*ALL* *arcade* shootemups are cheap. Some are cheaper than others. BTW I wasn't implying that Blazing Star wasn't cheap.
I was saying that Magician Lord was VERY cheap once you break the 150,000 point barrier. Your game is over VERY soon, even if you're only on the 3rd level & have all your men. It gets a little tougher at 50,000 points, but it really might as well just say "GAME OVER" once you break that 150,000 point barrier. You get an almost continuous onslaught of the sine-wave flying/shooting bird things, as well as having to deal with whatever else is normally in the level (even during mini-boss fights! - but I dont know if it happens during boss battles cause I never survived thru the minibosses when my score was that high).
Like we didn't all know this, but the point of making the games kill you off like that was so that you'd put another quarter in. Don't get me wrong, it was a good game, but its retarded difficulty level absolutely does NOT make it the cream of the crop.