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Strider.

Strider main title screen

Make no mistake: Strider for the Atari ST is a superb conversion effort. The original coin-op game runs on basically the same hardware as Street Fighter 2, and the way they've crammed the colors and animations down into the ST's video capabilities is a delight to behold. The game is smooth, colorful and well-animated, albeit shoehorned into a rather small window.

Gameplay is standard 4-way platforming, with your primary weapon being a sword - you can also pick up a small robotic drone to help you. Your character is very athletic, and extremely well-drawn, with many frames for jumping, crouching, running, holding onto things, climbing sheer walls and more. Music and effects are reasonable, considering the ST's limitations.

Title screen part 2
Strider level 1 boss
To the left you see a couple of quick grabs from the game. The first shot is a rather nice sword on the title screen, the bottom shot is the boss from level 1. This creature, which looks rather like a sickle-wielding caterpillar, is composed of the members of the Politburo... er... no, to be politically correct, it is composed of the creatures who were sitting in the empty chairs you see in the screenshot. Strider is as full of references to Mother Russia as 1943 is to the land of the rising sun.

There's not really much else you can say about Strider, because there is nothing special in the game idea; you battle through cities, through airborne fortresses, jungles and the icy wastes of Siberia in much the same way.

Verdict: Near-perfect coin-op conversion, only let down by the ST's sound chip. As good as any of the console versions, and nearly as good as the original coin-op board, minus a few colors and a bit of gameplay area. Grab this one.

Ratings (five stars = maximum)

Graphics

Sound/Music

Gameplay

Overall

*****

****

*****

*****


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