Played the first level and a half of Solar Shifter EX. Maybe I'll warm up to the game later on, but as is, if you're a casual fan, I'd probably give it a pass.
Playing the level, the one nice thing is, if the game kicks your ass, there are checkpoints throughout the level and you have unlimited lives. With how often I was dying, it was welcome. But I don't know if it's because I don't know the patterns for this game, or if it's because of the chaotic feel plus the playing field view.
Which brings me to my main complaint. The way your ship moves / rotates. One moment you could be going straight, but all of a sudden the level makes a 30 degree turn one direction and your ship is all cockeyed and locked in that direction. Maybe it's just a matter of learning the bullet spreads but I feel the rotation sort of messes with you a bit and makes things harder than it needs to be. Compared to Under Defeat where you ship rotates on a 45 degree axis, but you can at least control the way your ship moves at any given point.
There's also an upgrade system, although reading into it, I'd call it more of a progression system than anything else. After the first level, you gain a secondary weapon. I believe future upgrades are just an upgrade in power, and no new weapons are obtained. However, there's only one button to shoot. So while you may have a second weapon, it's more of a power boost than a legit secondary weapon. And enemies (from what I played) seem very weak, including bosses. Only problem is, you're weak too. You may have a life bar, but if you're caught by a laser beam or in a bad stream of bullets, it may as well be a one hit kill in some instances.