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.