Lightening Force / Thunder Force IV

Rating: B+

Warning: This game is TOUGH. The insane difficulty level aside, Lightening Force is one of the best 16-bit shooters available. The graphics are very impressive and the music adds to the fast pace. I like the beefy powerups and the toughness of the huge bosses you have to face at the end of every level(it seems like it takes five minutes of frantic shooting before a boss goes down). I also think it's very novel how at the start of the game you are prompted to choose what order you want to complete the first four game levels in, so that you don't always have to start the game at stage 1 (you can mix up any of the first four stages, though there are sequential stages that come after that). Thunder Force IV also gives you a generous number of "continues" if you lose all your lives--I don't remember how many but it's at least 5 or 6--which makes for a long, satisfying game. My only gripe is the next-to-impossible difficultly level I encountered near the end. It was very frustrating.


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