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LONG BLOG

GENESIS Reviews: Strider

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For those reading one of my Genesis review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

I already reviewed a bunch of SNES games, so its natural that I am going to review the games of its prime competition. Does the SEGA Genesis stand a chance against the legendary SNES library?

My review series is based on the top 100 list of Retro Sanctuary

Originally, I post most of my stuff in a football forum"Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.

Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

22: Strider:
Year: 1990.
Genre: Action.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Clearly, Strider is a very important game in its time. It tried, and to a great degree, succeeded in redefining the Action genre. It put emphasis on story and setting, not only on mechanics, and focused on being a unique game in its genre.

However, that success doesn't necessarily translate well when played now, unlike Super Mario Bros. for instance. Although Strider probably influenced the improvement of a lot of games in the genre, and in general, it is still trapped within the Arcade confines of the time. On the Genesis, those confines were more limiting.

"You really think you can win. You will never defeat the master"

It is ironic how the three major Ninja-based series in the 8-bit and 16-bit era all were set in modern times. Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden, and Strider are all set in a semi-dystopian future, where ancient skills faced off against modern weaponry. Of the three, I still think Ninja Gaiden has the best gameplay. However, none can compare to the attempted spectacle in Strider.

Besides the scant brief story scenes between stages, the game tries for an epic scale not seen before. With grand background design, diverse and expansive stages, and a very unique soundtrack, Strider is almost a dystopian opera in scale.

You don't say!!!

In this dystopian world, Strider is fighting against the Grandmaster and his army. People (or are they) controlling the world, appropriately from their base in St. Petersburg. The Grandmaster is an arrogant bastard who doesn't think he can get bested, but that's not why you are going through the adventure.

If anything, I simply wanted to see the next level, and the designs Capcom came up with. As with other action games in the time though, there are simply too few of those levels.

Interesting Setting: +5

"I have you now. I will show you that I control the world"

While its Strider’s presentation that most differentiates it from its Action peers, this does not mean that it was similar to them mechanically. Centered on the idea of continuous motion, Strider Hiryu is proficient in attacking while moving around, and even when jumping.

One of the first thing you will notice when playing the game is Strider’s flip jump. When continuing to press the directional button while jumping, Strider will leap in an arc, flipping to back to his position in an easy to predict fashion. The fact that you can slash through enemies while in the middle of this highly acrobatic jump plays into the idea of a constant offensive.

In both its movement, and its combat, Strider is still fun to play. This is especially evident in the early stages, as well as against the tense bosses. You will probably feel the game is difficult, but that you have a fair chance.

Bosses are a tense affair, if you reach them with ful health

This is later proven to be untrue in the game’s latter stages. Especially because of design choices that were specifically made to get more coins in the Arcades, even though you are playing it on the Genesis.

One thing that can keep the odds favorable throughout the adventure are the power-ups you could pick up, increasing your health and attack range. However, once you lose a life, you also lose all those power-ups. Hence, you are very likely to be in the unenviable position of repeating the last stage with only the minimal health bar to protect you.

At that stage, repeating the entire game is a better prospect than mindlessly wasting your time as hordes of enemies and enemy bullets swarm towards you.

This unfair increase in difficulty is nothing strange in the time. It is simply a mechanic to ensure you do not notice how short the game actually is.

Solid Gameplay: +4
Poorly Balanced: -5
Short: -2

"They came from the third moon with ancient science"

I already talked about how the game was designed as a spectacle from the onset. This is clear in the varied level design, intricate background detail, and large and well animated sprites. From the first Moscow-inspired level, to fighting on top of a flying battleship, the game’s levels are as much a character in the story as Strider.

These graphics are generally always beautiful, even if the sprites are not as detailed as later games. Still, Stirder the animation is top-notch, and there is an obvious inventiveness to the whole artistic design.

Onwards to Mother Russia

To complement that, the game has one of the most unique and atmospheric soundtracks of that era. It ranged in theme from the obvious sci-fi influence, to strange tribal and baroque styles. It blended well with the stages.

Mostly though, it was the fact that the music changed while progressing in the stage that made it stand out. That simply did not happen before.

However, this highly effective soundtrack was effectively crippled by the Genesis’s sound-chip. It does not sound at all like the superior arcade sounds (when the arcade machine is actually working), and suffers from being one of the earlier Genesis games. Back before composers learned how to best use the system’s sound capabilities.

Good Graphics: +4
Good Soundtrack but Poor Quality: -2

In Conclusion:

Because Strider is an influential game, it probably will always be considered a great game in its time. However, in its time, Action games sometimes have had faults that are too obvious to ignore now. Faults that actively reduce your enjoyment with the end product.

In the case of Strider, I still enjoyed playing through it. Still, I wished it didn’t punish me as much in the end, and that the music had better quality.


Final: 29/50

 

Why don't you pick on someone your own size

**********************************************************************

Tips:

1- Collect Golden Apples to increase your max health.
2- Some bosses will need special weapon combinations to even be damaged.
3- Make sure to hire the cat animal, which saves you if you die.
4- You ca save nearly anywhere from the start menu.
5- Once you have the Cheetah, you will probably never want to switch him off your party again.
6- Your dog can help uncover imposter (Hint).

Next Game:

Sorry Strider, but I couldn't get into the game as much despite acknowledging its influence. Maybe I would have loved the game if I played it 20 years ago, but not now.

Next game, is actually at #61, and that's Sonic the Hedgehog 2. When I originally reached #61, I didn't want to Play Sonic 2 before playing the first Sonic, which is at #20. Hence, I decided then to review the first Sonic, and review Sonic 2 when I reach #20 spot, where Sonic 1 is in the Retro Sanctuary list.

Stay Tuned

For Previous Genesis game Reviews:

The List

 For More Screenshots:

See Here

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Seeing as my top 10 games of all time would change depending on the day you ask me, I am just going to put in Random games I don't think are in anyone's top 10 list:

-Blood Will Tell
-Mega Man Legends 2
-Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
-Donkey Kong Country 2
-Suikoden 2




Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
My Blogs