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Strider II - The Atari Times

Strider II

More Capcom Goodness: Strider II
by Lawrence Armstrong

August 23, 2005
Strider 2, which can rarely be found on other systems, made an appearance on the Atari ST. The ST was blessed with many similar arcade conversions and various Capcom titles. The original Strider was also available on the ST, although, in my opinion, this is much more fun to play than the first Strider game. After inserting the floppy disk, the title screen comes up. You will immediately notice that the music track is the exact same as Strider 1. This is good enough because the music is very good and fits the game totally. It is sort of a chip-generated techno music, but without any percussion. The graphics are very colorful, coming close to what you would expect from a Sega Genesis. When the game is started, a small box in the middle of the screen expands to display the play area. Much of the bottom of the screen is used up by a graphic image of the character and the robot you can transform into.

The backgrounds are very colorful and detailed, although the scrolling is unusually choppy for an ST game. This is minor and does not detract from the game too much. The first level has a beautiful forest background, and in my opinion is better than the next level. The next level looks much like a stone castle or building. You have to scale walls on the interior of this building and dodge electric charges that intermittently block your path. The frustration level increases quite a bit from the first level. The enemies consist of some type of mine, missiles, personnel, robots, and some very annoying robot-like birds that swoop at you from front and back. You take enemy fire from both directions and will occasionally have to stop and turn around to attack your enemies. The sprites are sharp and detailed and the enemies come at you pretty fast.

As you move through the level, you collect energy icons to charge up your energy bar, which will be depleted pretty fast from all the enemy hits. There are two different energy icons--one for your regular character and another for a robot that you can turn into at the end of a level. You can cling to walls and climb ropes and jump to move around the levels. You can attack enemies with your sword, but if you stand still while pressing the fire button, you can shoot a gun for long range attacks. When you approach the end of a level, you turn into a big robot and you begin to use the robot's energy bar as your life energy. At the end of the first level, you have to shoot a large helicopter, which, unfortunately stays hidden off the screen most of the time. The game heats up quite a bit on the next level, as jumping, climbing and dodging become ever more hectic. You will surely be cursing those electric barriers, which seem to be the cause of most of the casualties.

Like most Capcom games I've played, I highly recommend this. Its combination of rich colorful graphics, fast tempo music, and robust control make this a must-have in your ST library.

It's that game with the guy with the sword.
"It slices! Dices! Minces! Blinces!"
Strider II
System: Atari-ST
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Platformer
Graphics Score: 90%
Sound & Music Score: 80%
Gameplay Score: 95%
Control Score: 90%

Final Score: 90%

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