Review by bruplex

"Defeat the innards of a nasty old planet swallowing alien"

Your planet has been absorbed by a giant evil presence. You (and possibly your pal as well) are on a mission to rid your world of this plague! It's Life Force, the sequel to Konami's classic shooter Gradius! Is this game tough? Yup! Each stage has a LOT of hard patterns to memorize and pretty tough bosses. The key to success is to get powered up and STAY powered up! Of course, there is the big cheater's code that gives you 30 lives; I look at this as ''training mode'' so you can go at the game fair and square!
There are some neat features in Life Force. For one, your stages are both vertically and horizontally scrolling. The bosses are somewhat exotic, ranging from the death mask of King Tut to assorted fleshy organisms with bulgy eyes. There are cool power-ups as well, making your ship a veritable floating fortress! Don't you think they should have equipped your ship with all this stuff to begin with? Oh well, repeat to yourself this is just a show, you should really just relax...for LIFE FORCE BY KONAMI!!

Graphics=8.7 Nice looking futuristic space graphics. Not quite as good as my all time favorite shooter, R-Type for TG-16, but very well done for the NES. The King Tut boss looks great on 8-bit; this was the money shot on all the ads in magazines!

Sound=7.7 The ''go-get 'em'' tune goes well with the shooter theme (1st stage). The game repeats a few basic songs, which are not terrible. Standard NES fare of explosions and laser blasts.

Playcontrol=9.4 Very smooth, very tight play control. As with any game of this genre, getting too many speed boosts can be fatal to your efforts. Good power-ups!

Challenge=9.7 Phew! Try it without the 30 life code! A great challenge to say the least!! Takes a lot of memorization, some good timing, and a little bit of luck! The flames on level 3 are especially bothersome...

Story=8.0 the world, (of course) but do so by destroying the alien Life Force draining your planet. Cool name for a game!

Overall=8.4 A solid shooter with a high difficulty level! Can get frustrating at times, but if you are a fan of this kind of game turn your TURBO on and have fun!!!

*BRU'S MUST GET OMETER*=7 A good pickup for action shooter fans: Also check out: Gradius, Stinger, and Fantasy Zone.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/12/00, Updated 02/12/00

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