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The 7-Way shot makes short work of almost any level and is pretty useful against most of the bosses too.
In the original, buying all the engines makes beam weapons never run out (dying excepted). This allows for unlimited use of the aforementioned 7-way shot, which makes the rest of the game significantly easier.
Porting Disaster: Compared to the arcade and SMS versions, the NES port has terrible sound, lacklustre graphics, and is generally considered a pale imitation.
Surprise Difficulty: The colorful graphics would suggest a simple, easy-going shooter. Not so much.
That One Boss: The snowman boss of level 5 is a huge jump in difficulty and is generally a pain in the neck to get rid of. Especially if you don't have a special beam weapon to fight him with.