The date stamp on this entry isn’t a mistake. I played it from start to finish on the same day I finished Castlevania. Castlevania took several sessions over several days, but Strider was complete in a day.
I was surprised that this came out in 89, because the graphics are really, really good. Even at that time, Capcom probably had the money to spend on such things; I just thought it looked beyond what the console was capable of.
Like Kirby though, the good graphics come at a price. This game is really choppy, long loading times, etc. There are places inside the middle of levels, in the heat of the action, where the game just freezes completely while it loads something onto the screen.
The combat of this game feels good and smooth, but the platforming is a real mess. There’s no sense at all of when you will or won’t land on something, you’re constantly “clipping” uphill or sideways, there are these giant slopes up and down where you never really feel in control, it honestly just looks like bad programming all around (but, this also could be a consequence of choosing to sacrifice absolutely everything for “good graphics”).
Nothing about the music stood out, except maybe the Africa level. I remember thinking “this is different.”
I didn’t really do any research into this game before playing it, pretty sure I just saw it featured on GCCX or something. That said, it “feels” to me like one of those arcade ports. There are certain sections of certain levels (such as the last train car on the Egypt level) where it is literally impossible not to take damage. There can’t be any reason for this, other than the house advantage you’d need if you were designed to eat quarters.
Using a walkthrough, the first 95% of this game is really easy. The final level, though, is long and excruciating and the last boss gauntlet is very brutal. I wouldn’t put it quite at Megaman-level but still pretty bad. Due to the reasons explained in the above bullet, you can’t just git gud and take no damage. There are also very few Health and Energy powerups in the level, and every time you die once (there is no “Continue” system) you have to do the entire level over again. Each individual attempt at the final boss takes ~20-25 mins.