News Article

USA VC Update: Life Force

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Good news for shoot 'em up fans - Arguably the best shmup on the NES is available today!

Life Force is a spin-off of the Gradius series. You once again control Vic Viper (Or Lord British) as you make your way through numerous stages to beat the aliens again. The main difference between Life Force and the Gradius games is the level layout - Gradius always has horizontal levels, but Life Force has both horizontal and vertical levels. Many gameplay elements from Gradius are also in Life Force - The powerup system works exactly the same and you'll even meet some enemies from Gradius, such as the Moais! The NES doesn't have that many good shooters, but if you're going to play one, it should be this.

It should come as no surprise that that is all for VC this week. On WiiWare you can grab Evasive Space later today.

Today's press release for the Wii Shop releases should also be mentioned - It includes this mysterious paragraph hinting at something which will be soming soon. Any guesses?

In other news, the Wii-kly Update has a fun surprise coming soon for all our fans. We can't tell you the secret just yet but maybe we’ll offer you some hidden clues. From AZ to NC, if you’re a fan, your applause could rattle your walls, windows, door. You might enjoy this news whether you live in a brick house or Vanderbilt dorm. Even people living along Route 286 in rural Pennsylvania ought to be excited. It’ll feel like a bunch of birthday greetings and, really, who could ask for more? But that's about all we can say for now, so be sure to check future Wii-kly Updates.

Could it be that C64 games might come to North America soon?

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (100)



TwilightV said:

Either it's an announcement for Smash Bros., or they're trying to excite Mother fans again...



Drake said:

I don't think it's EarthBound, because they say it'll "feel like a bunch of birthday greetings". It's probably not just one game.



Bass_X0 said:

Never heard of Vanderbilt before. I'll have to look it up...

Vanderbilt's mascot, "Mr. C," is named for Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who founded Vanderbilt University in 1873.

And why did they mention Route 286? What does Google say about that particular one?

Route 286, Commodore, PA.

Huh. Could mean anything.



blackknight77 said:

I like that Nintendo is doing something secret and cryptic to get fans interested in the VC/Wii Ware service.

Also Life Force is awesome everyone should check out this game if you like shooters.



Drake said:

Excellent detective work, Bass, we'll ask Commodore if they can reveal something



hansolo350 said:

From what Bass found out I think it's a safe bet to say C64 games are coming and possibly several of them at once.



Link79 said:

Life Force is undeniably the best shooter on NES! Maybe even one of the best ever! I love the atmosphere and music in this game!
Every tune is catchy and fits perfectly with the creepy environments. The bosses are Wicked as well. If you love shooters you simply must own this game.



Olimar_91 said:

Judging by that info Bass, I'd say Commodore 64 games are confirmed in the US...

A little disappointing for a "surprise" if you ask me... Ah well.



gig said:

Elite for the C64 would be awesome, lots of childhood hours invested in that game.



Link79 said:

I don't suppose the surprise is Hudson anouncing the U.S. release of Rondo of blood is it? Yeah I know, probably not but hey I can dream can't I?



Lefty_Noob said:

Actually, Vanderbilt's nickname is the Commodores. And "brick house" must referr to famous the Commodores song of the same name. Yep, it's definitely the C64.



Kawaiipikachu said:

I might have to have a closer look at the Australian shop channel to see if it has any simalar clues or not.



Bass_X0 said:

All we need now is the number 64...

Its a stretch but 'more' and 'door' rhyme with four... and "coming soon" means there won't be any C64 surprise today. It'll be next week they start. Bit of a lame day I guess.



Link79 said:

I don't see why an anouncement about Commodore 64 being added to U.S. Virtual console would be such great news that the applause would rattle the walls and windows and such. That doesn't sound that exciting. I'd like it but If they want to rattle my walls they'll have to do better than that.



Drake said:

The C64 was one of the most succesful systems of all time, so there would be applause.



