BLAZING STAR / SNK / Arcade
I'm not really a big fan of shooters - I find most of them to be too samey, and I really don't dig on the undercurrent of masochistic machismo that seems to run through the hardcore "shmup" community. There's only a small handful of space shooters that I really like and will play regularly, and Blazing Star for the Neo Geo is one of them.
It's a horizontally scrolling 2D shooter for one or two players, and it's one of those that uses 3D ships and enemy sprites, so they'll sometimes come rotating out of the background or transform into different forms throughout a battle. It's got nice visuals and audio, it's challenging but not too hard, and the constant Engrishy exhortations such as "Get It More!" and "Hey Poor Player!" are good for a chuckle. Oh, and it culminates in a final showdown with Star Fetus ... how many games do you see that in? Only this one, baby, only this one.
Good fun for two people to blast through via a MAME connection ... and hopefully we'll see it show up on the Virtual Console at some point.
* Gameplay Video