I was struggling for some time at around 1,49X,XXX and finally broke through, getting to the end boss of stage 6 and eating it very quickly. Right now, I am pretty addicted to this one - lots of fun, not nearly as hard as I remember it. There are 8 total stages and I have credit fed to the end a few times now, learning the later stages and trying to get the hang of the end boss.
I forgot to mention it in my previous posts, but the music here is done by none other than Manabu Namiki of Cave/Basicscape fame and its really good. I know now why i like this game - its because its fantastic. Not triple A, first party fantastic, but damn close.
I suppose as one gets older, they gain some perspective and are willing to try things they previously thought were a bad idea or just plain crappy or maybe, just something they didn't fully understand till they got older. This is the case with NMK and UPL titles for me. Back in the day, I just thought they were crappy, Toaplan-esque rip-offs and didn't really have much to offer. As I get older, I found that I am really starting to dig some NMK and UPL games - especially Big Bang/Thunder Dragon 2.
There is most definitely something great about this game, mostly in the gameplay system (simple) and dedication it requires to get good at it as the bullets are blue and can be hard to see from time to time depending on the enemy and back ground. No wonder Cave uses so many pink ones.
I kept finding myself over the past few years going back to this game and having a blast with it, even though I couldn't figure out why, but I definitely dig this game. It's fun and hard and the game itself is actually 8 stages, which is pretty impressive. There are also a few fun things about the game if you have never played it like the text at the beginning of each stage being destructible and if you kill certain groupings of ships fast to get bonus enemies at the end of certain stages worth a bunch of points.
This high score isn't a world away from my last one, but its worthy of an update as it was set getting to stage 5, even though I had no bombs and ate it pretty quickly. I do have a set of roms coming to convert this pcb to the Thunder Dragon 2 version, but as far as I can tell, there are actually no differences in the game itself, which will make it a bit of just a title screen swap, but we shall see. I really do like this game and its making me want to track down a copy of Gunnail and a few others and give them a run, especially as pcb prices seem to be getting up there.