Am I supposed to choose ONLY ONE?
That's hard to do.....
I say my prefer shmup ever, one that when I played it for the 1st time, I said "THAT'S THE GAME" , I still play it today, after 12 years of the release, and I still have the same amount of fun as I had when I 1st played:
That's an MSX2 game, I don't know, maybe I have a special "love' for that game, as I just love my MSX, but there's no other shmup I played for so long as this one. I have already finished it a zillion of times. The music is great, the graphics are fantastic (for a MSX2), the game pushes the MSX to its limits all the time, and the gameplay is just perfect. You your main weapon that can be powered up by getting the "P"s that appear, and also a secondary weapon, that can be choosen from 8 different option. The secondary weapon can be powered up to 5 times, by getting the same weapon again.
I just can't keep talking about it without getting excited and the words stop coming. Just get an MSX emulator and the game, and try it!
I have just played Aleste 2 for 10 min, just to get a few screenshots... I got shots only from the stages 1 & 2 (there are 8 stages) , and now I feel a little stupid, as I don't know how to post more than 1 pic ...
you can read a good review of both Alestes in www.shmups.com
and can get the game and an emulator to play it in www.msxgamesbox.com
Now can I choose only one game? I want to add that Soldier Blade, for PC-Engine is also fantastic, a game that for me, gets very close to Aleste 2.