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Strider II

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Released: 1990

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Publisher: US Gold

Developer: Tiertex

Oh Capcom, how could you? Once upon a time when Strider was a massive success in both the arcades and on Sega’s Mega Drive, Capcom allowed US Gold to create a new game based on its precious (to me at least) licence.

Buoyed by the success of the home conversions – which were okay, but not amazing if truth be told – US Gold commissioned Tiertex to work on a sequel to the game it had converted in 1989. The end result is one of the worst videogame sequels of all time: a title so bad that even a Strider fanatic like myself couldn’t bring myself to love it, let alone pay for it. A title so bad that Capcom made a sequel a decade later, named Strider 2, no doubt in an attempt to sever any ties with Tiertex’s abominable 1990 effort.

Indeed, everything about Strider II, or Strider Returns or whatever the hell you want to call it, is wrong. The main character Strider Hinjo – I’m assuming he’s a new character, either that or Tiertex simply got Hiryu’s name wrong in the instruction manual – lacks the grace of his elder counterpart, while the levels he has to negotiate are amazingly bland and lack the visual impact of the arcade original. Design is also woeful, with enemies and bosses showing an equal lack of care and attention and missing the grace and beauty of their arcade counterparts; it’s almost as if Tiertex simply churned out any old rubbish because its original effort had been so well received…

The sequel was universally derided by virtually every reviewer that played it. I can only assume that Capcom’s decision to allow Tiertex to make a brand new game was because it had been genuinely impressed with the developer’s previous effort, or because there was a large bag of money involved. After recently playing both the Master System and Mega Drive versions again through a stream of bitter tears, I can only assume that it was due to the latter reason.

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