Cannon Spike is a classic 2D shooter. However, it is not a ship based shooter such as Gunbird 2, or Gradius. Rather, Cannon Spike plays more like the arcade classic Smash TV. The object is to wipe out all the enemies in a level, until you reach a mid boss and eventually the end of level boss. Those are very simple play mechanics that have been used for years, how can anyone screw this up? Easy, the same way Psikyo screwed up Gunbird 2. The levels in Cannon Spike, just like in Gunbird are far too short. At least 5 times shorter then they should be. It shouldn't take anyone more then 2 or 3 minutes tops to blast through each of the games 9 levels. Each level is pretty much only a screen and a half, to 2 screens big. All you do is blast 10 or so weak enemies, face a mid boss, then fight the level boss.
Now for the characters. This is perhaps the coolest area of the game. You get a nice assortment of Capcom characters here including Cammy and Charlie from Street Fighter, Arthur from Ghouls N Ghost, BB Hood from Darkstalkers, Mega Man and a few original characters. Each character has a standard and power shot, a close in attack and a super move which you can use a limited number of time. Each character has some slightly different attacks, but mostly all mostly feel the same. It all pretty much comes down to a matter of preference. You however, wont really want to use much else besides your close in attack, as its insanely powerful in making quick work of enemies.
You would figure since the game itself is so short, and has so little depth to it, that there would be a few playmodes here to extend the games life. Nope, all your going to get here is the standard arcade mode, which can be played with 1 or 2 players and an art gallery. Wow! Nothing like giving the buyer their moneys worth. I don't care if this game was released at $30 or as some download games for pc. Look at Le Mans, that was released at $30. That game was top notch in every way and I would have gladly paid twice the price.