Life force was released by Konami in 1988 for the NES. It’s a classic space shooter and the sequel to another great NES space shooter Gradius. Life force is a port of Konami’s arcade game of the same name. You control the Vic Viper a sweet spaceship that is upgradeable.
The gameplay in Life force is split up between six levels. A cool feature is that some levels are horizontal scrolling and others are vertical scrolling. It’s a nice way to make things interesting in between levels.
Powerups can be collected and used to get multiple ship upgrades. Some of the upgrades cost more powerups than others. You can upgrade your speed, add missiles to your ship, get a ripple gun which is stronger than the standard bullets, get a laser gun which is the strongest gun, add options which are little dots that fire bullets like your ship, and finally force field which protects your ship from bullets until it takes too much damage.
The graphics and control are very well done. Each level has it’s own theme and the end bosses are very big and really do the best you can with the NES hardware limits. The in game music is timeless and a joy to listen to.
Life force also contained the famous Konami code: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start so you could start with 30 lives. Even if you didn’t use the Konami code you could continue your gameplay if you died. You would just have to start each level over again.
You can play 2 player co-op which is a lot of fun. Having a friend cover one side of the screen while you take the other sure does make things easier. If you share powerups each ship can be a beast.
Lifeforce is one of the best space shooters for the NES and a classic that is a must own. If you don’t have a NES you can purchase it on the Nintendo Virtual Console for the Wii.