Played through Pop'N Twinbee [Super Famicom].
As usual, I played on easy mode. I still had to make a couple of attempts to clear it, but the game didn't give me too much grief aside from the final boss. And I had to switch to a control pad instead of my arcade panel because the button-configuration was cramping my hands.
The visuals here are some of the best I've yet encountered in the 'cute-em-up' sphere, surpassing the likes of Parodius and Cotton, and contending with my personal favorite in the genre: Star Parodier. Pop'N Twinbee also features the same great powerup-juggling, enemy-weaving gameplay I enjoyed in its 8-bit predecessor: Stinger (minus the horizontally-scrolling stages).
My biggest qualm with this title is the sheer amount of mechanics you have to manage all at the same time. You already know that you're in for a glut of hazards when a shoot-em-up gives you a lifebar, and on top of that you need to dispatch enemies with your standard shot, deflect projectiles with a close-range punch, and bomb ground-targets - all while juggling the iconic Twinbee bell powerups. It's a lot. But once you find a suitable button-mapping configuration and get a handle on the upgrade-scheme, there's a worthwhile game here for sure.