* AwesomeMusic: Most of the soundtrack of the game is pure, unadultered ''{{Reggae}}'', of all things. For a better example here's the theme of the first stage [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vW3x0zGo7Y of the first game]].
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTKKLbW3x1Q Endless Love]], the theme of ''Link Loop Land'' from the 3DS port of ''II DX'', is an absolute joy to listen to.
* GameBreaker: The [[AnvilOnHead Heavy Bomb]] is quite powerful, especially against the bosses.
** 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.
** The [=PS2=] remake (included in ''Sega Classics Collection'') lets you unlock a weapon that gives you access to ''infinite smart bombs''. Sure, it takes lots of grinding to make enough money in Challenge Mode to unlock the weapon (and you still need to purchase it in the actual game), but once you have it, you're unstoppable: many enemies go down in a single flash, and boss fights end within seconds.
* PolishedPort: The 3DS ports of the two arcade games. They aren't just perfect ports of the originals, but they also add content and optional AntiFrustrationFeatures.
** The X68000 port of the first game is not only practically arcade-perfect, but it also has the option to use an "arranged" soundtrack and has a secret level based on ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier''.
* PortingDisaster: Compared to the arcade and SMS versions, the MSX and NES ports (most notably the Tengen version) have terrible sound, lackluster graphics, and are generally considered pale imitations.
* SurpriseDifficulty: The colorful graphics would suggest a simple, easy-going shooter. Not so much.
* ThatOneBoss: 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.