Japanese developer Compile – who made Aleste – has a history of producing classic shoot ’em ups. This one was released for the Sega Master System in 1988.
Graphically, Aleste is quite marvellous, although the Master System colour palette is quite ugly (those bright greens make your eyes bleed). At times there is some distracting sprite tearing (especially on the numeric score in the top left of the screen – caused by too many sprites on one line of the display, resulting in temporary graphical dropouts), but otherwise everything is beautifully drawn and animated.
Gameplay-wise Aleste is hard but fair – like all of Compile‘s games. It has bosses and sub-bosses and waves with patterns, but doesn’t go as deep as say a Cave shooter does. If you know what I mean.
Definitely one of the best (if not the best) vertically-scrolling shooters on the Sega Master System though. Overshadowed a little by the superior MSX2 version.
More: Aleste on Wikipedia