Name: Strider 2
Format: PlayStation 1
Genre: Platform Hack 'n' Slash
Region Reviewed: PAL
Year of Release: 2000 (UK)
Cue story cut scene.
Apparently there's this bad dude called the Grand Master and he rules the world, 2 paragraphs of boring slow moving text kick in and I find myself not even remotely caring about what is going on, if its ok with you Mr Capcom I just want to hit people in the face with a sword thanks!!!
Options screen is very impressive, you can decide how easy/hard the game is with a slider and also how strong your hits are using the same method which is a lovely feature, you can also turn the time limit off, I decide to keep everything normal and away we go.
Game begins with me being able to choose which of the first 3 levels I want to play in whichever order I want which is great, a lot of older games did this and its a shame that's gone from today's titles, I pick the 1st level which turns out to be a futuristic city. The first thing that grabs me is how nice the graphics are, unlike a massive amount of PS1 games there's actual colours on screen apart from 200 shades of brown or grey and that's great!!
The game is a sideways scrolling beat-em up at heart with moments of lovely 2.5D boss fights or set sequences, the presentation is very nice, each level is broken down into smaller areas and when you finish the screen turns into lots of smaller pictures of the strider 2 logo as it loads the next area, again nice.
After finishing the 1st level I notice I can now immediately pick level 4 so the choice of how I approach this game is completely up top me, so far so very good, I choose level 3 and its all icy and stuff and immediately makes me think of the first strider game and its iconic level. A lot of the enemies are the same types from the first one although there are several new ones to keep it all fresh.
Im really liking this.....
Another level is done and its onto level 5, i'm not playing in sequence because the cut scenes at the end of each level are so bad (static anime style with no speech at all) that I neither understand what's going on nor do I care, the action is great though, think metal slug with a sword and you wont be far wrong.
In just under an hour the game is completed, not because it super easy but because when you die...And you will! The game allows you to continue from the exact moment of death, no going back to the start and having to do it all over again, cant tell you how much I like that idea.
As the credits roll and the story that I care so very little about finishes I sit back and smile because I just had some killer fun and thats what games are meant for....FUN!
Good points are that its very quick to load, its lovely to look at and it has some great set sequences and boss battles, everything moves smoothly and the polish of the game is evident to see.
Bad points are mainly the story which is terrible, the scenes are too small and after a while the spinning strider 2 logo that fills the screen when you finish one of the said small stages is a bit annoying, there's almost no vocal samples for the characters, just your grunt as you slash your sword etc and the music is dire, really really dire.
When you complete it you get to unlock the original Strider 1 game character which is a nice touch I guess and the game comes with the full arcade version of the original Strider game on a separate disc so that's very cool because the original Strider is basically fantastic however this games score is going to be based on the Main sequel game.
Verdict:- You could call this game MAN WITH A SWORD and it would feel the same, its nowhere near as fluid or downright good as the original but in its own way its a solid platform slasher, its too short and the story sucks. The music and sound is a huge let down but its fun to play and if you include the original disc into the mix it makes for good value overall.
Nobody is ever going to claim this game changed the video game world but as I keep saying not every game has to re-invent the wheel, sometimes its just nice to have some good old fashioned retro fun, this is one style of game the PS1 does well time and time again.
Second Opinion:- Making a follow up to such a classic game as Strider was always going to be impossible. Nothing can or indeed ever will compare to the original, it's astounding.
What's here in the second game however is more than enough fun for the average human and at times some of the graphics make it look pretty damn cool. Problem is graphics can't hide gameplay forever and after a while this feels very much like a paint by numbers affair. It's get's a bit dull... A bit quickly.
It could so easily have been much better, but then again it really could have been worse, like the awful Megadrive game... Yuck!
Transbot Scores:- 6 out of 10