That ASCII control pad saved my monstrous hands from cramps and thumb blisters during SFII marathons. Phalanx might have the most parallax I have ever seen in a SNES game, did that first level have seven layers?
I loved the dissection of Space Megaforce. I can't stand Gradius 4 or Super R-Type, the slowdown in these games really disappointed me over SNES shooters. U.N. Squadron at least doesn't have much slowdown. Overall I consider the SNES library as much a wash for Shooters as I do for Beat-em Ups.