LinktotheFuture said:

I am really surprised to see Life Force, I was expecting Clay Fighter, but I would consider Life Force a much better game.



Link79 said:

@ Drake.
I'm sure there would be applause but it's bad enough that they are releasing one game a week. Now if Commodore 64 games are getting added think of all the more crap they'll be adding before we get the good stuff. I guess It would be nice since I've never played any Commodore games before but I'm sure It had it's fair share of Garbage as well.



North99 said:

I'll download Evasive Space, but I'm more excited about the surprise. Got my fingers crossed for Earthbound.



Drake said:

@ Link79: Well if you look at our C64 reviews, not a single game is below 3/5, and only four are 3/5.



Bass_X0 said:

North99, its the news that America will soon be getting Commodore 64 games. We already worked it out. And here in Europe, whenever we got a Commodore 64 game, we always got three or more games that week whereas usually we just get two. Its possible that America will be getting more VC games a week from now on and that at least one of them will be a C64 game, that is if they follow the same 'pattern' that C64 releases are here.



Angelic_Lapras_King said:

C64 could help the updates. Those one game updates could be turned into 3 game updates by adding 2 C64 games to it (Its been done to us Euro folk a lot).

Providing of course, they don't just add every title Europe has into one update like Australia and its first TG updates.



Tides_of_Chaos said:

Well, some people may be disappointed with this surprise, but I'm pretty excited. I think a lot of the C64 games are interesting, although admittedly overpriced. Maybe NOA can chop off 100 points or so for us? (please?)



7th_lutz said:

Life Force is one of the shmup games on the system. I own the cartridge version and my top loading Nes is hooked up.



Link79 said:

I guess I kinda feel cheated because we should have been getting Commodore 64 games in the first place. I didn't think we were ever going to so I gave up hoping. Now We'll be playing catch up for quite a while. If that really is what the surprise is I'm glad somebody figured it out cause I'm no good at riddles.



7th_lutz said:

I am excited if the surprise is the C64.

I heard of the system but I never owned a c64 or play it's games back in the day,

The C64 came out when when I was a little kid. I enjoy playing games from older systems like the Atari 2600.



Lugia2 said:

So I guess Nintendo finally got the rights? Still wonder what took them so long >_>.

And I remember the days when we were whining about the cornucopia of shooters on the system every other week. Huh. "Cornucopia" of "releases". That would be wonderful.

At least in the past we could depend on two wiiware games. Let's hope the C64 pushes them to release more.



Link79 said:

My dad still has his but I barely ever touched it. I remember playing some game called potty pidgeon and a Transformer game.
That's about my only memory of Commodore 64.



ness said:

Nice update, hopefully this game comes to Europe very soon =).



Jolted85 said:

I saw this rated awhile back and I was surprised to see it coming to the VC, I'll get it the next time I have some points.



blackknight77 said:

I think adding the C64 is great news, but at 1 game a week they will never build up a decent library. Just take a look at Neo Geo and SMS.



Bass_X0 said:

We think that there may be more releases per week from now on if the C64 is at least one of the games that week, just like it is here. When we get C64 games, we get them in addition to our regular games in comparison to other weeks. Check them out.



Objection said:

C64 games...whoopies. I can't think of one that I've heard of that I want. Life force sounds okay but I still wish we had gotten Onslaught.



Rapadash6 said:

If Nintendo continues to release only a single game a week, I see adding C64 as very BAD news. No offense to Commodor fans but there are just too many NES and SNES games that still need to be released on this service before I'll get excited about other systems being added.



Tragickingdom said:

I am looking forward to games like wasteland, and the ssr gold box d&d games/forgotten realms like pool of radiance and curse of the azure bonds.

Oh and lifeforce rocks big time, I love that game. I played it for weeks back in the 80's.



Betagam7 said:

Interesting. I'd gotten the impression that Nintendo was being cagey about putting anymore C64 titles on the system after the Last Ninja 3 debacle that still hasn't been fixed.



