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Strider 1 logo

W Strider 1 ITH a metallic ching and a sampled yell of "Paw!", an animated figure runs across a landscape, chopping in half anything that gets in its way. Kill everything that moves and do not worry why. Controlling this figure is quite exceptionally frustrating. She – yes, it is a girlie – seems to have an incredible urge in jump 20ft in the air, doing so regularly if you do not point your joystick in exactly the right direction. Making a game challenging to prolong interest is all very well, but if things get impossible, no one will want to play it in the first place. We all know that getting the balance right is tricky, but Strider is close to the edge.

Technically, what we have here is a long way from being state-of-the-art. The playing area is a small rectangle way up the screen; the scrolling is almost awful.
Diagonal movement has been achieved by first moving the screen horizontally and then vertically in quick succession, with the result that the figure flashes between these two positions as it runs – the sign of a straight ST port caught red-handed. Which is a pity because the landscapes are all very well drawn and change sufficiently between levels to add that feeling of exploration. After the initial frustration of getting acquainted with the controls, you can start to appreciate the game. Strider reminds me very much of R-Type - you battle your way through several groups of baddies, picking up extra weapons until you meet the bigger-than-average baddie who lives at the end of the screen. In time-honoured tradition, this bigger-than-average baddies needs more-than-usual hits to die. Once you have done this, unless there is an even nastier bigger-than-average baddie to dispatch, you can move on to the next level. Sometimes the baddies is just a large sprite, sometimes it is a bouncing laser beam. Always it only needs a bit of dodging and extra shooting. Not what you might call intellectually stimulating, but fun in a nihilistic kind of way.

In between each level you are given words of encouragement from your enemies, along the lines of "This is it, you’re going to die". These are accompanied by some Polaroid Instamatic photographs taken with a camera one of the programmers must have got for his birthday.

A simple and annoying tune bleeps its merry way throughout, accompanied by the aforementioned metallic clang and guttural cry as you wave your sword around in a threatening manner.
The speech at the start of the game says "You dare to fight me?" soon has you shouting back some suitable responses. Come back the AY8910, all may be forgiven.

Enough. Strider has plenty of puzzles to keep you playing, all of which are of the "remember what to do here" variety. If it had some decent programming, it would have been good.
John Kennedy

Amiga Computing, December 1989, p.30

Aura 15 out of 15
Story 15 out of 15
Gameplay 15 out of 15
Value 15 out of 15
Overall - 72%

Strider 1 logo  CU Screen Star

US Gold/Capcom
Price: £19.99

Strider 1 I t wasn't that long ago that I found myself with the Ed. down at our local arcade taking screenshots of this fabulous game. After the initial frustration of trying to focus on the over-large screen, attention was turned to what is probably the most athletic character in any game.
Strider is a superbly animated coin-op with a somersaulting character who sprints down cliffs and defies gravity with the aid of a suction cup. Inconvertible, it seemed.

Hardly hyped, hardly promoted, the conversion belies all thoughts of that. The static background graphics are identical to those of the arcade. Between level sequences have been retained; there is sampled speech and, best of all, the gameplay of Strider remains. He still pulls off more bewildering flips and turns than a cat with a hot-foot, minus some frames of animation and the sacrifice of some speed. But it looks fabulous.

The Kremlin dragon, one of the original features, still appears to cause trouble with all the favourite members of the Politburo transmuting into a giant communist worm, which needs stamping on. Guy, the fifty ton steel gorilla, waltzes on screen after that to pound Strider to a pulp with tank-sized metal fists. Level two has the land mines and snow wolves to make life a misery. On top of that is a jump so immense it takes almost overly perfect timing to negotiate.

Strider 1 Strider's main defence, and a mean one at that, is the huge energy field he flips around his head, the size of which can be increased by collecting various human and robot leftovers. Another very useful little implement is a collectable robot satellite which orbits Strider and fires intermittently, good for long range attacks. Life is based around an energy bar which depletes every time Strider has a brush with a nasty. Too many brushes and he's swept away another of his three lives.

The next ten minutes were spent looking for the memory expansion or the elusive "second" disk. There were none. Strider is a completely self sufficient one disk product – but a good one at that. It contains all the best ingredients for an excellent game. The gameplay is wonderful, there is always a hidden trap, nasty or puzzle needed to advance a section, and it is always worthwhile as none of the sections are repetitive. The game scores full marks for presentation, with sequences, cartoon pictures between levels and digitised speech. If Strider sounds a little bit on the awkward side to control, don't fret. The slanted eight-way control method applies, with up for jump and fire to use the energy beam. All other actions are dictated by the terrain and position of Strider, and ease of control which helps add to the playability of the game. They're not programmed in for decoration either. A lot of stages require careful positioning and the right actions at the right time to leap on to a wall or avoid falling objects.

