Retro Game of the Day! Last Resort
Last Resort by SNK for the Neo Geo Uber-console, released in 1992.
I remember when Neo Geo was this brand-new console that seemed like something only the very rich spoiled kids would ever be able to afford. I was actually a little angry that EGM magazine ran reviews of these games alongside the likes of 8-Bit titles like... Kabuki Quantum Fighter, as the gulf in quality between the two was just staggering.
Last Resort was your typical R-Type-inspired fare. You have a lone ship (or 2, if you decided to go co-op) up against endless squadrons of mutants, robots, and monsters out to destroy humanity. Whereas "Type,"as I like to call it, was set against a more interstellar backdrop, Last Resort places you smack in the middle of post-apocalyptic futuristic world. Very beautifully rendered, and absolutely intriguing.
Like R-Type, you would power up your vessel with one of several weapons systems, which involved an invincible "force capsule" which served as a secondary unit for your ship. You could use it as a shield, or you could charge it up and send an aggressive burst-attack in whichever direction you chose. This becomes absolutely critical to use properly, because the game's design depends on it - otherwise, you will die, a lot.
Last Resort is a beautiful game which still holds up very well today. It provides a fair amount of challenge, I've spent last hour playing a few rounds and making my thumbs sore and cussing some bloody murder at the game. Even all these years later I can still say it's one of the quality shooters out there which, unfortunately, never really made a name for itself due to a number of reasons (niche system, niche developer, etc). If you dig shooters in the vein of R-Type you will appreciate the attention to detail included in this game, the not-too-subtle (but not overbearing) nods to that game as well - and you will also enjoy having your butt handed to you, over and over again. You need to check this one out.