Drake said:

I think Commodore just hasn't had the chance to release anything else in Europe. The last few updates have had a lot Sega games and Nintendo doesn't seem to want to release more than 2 games every 2 weeks.

I'm hopeful that whenever Commodore releases the next C64 game (Wizball, most likely) they'll also release the Last Ninja 3 patch.



WarioFan63 said:

Something else I havent seen pointed about but this is just a stupid observation. That thing about rattling the windows, walls, door?

, door

Comma Door

Maybe Im overthinking it. I mean I know its solved but in case we need to make everything in that paragraph look like a hint.



Outrunner said:

Is the pal version of this game really slow like Gradius was? I wish Nintendo would listen to us for once and release the 60hz versions of these games in Europe... sigh.



Manicfatty said:

Love this game, although the VC is getting a little 'shmup' heavy. Still, a very good game with a decent challenge.

If the surprise is indeed C64 games, I may just crap myself. I loved my C64. I spent hours playing games, and even more time making them... using the code from various magazines of course. Eventually I began tinkering with the code to see what it would do and began making mods of games. It was a great little system, and it will be nice to see it on the VC!

@ Rapadash6 - or it could be an opportunity for a return to 2 game weeks. I don't think Nintendo would see the release of a C64 game next to a better known console game as a threat. And depending on the pricing here, picking up that extra game could be a impulse buy that just adds more money to line their pockets. Just a thought.

And on an off topic note: Picked up Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the 360 and I can safely say it will be a long time before I will need to download anything! Saved a lot of money on Genesis games too!



CanisWolfred said:

Yay, finally! We got Sala- I mean Life Force! Hurray!!!

The C64 is coming? Cool, that means we'll finally get the Last Ninja games, and Mayhem in Monsterland. Oh, and a few other good ones.



owen1 said:

my god, nintendo is riding the nostalgia banwagon all the way to the bank. I'd like to kick the guy that came up with that C64 message in the nuts, Even if it isn't the C64, I'll still kick him in the nuts. What does he think we are children?



Bendover83 said:

@Manicfatty: Genesis Collection saved me alot as well even though I already bought Streets of Rage 2, 3, Dynamite Headdy, Altered Beast, and Phantasy Star IV. Now the only Genesis games that I wouldn't mind having are: Road Rash, Mutant League Football, Contra Hard Corps, Primal Rage, 7up Spot, and Earthworm Jim 2.
Konami released another game that's NOT Contra. I figure its one game closer to it I guess.



Nobarai said:

It's not much of an announcement for me, since I don't like shooters, and I never played the C64.
Maybe something they release for the C64 will pique my interest, though.



Chunky_Droid said:

The only reason I won't buy the Genesis collection is because I wouldn't buy half the games on it anyway so I'm saving money getting the ones I want on VC.

I loved my C64 back in the day and it's pending release would be pretty exciting. I am although a little confused as to why all the secrecy when they just announced the Master System and Neo Geo without much thought....

As much as I like the C64, I was hoping they managed to strike some deal with Rare for Banjo Kazooie/Perfect Dark/Killer Instinct games, or were bringing out translated Mother or Fire Emblem games. But I KNEW that was asking for too much.



WiiMan192 said:

Excellent news, guys! Hopefully Commodore 64 titles come to Australia and New Zealand sometime soon. Another great interview question, Drake!



MrPoo6321 said:

Great, now we'll be hit with another system that I don't care about, while much-desired N64 and SNES classics are going to be lost by the wayside or postponed until forever.



WarioFan63 said:

I am although a little confused as to why all the secrecy when they just announced the Master System and Neo Geo without much thought....
I think it was for us VC followers who were worried about it ever coming out in America.



timp29 said:

To any europeans considering downloading last ninja 3... dont! until you hear from someone that its bee patched.
I hope NA gets C64. The last ninja series still gives me a chubby.



