Vertical Force Reviews (Virtual Boy)

Kids to Adults
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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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5 point score based on user ratings.

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Critic Reviews

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Game Zero (1996)
Yes, this is one of the best Hudson shooters to date, and another of the few titles that actually makes a Virtual Boy a legitimate game console. Shooter fans have got to check this out, and other players who just want to see some cool 3-D should play this game as well. The game progresses nicely and you actually advance somewhere between the times when you have to pause and rest your eyes. Game control is good, and easy to pick up once you get going. I strongly recommend you get into the practice of moving up and down between planes at an instants notice... it is an essential strategy to winning the game. Sound is good, and the music is very appropriate (although hurt in some ways by the speaker limitations). Graphics... well, graphics are excellent. You've got to check this one out.
GameFan Magazine (Nov, 1995)
Here's another must own game. Vertical Force takes some getting used to with it's multi-level gameplay (you ascend and descend constantly), but once you do, you'll be hooked. Welcome to parallax heaven. This is as original a shoot I've seen in many moons. While it's hard it's not impossible. Learning h ow to deal with everything in 3-D is half the fun here, the great graphics and music is the other half. Do not miss this one!
Nintendo Life (May 26, 2009)
Although the gameplay is pretty traditional, Vertical Force’s levels make good use of the hardware's 3D effect. It’s a fun shooter that offers—on two of the difficulty settings—a tough challenge. This adds replayability but the game suffers greatly from only having four full levels. However it’s one you will enjoy coming back to again and again either to try and get that bit further or just to see how far you can make it on one life. While it's not quite good enough to be known as Hudson's 'lost classic', this is still a worthwhile purchase if you're a new Virtual Boy owner.
Defunct Games (May 22, 2005)
In short, Hudson Soft's Star Soldier arcade series is almost legendary and I don't see why this version shouldn't be the same. An endless stream of enemies and challenge makes for a great game with a long lasting appeal if you're into arcade shooters like this one and have fast reflexes.
I really like the idea and it is quite fun to play, but after just a short bit of time, my eyes were ready for some z's. There is a nice variety of power-ups and enemies shooting fans will really feel comfortable with. However, the multi-level action gets almost confusing and overpowering. I really like the concept, but on this system, it just wore my eyes out. Those who are used to the 3-D effects may feel less of a strain on the eyes, but it is a good shooter nonetheless.
Retro Game Reviews (Nov 15, 2015)
Vertical Force is a decent shoot 'em up but it doesn't really do anything outstanding and the action is over far too quickly. Still, the gameplay is well designed and seeing as it's the only game in this genre on the Virtual Boy it's definitely worth a look.
While it's not a bad game, you simply have to ask yourself if it worth ruining your eyes to play a game that you've probably played a thousand times before. The 3-D effect is used here only as a gimmick and nothing more. Die hard shooter fans will find something to enjoy here, but the short ride won't bring many of them back for a second ride.
Electric Playground (Jun 14, 1996)
Vertical Force provides a lot of stuff to blow up. This is good because if it didn't, it's highly likely that your brain would start to harden and push your bloodshot eyeballs right out of their sockets. I hate to be extreme here but haven't we trodden this path about a hundred gazillion times before? What's the deal here? How do these kinds of games still manage to worm their way past the development people at relatively large companies like Hudson Soft? Don't people stand up and say, "It doesn't matter that the Virtual Boy doesn't have a generic, blatant rip off of Xevious, 1942, 1943, Raiden and a thousand other vertically scrolling shooters, we're just not going to give you the money to make this kind of game!"? Obviously not, because here it is.
GamePro (US) (Apr, 1996)
A standard 8-bit shooter with some minor 3-D effects, this flying game is a wild blue yawner. The graphics are simple and bland, with enemies that wouldn't impress your kid sister. The tiny sounds are below average for an post-1990 game. Shooting on two levels and blasting mediocre enemies make no Force to be reckoned with.
The Video Game Critic (Jul 17, 2003)
The game isn't very easy on the eyes, with many large, overlapping, red platforms in the later stages. Some bosses are innovative (like the elevator boss in the screenshot), but they tend to repeat. A few sound effects, like the laser fire, are so high pitched that I wanted to turn the volume down. Another annoyance is how the game doesn't bother displaying your score when it's over. What's the point of even keeping score if you can't see it?? Shooter fans might enjoy the novelty value of Vertical Force, but once that wears off, you're stuck with a very mediocre game.