Your right Muzkat. I just been recently looking back at The One & saw the review of Blastar.
Although slightly off topic(though still about shoot-em-up's), I' m trying to remember a really old shoot-em-up from the arcades, but haven't got a clue as to the name of it.
It was one where you had a three tier space ship,(giving effectively 3 "lives"). A small ship,then a medium ship then a large one-as a bonus for surviving a couple of levels you had to dock your current ship onto your next available craft. It was a vertical scroller,(though no real backdrops other than stars I think.) The closest timeline I suggest was 1982,but it might've been older than that, any thought's?