A must for all arcade fans, and already looks to challenge Forgotten Worlds and Xybots for arcade conversion of the year.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, September 1989, p.p.16-17


Strider 1 logo  Gold Medal Award

US Gold, £19.95
Strider 1 It's 2048 and an evil Red Lord has come to power in Eurasia, the massive European and Asian landmass. Only one man can defeat him, Strider Hiryu, a super-fit athlete who uses a blindingly fast laser-sword instead of a gun.

Strider starts his mission by hang-gliding into Red Square, Moscow. No sooner than he lands than laser spitting robot insects and Soviet troops are rushing to attack. Some of the flying insects leave containers behind when destroyed, split one open with your laser-sword and a robot will orbit around you; press fire and it throws out a deadly steel ring.

Cut your way through enemy laser cannons, yet more troops and a laser generator to burst into the Supreme Soviet conference room. Kill one man here and all the rest swarm together to form a sickle-headed monster which rapidly crawls around the room after your blood.

Strider starts off with three lives, and three units of energy, but there's a strict time limit to hurry you up. If you complete a level, pictures flash up with your enemies taunting you and the evil lord himself cackles 'You dare fight me?!'. Level two takes place on the icy Russian steppes with plenty of wolves eager to sink their fangs into you. Then there's a massive robot gorilla, a power station packed with walking laser cannons, a minefield and helicopters carrying vicious ballerinas.

The next level thankfully takes place in much warmer climes: a jungle populated by boomerang throwing Amazon women, flying piranha and massive dinosaurs. Defeat the Red Lord's forces here and he sends the battleship Ballrog against you. This huge warship is weighed down with masses of gun turrets, troops, walkers and lots more beside. But even if you polish this off the Red Lord isn't finished, he has creatures from the third moon to defend him in a futuristic fortress. With all the powers of science and military arts behind him, would you dare to pit your supreme athleticism and sweeping sword against The Master?

Zzap, Issue 54, October 1989, p.p.78-79

Robin Hogg My God this is absolutely fantastic! You can't fail to be impressed by the outstanding coin-op and upon hearing that it was going to be converted my first (printable) words were 'No way!'. I now eat my words with immense satisfaction as Tiertex produce an incredibly close conversion. The freedom of movement is what the coin-op is all about and this comes across perfectly – the dexterity of the Strider leaves you breathless as he leaps and slides through five of the most graphically impressive levels you're likely to see for some time. Other than the odd graphic omission from the coin-op I simply cannot find fault in Strider. Tiertex have achieved the impossible, converting the monster coin-op and making it the best platform game to date.

Stuart Wynne Strider is one game that could never be arcade perfect, not even on the Amiga, but amazingly Tiertex have produced a game which captures the overall feel of the coin-op to a quite startling degree. The graphics are extremely impressive, and most of the arcade enemies are here, giving an astounding variety to both graphics and gameplay. But despite the quality of the presentation, gameplay is not at all sluggish with combat fast and thrilling rather than slow and boring. I must confess to being one of the few people unimpressed by Forgotten Worlds but with this one there's no doubting US Gold have got it right. Even if you're not usually an arcade fan, check this one out – the SF backgrounds and scenario add more atmosphere to this game than a couple of dozen of your more usual, fantasy coin-ops. All in all, an utterly essential purchase.

Phil King Strider is simply one of the most playable games I've played. It simply oozes class with its wonderful front end, intermission screens, superbly crisp samples and a superlative level of gameplay. The graphics throughout are great, not quite up to Xenon 2 standard but then these have to scroll in all directions, not just vertically. What's more, you really do believe in the character, the scenario having a great sense of purpose to it with a wonderful atmosphere as a result. Easily the best US Gold game so far and just £20, amazing!

6 4
C64 version reviewed next month hopefully.
u p d a t e

Standard Capcom packaging with a fair-sized poster, plus excellent interlevel scenario screens.
The sheer imagination of the coin-op's backgrounds and enemies has been amazingly well replicated.
Rousing main tune which varies according to the action. Good FX.
The desire to see yet more of this arcade spectacular is amazingly compelling.
It's not that hard to complete, but it's so much fun to play you'll want to come back and the action does wraparound.
A brilliant coin-op conversion crammed full of arcade playability.