Long before companies had to worry about 3D, Capcom was pioneering the great action game. Strider Hiryu was the action hero I always wanted to see, I couldn't get enough Strider in the arcade, or at home. And I waited and waited and waited for a sequel ... only to wait a decade for the game to finally materialize.
Strider was the first Must Own game for the Sega Genesis. In the arcade the game was something special, but at home the game glowed like a forest fire. Never before had I seen a game like this, especially at home.
While the Super Grafx version was released a little later than Sega's, Strider was just as entertaining, if not superior. Unlike the Sega release, NEC's version boasted CD sound and more frames on animation. Some of the detail lost in the Genesis/Mega Drive version of the game was brought back for this rendition, and by all accounts it's a better translation of the arcade game.
But I wasn't really complaining about the Genesis version. And this game really isn't different enough to run out and purchase if you already own the Genesis version. But at the same time, it's the one to buy if you have a choice. Strider may have aged a little, but the game is just as fresh and fun as it ever was. All five levels play into a different delusional "Communist Soviet" stereotype that really shows its age.
Striders' main weapon is a sword, yet, it's more of a flash of a light. Regardless, Strider has what I can only call, the "coolest sword slash in video game history". There are power-ups scattered here and there, some involve strange metallic animals (like cats and birds), others just increase the size of your sword. There are other moves, but the game is pretty much an action packed trip of dodging and attacking.
The game, like most arcade games, is over way too quickly. You can literally beat it in 20 minutes. But then, it's just as much fun the second time. No matter what system Strider appears on (except for the N.E.S.) Capcom is ready to deliver the goods. And I hope to see many Striders in the future.