Let's get this out of the way right now. I love shooters, horizontal and vertical. The 16-bit era had some of the best shooters ever made with resurgence later on the Saturn and Dreamcast but that's another story.
During the TurboGrafx's short life span in the US it was graced with Blazing Lazers otherwise known as Gunhed on the PC-engine. Every shmup fan will tell you that it is not only one of the best games on the system but one of the best shooters ever made.
From the bright title screen and funky music the games first level starts off fast. There is no story, cut scenes, or introduction. Just you against an alien force hell-bent on your destruction. The backgrounds whiz by but the enemies ease in nicely allowing you to get comfortable. It's pretty simple stuff, one button to fire and the other to release a super bomb. When the weapon upgrades start to come down you get a wave shot, electricity, guided missiles', and more. Each weapon as well as your shield can be enhanced by collecting purple orbs on the screen. The game forces you to choose what weapon works best against the swarm of enemies. This is also the downfall because anyone whose played Contra or Castlevania know that avoiding an unwanted weapon.
Blazing Lazers was a good testament to the graphical capabilities and the color palette of the Turbo. The backgrounds range from giant warships to space glaciers, pyramids, alien caverns, and bubble realms. Enjoy the scenery because the difficulty ramps up on stage 5 when you'll find yourself avoiding Galaga like waves of the enemy, gun turrets, pyramids blowing their tops and bullet spitting heads. The final stages are borderline controller throwing. There's nothing like having your weapons maxed out only to be hit by a stray bullet and have to face the boss with minimal firepower. It does get hard but it never feels impossible and remains fun to the end.
The TurboGrafx's claim to fame that most people recognize right away are Splatterhouse and Bonk but Blazing Lazers adds to this list of must play/own titles for the system.