Review by Bentone
"Don't know what's going on, and I don't really care"
Woo! After reviewing that festival of crappy shooters Action 52, I needed something to restore my faith in the genre. I remembered playing this game back in the day, and having a lot of fun with it. Boy, am I glad I remembered Life Force/Salamander. This game kicks some serious butt.
Life Force was always a difficult game, but I always used the 'Konami Code' to make it a cakewalk. Now, as I try playing the game normally, I see why. This game is HARD. Not hard in a bad way though. It's challenging, but you know there's a way to get through every obstacle. It just takes a bit of practice. For some reason, even if I'm dying repeatedly in an area, I don't get frustrated. Also, something I really appreciate, the difficulty curve is much more gradual than many other shooters, making it nice for shooter n00bs, like me.
The graphics are sweet. Not the best shooter graphics on the system, not by a long shot, but still, these are very nice. I love the organic feel of some of the levels, the unforgettable chaos of the fire level...yes folks, this is what makes even short games stand apart from the rest. Inspired level design. Even if the game doesn't make any sense, going from the insides of..something & killing a giant brain, zipping through a pyramid & taking out a giant pharaoh head, flying through a tunnel of flames & blowing the head off a dragon... Yes, this game makes about as much sense as the Parodius games. But you know what? it doesn't matter, cuz the gamesplay is that so fun, the levels are highly memorable & involving (not just some generic space station again), and the music is overall very well done.
The game's length is the only weak spot I could find. Like most other arcade shooters, you can blow through this in about half an hour. But what a way to spend 30 minutes. Hell, you might even think about playing through the game a second time. I know I did. And it's even better with a friend.
Bottom Line? There's a reason Konami is where it's at today. This is just one of many games that show just how talented this company is. Get this game if you have any self respect as a gamer. Everyone should play this, I don't care if they use the 'Konami Code'.
Annoyance: Realizing how much I truly suck at these types of games
Great Moment: This is a toughie. The entire game is made up of these.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/23/02, Updated 01/23/02
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