SOLDIER BLADE / Hudson / Turbografx 16
Soldier Blade is a vertical space shooter, and it tends more towards the "screen full of hot death for your enemies" than the "arm you with a pea shooter and envelope you in a constant cloud of projectiles" philosophy of shooter design. Unless you actively dodge power-ups, you very shortly into the first level become a space deathmobile that cuts through your foes like a hot knife through butter. The game does have a Hard setting that kicks things up a bit, and it does progress a bit in difficulty as you advance through the levels, but it's almost shocking how far you can get on your first play-through without dying. I do feel that many shooters are a little too difficult and too tailored towards the hardcore shooter demographic (that bunch of loons), but this sort of cants too far in the opposite direction.
What else can I say about the game? The boss enemies mostly look like stiff cutouts from Gundam, and tend to have repetitive and easily deduced movement patterns. The game's soundtrack has that "generic robo anime" quality to it, I half expected Japanese singing to start up at any point acccompanied by English subtitles at the bottom of the screen ("Fighting towards the sunset! Keeping anger burning!"). It's another Japanese space shooter game, of which there are certainly no dearth in this world, and you probably won't be missing out on too much if you use your $5 for something else.
* Gameplay Video