Unranked: Strider

Nintendo Entertainment System

So, here is the thing with Strider. I was really baffled by this game when it came out on the NES in 1989. It came from Capcom, the same company who had given us amazing games like Mega Man II and Bionic Commando. It was an arcade game too that I remember seeing, but never playing. I was not a big arcade person.

The game on the NES is not good. It is fairly aimless, with poor play control, and pretty awful hit detection. It is extremely glitchy.

When I tried to replay this game recently, I found it unbearable to play. Hiryu walks in this odd way where his legs are always behind him. It is such an odd choice.

The game is very glitchy: Jumps do not work right sometimes. This is especially a problem with the wall jumps. I even saw a long play where the video creator had problems with this! Items get stuck in walls and are not retrievable. The big file you find in level one? It leads to a fetch quest. Gross.

I did not bother going past level two for this one. I do not think I ever even beat this game despite owning it. Strider does have a pretty cool sci-fi setting and an interesting premise involving an investigation into mind control chips. Turns out, the leader who tells you to kill your friend in the beginning? He is a bad guy! Whoops!

This is also another misleading Capcom cover like the first Mega Man, and arguably the second one too, game. Hiryu looks like such a badass in the opening cut scene and on the cover…he looks like a real estate agent. Huh.

So, with all of that said, it was pretty confusing to me when Strider on the Mega Drive was named Game of the Year for 1990 by Electronic Gaming Monthly! Huh? Strider? That game sucked on the NES.

Strider on the Genesis is a pretty straightforward port of the arcade game. It is an action-based side-scroller and I can see why people love it. It is not really my thing. I can never get that far into the game and the same thing happened when I recently replayed it on the Genesis Mini. Oh well.

It is interesting how different ports were for games back then. On the Genesis, Strider is ported fairly accurately. The Genesis was a great system to get accessible ports of arcade games for sure.

But on the NES, it is a totally different game. It has a different plot, RPG mechanics, but it is also a glitchy mess of a game that has minimal replay value.

Strider on the Genesis is definitely worth checking out. I am not fond of it, but many people are. Do not bother with the NES game.

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