RadioShadow said:

An okay release. I would be mad that Gradius Rebirth STILL hasn't been released but the Bare Knuckle 3 Translation got released today and I've been too busy playing that!



Pikamander2 said:

From IGN:

That seems like a pretty random collection of clues, but intrepid forum-goers around the Internet have already proposed the connection between them. "Brick House" was a song performed by The Commodores. Vanderbilt University was founded by "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the school's sports teams are called the Commodores. And, if you actually happened to drive across Route 286 in Pennsylvania, you'd come across the great town of Commodore, PA. You can always count on the quick-thinking, Wikipedia-equipped Internet dwellers to crack any code.



Sharecrow said:

@pikamander2 - Intriguing!!!

As far as this release, I am both surprised and delighted. I'll get it once I beat a couple more things (if I can manage to be patient).



Adamant said:

@pikmin95: "I've never played a shmup before, so is this a good game to start with?"

Absolutely. Great level design, an easy-to-grasp weapon system, a relatively forgivable difficulty level, and support for 2 players simultaneously, for only 500 points. Aside from the fact that it doesn't have the flashiest grahpics or the most advanced music in the world (which, being a NES game, I doubt you'd expect anyway), you can't go wrong with this.



lockelocke said:

Besides Tetris Attack, this is my # 1 most anticipated VC game. Hell to the yes. Finally, a quality co-op shooter for the VC.



ouenben said:

sstinsd: You're an idiot.

Kotaku is bad enough with all the idiots going "first"
I'd hoped they wouldn't come here sigh.

Also another weekly update that doesn't interest me at all. Ah well



Manicfatty said:

@ Bendover83 - Yeah, I could really use me some Road Rash... and while we're speaking of EA, my guilty Genesis pleasure is the 'Strike' series... Desert Strike, etc. Herzog Zwei, Panorama Cotton (import), YuYu Hakkusho (import... but since anime has gone mainstream...), Steel Empire ( a lesser known, but fun steam punk-esque shmup), Ranger X, Subterrania, Alisia Dragoon (LOVE this game... The music is amazing)... just a few Genesis games I'd like to see either on the VC or better still in another collection. Arcus Odyssey, Castle of Illusion, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Crusader of Centy, I just can't stop myself!



Captain_Konami said:

A quality VC game in Lifeforce, excellent. (worth the 500 points, and then some! )

And VERY nice work there BassX0. I won't put all my eggs in that basket, but I'd say it looks like a sound bet.

And just for those folks who like to dedicate half their posts to complaining about people asking for certain games, HEY, what ya know a whole new catalog of potential games for people to hope and request for.

For a C64 selection on my NA VC, I'm willing to wipe the slate clean and give Big N the benefit of the doubt for a few months again. Especially since the game release selections have gotten somewhat better (even if no more abundant......). But so help me, if they make a big splash with a C64 emulator on the NA VC and then don't put some earnest effort into getting the library of purchasable games caught up.............. I MAY have to chastise them, perhaps even vehemently!

Reading the bit about a "bunch of birthday greetings", I'm going to hold out a glimmer of hope that we get a mass update to catch us up to the EU selection.......which is bad news for my pocketbook as there are 7 or so that I would have NO CHOICE WHATSOEVER but to purchase on the spot.........leading off with Bolder Dash.......or maybe Impossible Mission...... or maybe Summer Games II......or maybe Pitstop II.........ARGH, I've been repressing my interests in the C64 games (that EU has been getting) for too long now; the C64 coming to NA VC may be the worst thing that's ever happened to me!!



LinkFanatic said:

AAAAHHHHHH....the insurance company needs to pay my claim so I can get this just HAD to come out after my Wii got stolen....S**T!!!!



tootie_kicks said:

If C64 games come to the US, but not Australia, I'm going to be royally PISSED!@

Why didn't we get them in the first place???



