GSQ5: A Salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed

Life Force may well be my favorite shooter ever. I don’t know what it is about the game — there’s just some ineffable quality about it that really appeals to me. It’s as fresh and playable in 2010 as it was in 1988, tough but not at all unreasonable, with great graphics and music marred only by an understandable touch of slowdown and flicker. I mean, come on, two-player simultaneous shooting on NES, with all those little Option dudes flying around? This game was a danged miracle.

And in case, for some sick reason, you haven’t had enough NES writing here at GameSpite, I’ve also written a very lengthy anniversary tribute to the system over at my day job, coincidentally coinciding with the site’s comprehensive relaunch that finally makes the damn thing work correctly. It’s only taken seven years, geez. The 1UP NES piece is different than any other anniversary piece you’re likely to read this month, because it has very little to do with facts and timelines and details and history and everything to do with recollections and personal anecdotes. It is, in other words, about the NES experience, not the NES itself. I expect to see plenty of complaints in the morning… well, maybe not. I guess people would have to read it all the way through in order to have a reason to complain, and it’s about 2,500 words too long for more than a handful of people to bother with. Safety in verbosity, that’s my motto.

5 thoughts on “GSQ5: A Salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed

  1. 2 Player Life Force is actually harder than single player since it was easy to lose track of the ships since they looked so much alike. 2 Player shooters didn’t hit the bulls eye until… maybe Aegis Wing. But still! Life Force is one helluva good time.

  2. Your NES tribute article is awesome, Parish. Although my adult mind is fascinated with the back stories of business practices, launch strategies, and unlicensed efforts, the article touches on the true experience of what I lived as a child with an NES: cursing TMNT, puzzling over Shadowgate with a friend, riding wheelies in Excitebike, being totally oblivious to the marketing bent of The Wizard, renting games from the grocery store across the street, and desperately hoping that the next issue of Nintendo Power would appear in the mailbox.

    Good times, good times. So, thanks man.

  3. Life Force for the NES was so great because it was basically Gradius on speed in every sense of the word. Also one of the finest examples of gaming economy, where no stage is superfluous, and the length is just right. Only Gradius Gaiden can hold a candle.

  4. So by “work correctly,” I assume you mean “break my browser.” (Based on the comments to Sam’s post, I don’t appear to be the only Chrome user having issues.)

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