STRIDER 2 / Capcom / Arcade
What the original Strider needed was slightly easier levels combined with much better play control. What we got in the sequel was slightly improved play control with much easier levels. The game is nice to look at, and still kind of fun, but leaves you feeling they still haven't quite done Strider justice just yet.
The game plays out on a fusion of 3D backdrops and objects with a 2D main character. Strider still has his stiff and clunky jump, but he also has a new suite of abilities. You can dash, perform dashing attacks, and get a number of special moves such as freezing in mid-jump to deliver a flurry of slashes.
Compared to the masochistic original, the game is shockingly easy. Strider really needed to be a little easier, but probably not this much. The levels are consistenly almost no challenge, and you can defeat many of the bosses without a scratch by simply standing on top of them and pounding the attack button. Many of the bosses also seemingly never planned for the possibility that Strider might jump behind them, as they are heavily armored in the front but short and have a hard time turning around.
The game does have a neat visual design though, both in the 3D levels and in the manga cutscenes that develop the story between levels, and is probably worth a play just for that alone. Don't expect tremendous depth or longevity here, however.
* Gameplay Video