines and power generators. In the Hive (Level 3) there’s a rooftop battle going on! Avoid mechanoids, giant hornets and turbo wasps.
The entrance to Level 4’s guarded by Waspini, a giant cyborg wasp who can’t stand intruders. Then it’s down into the alien labyrinth. Steer clear of the alien hatchlings, slime pits and confront the alien mother who stands over the exit.
Finally, the Master’s prison ship. Little is known about the big guy’s headquarters. No one’s ever survived to report what dangers lurk inside.
Sounds a bit deadly to us. A bit frightening, what we mean? Sure you’re up to it? Remember, kiddo, defeat is unthinkable.
A lot of you MS owners out there will have eagerly awaited this cart. The original Strider promised a lot but delivered little, and left fans of the arcade machine wondering if their favourite Russian would ever get a fair deal on an 8-bit console.
Well, the wait is over, and US Gold have given the Russian rebel something to be proud of. Gone are the tedious graphics and irritating sound, replaced by great visuals and spooky Soviet sonics!
But the best news is the action is much faster than in the original (which could’ve been renamed ‘Spot The Baddy’!). My only gripe is that some of the levels are a bit too difficult. The big machines tend to reduce you to ashes in a very short space of time, while it takes you ages to turn them into scrap metal!
All in all, Strider 2 is a great MS game and worth a place in any streetwise owner’s collection. It measures up to the MD game and presents a long-lasting challenge with only a small amount of frustration. Buy It!
One of the first MS games I saw when I started working on SEGA FORCE was the original Strider. It was absolutely awful! I remember thinking at the time, if all 8-bit games look like this, I’m gonna have a whale of a time reviewing a sackful of ‘em — NOT!
Fortunately, US Gold have improved the whole caboodle. Strider 2’s your average platform cum shoot-’em cum slice-em game.
The graphics aren’t too bad by MS standards. They’re much improved on the original. Backdrops are OK. The main guy’s well drawn and really responsive. He jumps, somersaults and slides like a good un’! Things get a touch annoying when you keep missing platforms ‘cos there are swarms of bad guys that take a while to oust.
The sound’s not too bad. Plenty of Russian-style theme tunes and a good dose of FX. I’m not as enthusiastic as Paul about this one, butthen I’m more of a die-hard, cutesy platform addict! All in all, a pretty good effort. Definitely better then the first Strider game. Not a stunner, but MS slice-‘em-up fans can’t go wrong with this. I’d advise other gamers to think long and hard before spending ya hard-earned dosh.
If, like Paul, you’re a Strider fan, get it. If not, follow Ade’s last statement