CobraCommander said:

Its one of the best shooters on the NES but not THE Best. I think Crisis Force ist Nr.1 Shooter on NES.



Manicfatty said:

@ Adam - Werd. I don't think I've cursed this much and still had a smile on my face in quite some time.



Bass_X0 said:

#78: Who says you won't get them soon? Now that America is getting them, you should too. And I am seriously expecting at least two C64 games on Monday.



slangman said:

It does sound like C64 games are coming to NA, but lets wait and see what Nintendo says eh?



ness said:

@ "It does sound like":

I think you can say that it is for sure that the paragraph means the C64.



axelay80 said:

Perhaps it's because I never had a C64 system myself, but I don't understand why a gamer would get excited about this. There are still a TON of NES, SNES, N64, and Genesis classics that have yet to be released, and with the U.S. only getting one VC game a week, we can expect to see fewer of these releases as C64 games get added to the mix.

Could someone please enlighten me?



Adamant said:

How about "there are even more C64 classics to be released, and we dont even have a single one yet"?



Mike1 said:

@82. Bass X0
Who cares, give us Nintendo games before stupid C64 games.



Rapadash6 said:

Nintendo must be planning to up the amount of VC releases per week. With all the games that have been recently rated, Hudson confirming continued support and the addition of C64 games, how could they not? Of course if they don't, I really hope that they limit the C64 releases to like one a month.



blackknight77 said:

@ Rapadash
I hope so, if they stick with single game weeks it will take forever for the C64 to build up a good library. Another full year of 3 games weeks would help the VC alot right now. That being said I can mark another game off my wishlist with Life Force

Personally I would like get California Games, Beach Head, and Impossible Mission



MarkyVigoroth said:

That sounds like a casual party game (as in Mario Party) that uses the Wii Microphone to detect clapping.

Angelic Lapras King-sama, if they release all of the available (in Europe) C64 games in one go, then that means that I get to play "Mayhem in Monsterland"! (I can finally throw away my through-homebrew-channel C64 emulator that does not boot games!)



Captain_Konami said:

Following after Tony's post:

While we're requesting C64 games, how about Raid Over Moscow please? Great Zaxxonish, 1 Person Shooterish, Discs of Tronish game.....ish.

And while the odds are nil, also needing some sort of Compute Gazette mass release that includes my fav Make-It-Yerself game called Laser Chess. Yeeeeees. With the pending addition of C64 to NA VC, I now have new horizons of games to futily hope for. Life is good.



Chunky_Droid said:

I'd like to request The Great Escape on C64, I never finished that game and I'd love to play it again. It was based LOOSELY on the film but wasn't an actual tie in so it should come eventually! Also, Head Over Heels! since I never finished that either. Damn me for owning a C64 when I was 5-10 and crap at games!



Pj1 said:

I bet we get this on Friday.......... So C64 Stuff is coming to America and Canada? The games are OK but are quite tricky to play with the Wii-mote or Classic controller, I got a USB keyboard for Christmas and it doesn't work with VC? Oh Well.



Chunky_Droid said:

I can't wait to play C64 with a Wiimote, I only had a clunky joystick back in the day, it'd be nice to play with something more accurate



Pj1 said:

Perhaps I should cut the C64 a bit of flack but I found Last Ninja controls tricky to control and Monster Mayhem, it's just put me off down loading any more games. Just my view guys.



Chunky_Droid said:

Oh yeah, definitely on the Last Ninja controls, I couldn't stop him from walking backwards when I owned it back in the day. I may try it again though



Supermarioman said:

Yeah, C64 support, I've been dying to try some of those great C64 games. Lets hope for International Karate and California Games on Monday and 100th Post.



Segasonic said:

If Nitendo REALLY wanted to suprise us they'd put 3 more not esrb rated N64 games. I think it may be c64 games though. If we're Super lucky they will add dreamcast games. or maybe they'll go back to the 2 games a week thing.

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