Review by Walker Boh Ohmsford
"Just try to beat it without cheating. It's nearly impossible!"
Konami's one of those companies that can't seem to produce a really bad game, with but a few exceptions. Adventures of Bayou Billy comes to mind as one that we probably could have lived without. Not Life Force, though. I enjoyed this one so much I bought it and downloaded an NSF soundtrack. The shortness of the game is the only weakness (it has six levels and that's all). But I digress. On with the review. First, we'll take a look at the...
Gameplay 10-10. Fly your ship through the insides of an alien that's so large it is capable of swallowing an entire planet! The enemies are varied and can be tough, and then there are all manner of obstacles that'll pose a danger to you, flames from volcanic areas, laser beams and all kinds of stuff. There's even a boss fight where the ceiling caves in on you and you can't harm the boss until the ceiling stops falling. These are just some of the traps you'll encounter. The most annoying one is one that I like to call the Loop. This is simple. The final boss of the game has two parts, a dragon and then an eyeball thingy. Then there are laser walls you need to avoid on your way out of the alien. However, If both parts of the alien are not destroyed you will never be able to beat the game, even though you'll still encounter the laser walls. Instead of giving you the ending however, the game will send you back to stage 4, and you'll have to try it again. Now, let's look at the...
Control 10-10. The controls in this game could hardly be any easier. Fire with B, power up with A, move with the D-pad. Then of course there's the Konami Code. And as you fly through the alien with these good controls and multiple enemies, you get to listen to the...
Music and sound 10-10. NES SFX, but good NES SFX that are fitting for a space shooter. Same with the music. There are six stage songs, one for each level, a boss theme, a miniboss theme, a Game over theme and an ending theme, so that's about ten songs. All of them are catchy and fit their purposes, though the miniboss theme (it's actually the boss theme from Gradius), can become a little annoying after a while. The ending theme is a bit weird, but its only real flaw is that it's too high-pitched! Make sure the volume on your TV isn't set too high or chances are you'll get a painful ringing in your ears from listening to this tune.
Story 10-10. The only other game I know of with a story like this is Abadox, and Abadox I believe came out a year after Life Force. Anyway, the galaxy is being menaced by Zelos, an alien capable of swallowing entire planets. By the time our hero enters the fighting, Zelos has already consumed some 400 planets, and yours is next on his menu. You decide it's time to stop him...from within!
Overall 10-10. An excellent game. Just don't expect to waltz on in and then waltz back out again unscathed. It's not that easy. Even the thirty lives from the Konami Code will quickly wear thin in this game, particularly if you don't know what you're doing!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/15/00, Updated 03/01/03
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