I have played both the original arcade and the NES port, and I think the former is way better. Known also as Salamander; but don't know why. Since LifeForce makes much sense because the visual theme is that the ship destroys bio-cyber threats in some sort of huge organic setting. Similar to an immune system response; think of a miniaturized antibody vessel to shoot laser type weapons at disease. Of course this is all an excuse to precisely make it so; ie, a shooter game out of it. This is it's major differentiating attribute from the rest of others, that were almost exclusively set in space. And believe it or not; it was very original at the time. As a matter of fact, in an absolute Konami line of comparable shooters; LF comes as #2, behind Gradius; the main difference being precisely theme setting, and order of appearance, of course. That's exactly the same as saying that WC3 is #2 to SC in Blizzard's strategy series, and that SC2 is not really 2, but 3; and I wholeheartedly agree, until actual time of referencing them by name of course. In this line is also as confusing for there is a Gradius 2 (3 really:) And just as with Gradius, there are plenty of neat power ups that can be combined. This fares better overall compared to Gradius though, and the one I like the best; even more so that G2! Bottomline; LF's basically an upgraded Gradius (revolutionary horizontal shooter), with better gameplay and a new set of changed theme graphics. Ie, a really good game!
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