Strider 2, PlayStation

A port of an arcade sequel by Capcom, released for the PlayStation in 2000. The original Strider is rightly revered by gamers and the sequel pays homage to it by retaining the original’s look and feel.

Once again you control Strider Hiryu, this time an agile clone of the original character, brought back from the dead and sent on a mission to defeat The Grandmaster who once again is trying to take over the world. Hiryu can jump, boost, spin, hang from the ceiling, and climb up vertical surfaces. He’s also armed with a flashing sword, called the “Cypher”, which can be used for rapidly taking out enemies and bosses.

This time Capcom decided to mix 3D landscape graphics with crisp 2D sprites, and it works extremely well. Strider 2 is basically an action-packed platform game with a constant procession of risky jumps and enemy attacks. If Hiryu is hit by an enemy he loses one of the five bars on his energy meter, and losing all five means the loss of a life. Falling into a bottomless pit will instantly lose him a life.

The levels in Strider 2 are relatively short (some might say too short), but feature-packed. Sub-bosses and end-of-level bosses are quite frequent and impressive-looking, but don’t always take a great deal of effort to beat. It certainly looks great, though, and all the jumping, climbing and explosions keep it busy and interesting throughout.

The PlayStation version of Strider 2 came on two discs. The second disc contained a direct port of the original Strider arcade game. Completing both games and saving the achievements onto the same memory card unlocks a secret level in Strider 2, called “Mission 00” – a waterfall stage. After finishing all missions a second playable character – called Strider Hien – is unlocked. Hien sports a white outfit, wields two swords and throws boomerang shuriken. Completing the game as Hien unlocks the boost skill for unlimited use.

Strider 2 is an almost perfect conversion of the arcade game and is a lot of fun to play through. It’s not the most difficult game ever, which might put hardened arcade game experts off, but the relative simplicity of it is all part of the appeal.

More: Strider 2 on Wikipedia

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