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An enjoyable, but short top-down shooter
Author: manicfoot | Date: 2007/09/16 | Rating: 9/10


For some reason, when I got my VB two years ago Vertical Force was the first game I tried out and it immediately impressed me. It has an awesome retro charm to it and it is one of the most adddictive top-down shooters I've EVER played.
The 3D twist (well, pseudo-3D really) is kind of like Wario Land.. Where you play on two different 'plains'. In this case, theres above and below. However, unlike Wario land, you can freely switch between both plains whenever you please, and this is required during all of the levels and some boss battles at some point.
This adds a unique twist to the game, but it's the 'drones' that complicates the gameplay more. They are little ships that you can pick up during levels that help you during battles. You can get different types as well, such as a drone that specialises in repairing your ship when you're not firing your weapons. Also, these drones can told what to do by you. You can make them fight on the opposite plain to you as well as simply letting them do their own thing. The drones enhance the strategy needed to progress through the game.
Graphically, Vertical Force doesn't really shine, though it isn't hideous to look at either. The cutscenes during level changes look very nice, but the actual in-game graphics look kind of minimalistic, but I guess this was needed because the later levels do have a lot of enemies on the screen at once. Maybe they went for simple graphics to keep the frame rate smooth.
I also really like the music in this game, especially in the first level. The music in the other levels suit the game well, it's kind of floaty, dreamy space music that adds a lot of atmosphere. In the bosses, the music changes and sounds frantic and manic (think of the boss levels in Super Mario bros).
Vertical Force is cheap to come by and is a blast to play through. The game itself isn't very long, but you can change the difficulty and set yourself challenges (like doing the game without dying) and the decent gameplay and music more than make up for that one shortfall. I highly reccomend this game :D