I have to rate this awesome vertical shoot-'em-up as a '9 out of 10'.
I recently played through and beat this game, and really enjoyed it. I had only played the game for 2 minutes before, and I decided to really play it, so I sat down, picked my weapon options, and played through the first 4 levels without dying even once! I only died 1 time in level 5, but levels 6 and 7 were killers!
I REALLY enjoy the power-ups being tied to your 'hit points', in that you don't die from being hit, you just lose a level of your weapons power, and then if your weapons power has been reduced to the lowest level, then the next damage you take will kill you. Overall, this makes the game a little easier and fun, unlike some games where when you are fully powered up, your ship is awesome, but one hit, and you are back down to a wimpy pea-shooter. Also, for this game you may choose your types of weapons at the beginning of the game. (i.e. wide-spread but short-range flamethrower which constantly fires or slower-shooting more powerful fire shot with slow diagonal shots, or one other fire option. You get 3 different styles of lasers, 3 different styles of energy bubble shots, 3 different styles of fire shots, and your base vulcan, so you have 27 different weapons configurations with which to play through the game with! If this game were 2-player simultaneous, then it would definitely be a '10 out of 10'.
Not mindblowing or anything, but a damn fine shooter. The low difficulty early on makes it one of the most accessible shootem ups out there, but it still gets difficult enough to keep veterans entertained.
3rd game in, and one of the best of the Gunhed/Soldier quadrilogy. You can pick your armament set before starting the game, the only game in the series that allows you to do this. Arguably the best soundtrack in the series, rivaled only by the 4th game "Soldier Blade." For some odd reason this was the only entry that didn't see a US release. This game was the first (only?) game in the series developed and published completely in-house by Hudson Soft. For vertical shooter fans this game is a no question must-own. I urge owners of this game to seek out the "Arcade Mode" code entered at the title screen to be able to enjoy this game in a arcade-like vertical aspect ratio. 9/10.