Zed Blade may not be very original, but it is fun enough to stay afloat, if only barely.
Much like every other space shooter you've every played, Zed Blade doesn't have much of a story, so much as it has a set of clich? elements used and reused. You are the Earth's only hope (or so it would seem), and that unfortunate act of God has you hurdling through eight separate levels. Each level is unique, though not extremely interesting. They are all based on various portions of space, including Mars, and asteroid belt, the surface of Jupiter, and even the moon ... but then the game takes a twist into the bazaar, taking you to the front lines of the solar system, Valkyrie, and Yggdrasil (I'm not kidding). Each level is a bit sluggish, though, and though there are tons of enemies to fight off, it doesn't actually become difficult until the last two levels.
The characters are slightly more interesting. You get your choice of three characters, each with their own attributes, plus you get to customize your weapon system. You get a choice of three Front Attacks, three Rear Attacks, and three missile attacks. While this doesn't make up for the dullness of the levels, it is a step in the right direction.
The bosses are especially troubling. While the levels may not be extremely interesting, they are infinitely better than the bosses here. None of the bosses go further than your generic run of the mill shooter. In fact, I would say the bosses here are worse than your run of the mill shooter. None are extremely interesting, and the only one that is interesting to look at is the GunStar Heroes-inspired Running Man Lunar Level boss!
But at the end of the day, Zed Blade is an enjoyable romp with some pretty darn good graphics, and an enjoyable interface. Well worth checking out and beating, but not going back to. Better than average.