I just picked up a copy and started playing it. So far it doesn’t seem half bad, though the levels and bosses (especially the bosses) seem to be rehashings of the original.
The lack of combo weapons doesn’t really bother me, since you get 3 damn good ones at all times. You can also switch back and forth between fixed shot and free shot just by using a different fire button. Every weapon has an interesting special attack, including a huge rapid fire cannon, a gigantic explosion, and a big, green homing flame.