Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Strider



Ugh, another lame Amiga port?

I remember reading the review for Strider in ST Format who basically said it was great and, although the ST version had smaller sprites, the gameplay was faster and better than on the Amiga. I foolishly believed them and wasted my cash on a game I could not play. Boy, this was nothing more than another terrible Tiertex port!! I recently gave it a silly mention and wasn't too kind when I remembered its eye-popping scrolling and ridiculous difficulty.

Since then I've mellowed - and I've also come to realise that my gaming skills suck! So, I figured I should give it another go and you know what, I think I'm not only older but also a lot wiser. Well, ahem... Anyhow, almost three decades have passed since I last played this game so let's see what I think of Strider today.


The first level is unique and kinda Ruskie. This is the place you'll learn the controls and that swoosh!


Me? Wrong? Never!

Well, after several games, I still found it extremely difficult and failed to beat the first boss - a Flash Gordon wannabe. However, eventually, I did it!! But then fire rained down and halted my cries of joy. Thankfully, I beat him on my next attempt and proceeded to a whacky place which I enjoyed, but wished was larger. Sadly, no matter how much I tried, I couldn't beat the next boss so that was that and I gave up [see the first part of my video recording]

For some odd reason, I felt brave and booted up Strider once again only to enjoy my greatest success. Heck, I even beat the worm thingy and made it onto the following stage - which I've never seen before. This starts off great with big cats that wanted to eat me before a giant mechanical creature thing tried its luck. Banging on the fire button proved profitable and I beat him quite easily but I died later by a circular saw which came outta nowhere. Quite unfair as it's impossible to see it approaching off-screen... [see the second part of my video recording]


That swoosh is absolutely superb as are the enormous monsters. Love it!!


Aesthetics

Graphically, Strider is beautiful. From the very start, it looks the part and I think they did a cracking job of converting the arcade graphics over to the much-lower-res ST. The sprites are just freaking incredible - they all look amazing and some are huge. This is a beautiful game but, of course, something had to give for all that glam and that means we have a slightly reduced play area and the scrolling isn't nearly as smooth as it should be. Don't get me wrong, the scrolling is good and works very well but dies alongside other ST games, like Turrican for example.

The audio is tremendously entertaining, I love the beautiful tunes which are so apt for this conversion. From the very start, I was hooked, just click on the green arrow below to see what I mean. The effects aren't massive in quantity but who doesn't enjoy swooshing through each level? I think they did a great job all-round.

Okay, before I give my opinion this needs to be said: Dear ST Format, I've hated your review for years but today I hold my hands up and apologise for that!! After all these years, you was bang-on correct so please forgive me! You guys rocked and I shall blame my old opinion on my poor skills ;p



The CryptO'pinion?

Strider is absolutely superb so now I'm tempted to whack on the trainer and play through to the end? Okay, I still think that the scrolling could have been better but the gameplay is furious and makes the Amiga conversion look dull as dishwater. Strider is sleek and bucket loads of fun so don't be a fool and load it up right now.

Klaz has a spiced-up version for both floppy & hard drives which includes an option for faster gameplay!!

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