97 - Strider (Megadrive)

There's a kind of roughness to the Megadrive conversion of Strider that appeals to me. It's a bit glitchy and a bit buggy but there's something about the speed of it, the sheer abandon of the action that elevates it above its arcade parent.

Strider is one of the most intensely exciting platform arcade games ever made. It's jam-packed with cool moments and memorable environments and it moves like the wind. There's some story or other in there but who cares about that - it's all about jumping, sliding, swinging and sprinting your way around an admittedly small bunch of levels, slicing up anything in your way. This was I think the first game I played where the soundtrack cued perfectly with the action onscreen, too. That alone lends it a sense of cinematic drama that other more pedestrian platformers lack.

It's such a shame Capcom kind of forgot about this great character. The possibilities for level design alone are enticing, given the athletic abilities of the hero. A pretty decent 3D-2D sequel turned up years later but it was really no match for this short but oh so sweet experience.

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