Review by Sonofyoungwood

"Perhaps the most difficult game I have ever played."

INTRODUCTION:
This is a short review for one of the classic games of the 1980s, and, in my opinion, the hardest game on the NES, if not EVER. On a side note, I just got done playing the game, and my eyes are playing tricks on me; I see the computer screen side scrolling! But more on that later.

STORY: 0/0
There is no story to this game, except for the fact that you are fighting in a huge Alien body and some sort of ruins. You'll fight through the spinal column, brain, veins, etc. However, like with most NES games, the ending was absolutely pointless.

GRAPHICS: 28/30
Life Force has some of the best graphics on the NES, primarily because of the fact that it was released in 1988, toward the latter half of NES' peak. By this point, Konami (the developer) had a good idea as to the potential of the NES system, and it shows. Many of the levels are extremely innovative and beautiful, from the pyramid ruins to the red blood cells that shoot lasers to the mutating walls of the first level to the firestorms of the hardest level in the history of gaming (IMO): Level 3! The boss sprites are all outstanding; they are almost up to SNES quality. The ship is small and basic, but the weapons it shoots are fine.

SOUND/MUSIC: 23/30
NES music isn't the best, but some of the beats are catchy. I'm still humming some as I write this! There isn't a whole lot of variety between each level's song, but they are simple and fit the dark, action-packed setting well.

GAMEPLAY: 24/30
Very addicting and simple. Your ship has a basic laser at first, but you can obtain powerups from monsters that include but are not limited to: upgraded lasers, missiles, a double laser generator, and speed booster. The amount of power-up packages you get determine what kind of special you may use.

The game scrolls up-down and left-right, like most shooters. In some levels, the scroll will be extremely slow (or nonexistant on some bosses, like the first one), fast (when you enter the blood stream of the alien, the scrolling speeds up), and just right (most of the time it is not too fast, not too slow). Overall, the gameplay is fine. However, like I said, this is the most difficult game I have ever played.

CHALLENGE, ETC: 5/10
This game is challenging, and, IMO, too difficult. There is a special cheat for the game that gives 30 lives per continue, but, even then, you may still have some difficulty! I know I did. I will probably never be able to beat this game on 3 lives, especially considering the amount of time (or lack thereof) that I have to dedicate to it. Nevertheless, if you are up to the challenge of facing dozens of energy beams firing at you, firestorms, huge King Tut heads and brains, swirling spaceships, red blood cells shooting energy balls, walls collapsing and veins forming, and even a massive brain with swinging arms, this game is for you. If you don't want to be frustrated by a game, then stay away from this one. However, I do recommend at least playing it once; it is one of the classics, like Zelda and Mario. It's one of those games everyone should experience at least once, just to say that they "have". Enjoy.

TOTAL SCORE: 80/100
FINAL SCORE: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/05


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