Strider II (released in North America under the title Journey from Darkness: Strider Returns), is the sequel to the smash hit Strider title released by Capcom for the arcades. The game is a side scrolling action platform published by U.S. Gold (under the license of Capcom USA) and developed by Tiertex. It was originally released for various computer platforms in 1990 like the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and later ported to several 8/16bit video game consoles like the Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You've just finished off the "Reds" from the first Strider game and now looking forward to a well earned rest! But your services are once more urgently requested by the planet Magenta. Their leader has been captured by an alien terrorist species and the Magentonians are so desperate to get her back. You are equipped with a Gyro laser and sent to fight all the enemy forces and save the woman. Your main weapon though (much like on the first title) is your sword and your quest demands to kill and cause mayhem through five different. The best feature here (as on the first game) is your ability to roll on the air, avoiding with ease hazards and enemies. The aliens vary from humanoid creatures to deadly alien robots! More on that, there is a variety of other dangers along your way such as exploding flowers, machine gun and homing missile bankers, force fields and more! As usual, there is always an end-level boss too, like the fully armed Cyborg helicopter on the first level! Your energy bar can drop easily, but fortunately there are enough energy pods to collect. Also, weapon upgrades can be found during your quest; by collecting certain bonuses you can transform into a wheeled robot when confronting the boss at the end of each level. As a robot, Strider can shoot lasers but cannot jump nor crouch. The robot energy is limited and, when lost, you turn human again and continue the fight! The gameplay is fast and frantic all the way. The character cannot slide or climb ceilings as in the original game. However, he is still able to climb walls and ropes. Strategy-wise, Strider II won't stretch your grey matter but on the action standards, U.S. Gold is surely a winner!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game offers nice, colorful and detailed backdrops. The sprites are well designed and move fast on screen. The animation is good and everything run in a smooth and quick manner. The game might not be state-of-the-art but, overall, the graphics are very adequate. The game's sound offers the usual action grunts, bangs, whizzes plus some more, sampled sound effects on the Amiga version along with a few "nice to listen to" music themes during gameplay!
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs