Straight from the arcades comes one acrobatic hero's attempt to rid the world of Lord Eurasia and his evil minions: Strider Hiryu is his name, and the year is 2048. The first of five increasingly testing levels has him dropping from a hanglider type craft onto the rooftops of Moscow to face vicious guards, laser spitting domes and powerful robots.
Strider's only protection is a laser sword and his uncanny ability to leap where mere mortals fear to tread, but as he hacks and slashes his way through the enemy bonuses are collected: extra energy, weapon power-ups and remote guardians.
Just as well. The end of level horror looms, where Strider finds himself in a chamber full of officials. Not very sinister, until they leap out of their seats and all join together to form a huge caterpillar creature!
On level two Strider is in the Russian Steppes attacked by dogs, until he enter a large underground complex to be faced by a huge robotic gorilla, more death and mayhem in the large power station (well that's what it looks like to us). Strider moves ever upwards through a hail of parachute bombs and skeletons of helicopter to a floating ship to fight off guards, ballet dancers (!) and gun turrets and reach level three's lush jungle.
Time for boomerang throwing wild women, jumping piranha fish and a couple of very nasty dinosaurs. The end of level nasty here is a big (and we mean BIG) laser spitting robot dinosaur.
Battleship Balrog must be taken out next. Cue more mayhem, and onto level five and Lord Eurasia himself.
Strider (originally tilted Falcon) in the arcades is great, and the Speccy version is every bit as good. The graphics are monochromatic, but they don't half shift. The speed with which Mr Hiryu slices the meanies to shreds whilst performing a double backflip has to be seen. Sound is only a few effects, but this doesn't detract from the sheer playability.
MARK ... 91%
'I first saw this when I was nosing around in The Games Machine offices. It was on the Atari ST and it looked quite good. It was when I tried to play it and found out about the impossible control system that I suddenly went off it. This version is just the same (except for the graphics and sound), that terrible control system is still there. Using a joystick is extremely annoying: If you push to the left and just tap the up direction, the character does a stupid leap onto the thing you are trying to kill instead of tip toeing left. The sprites are average and the monochrome doesn't help them much. As for sound, all I could hear was a stupid slurp effect when I fired! Strider doesn't hold anything new, but if you think you can stand the controls and are up to an arcade shoot 'em up, take a look.'