Magenta - a far-off planet in the future is the setting for this, the sequel to the arcade giant Strider. What is our friend Strider Hiryu up to this time, then? Well, he's off to rescue a female world leader from the slimy grips of a band of dastardly aliens. In this light for freedom the only weapons around to help him in his quest are his sword and a new Gyro laser gun, just right for squishing all those nasties.
The levels are packed full of platforms and lifts, and there are now ropes and chains for our hero to climb to get out of reach of death. Strider's adventures take him through the forest where his space ship lands, underground caverns leading to a power station and the Earth spacecraft where the girl is held captive.
Killing the kidnappers would be a doddle if it weren't for the inconvenience that your gun only fires when Strider is stationary. Still, the sword has a pretty impressive slicing action that should save your bacon.
Strider's objective is to collect the icons situated in each level. Once they've all been found he'll have the ability to transform into a robot to help him defeat the massive end-of-level opponents.
Strider didn't appeal to me, and his return doesn't cut the mustard. All that bounding around with a silly looking sword. One thing this game has which the original lacked is colour. No more 100% monochrome: you now have coloured trees and platforms. This, of course, brings our old friend Miss Colourclash onto the scene. Whenever Strider jumps or walks over the background he changes to its colour; can't be helped really. Strider II is a little better than the original: arcade freaks might find it more playable.
NICK ... 68%
'I loved the original Strider in the arcades, though the computer version appeared in Issue 69 and received a mixed reception. Now Strider II is here and is as controversial as its predecessor. Nick disliked the original and is a misery guts about this sequel. I love it! The main character sprite is still as atheletic as ever and as a bonus now carries an extra weapon (yippee!). Another great addition is Strider's ability to don a huge armoured suit to tackle the end of level bad guy. US Gold have come up trumps again; in fact coin-oppers Capcom like it so much Strider 2 will be in your local arcade before you know it!'
MARK ... 88%
Tough but playable - a treat for arcade addicts!