Naturally, Super Aleste is no different from its NES, Master System, PC Engine, and MegaDrive forebears. The plot is some nonsense about a metal sphere emerging from the depths of space to lay waste to the Earth, and only one ship can succeed where the combined might of humanity's air force and space fleet have failed. Thankfully, the plot is the only banality where this game is concerned. You ship flies up the speed with endless waves of baddies flying at you kamikaze-stylee, occasionally letting off a bullet here and there. To complicate matters there are various gun, missile, and laser emplacements that get really annoying as the game wears on. And come the end you can find quite imaginative and unusual bosses hanging out and concerned with stymieing your progress.
Unfortunately, this is a mechanic you're going to have to get used to because some of the levels are very tough. The one that used to drive me to distraction was the graveyard of humanity's battle fleet. Not content with kicking our asses, the dastardly aliens have booby trapped and turned those ships' weapons against you. Sauntering along and having a huge laser beam appearing from nowhere to slice you up is not helpful. Nor is blasting away right next to a bit of scenery which then decides to explode. It's tough, but not impossibly tough. A little bit of skill, patience, and copious smart bomb usage is enough to plow through.
Overall, Super Aleste stands out from the pack as being one of only two really good vertical shooters on the SNES, and is the apogee of a genre that has long become a niche pursuit. But for unthinking, reflex- sharpening, instinct-driven gameplay, the sunny old 16-bit Nintendo has few that can top this.