Looking at the breakdown of what systems I've written about, I realized I've hardly written about Neo Geo Games, in spite of the fact I love the system. So, I randomly chose a Neo Geo game that I had never played before, and sadly I got Ghost Pilots. While the system doesn't have a lot of bad games, it does have a lot of competent, though forgettable, titles. This is definitely one of those. There isn't anything particularly wrong with Ghost Pilots, it just isn't anything special.
While Art of Fighting is SNK's take Street Fighter, Ghost Pilots is SNK's 1942. It's not a perfect analogy, but whatever. Close enough. In this game, you control a seaplane, which I guess is the thing that is supposed to differentiate this game from all the other military-themed vertical-scrolling shooters out there. That's right, the only difference between this game and any other one like it is the method by which the plane takes off and lands. You know, for all those times you do that in a shooter. To be fair, it does take off at the beginning of the game, and I assume that if you beat the game you get to see it land, but don't quote me on that.
I don't have much to say about the mechanics of the game. It is your typical shooter, with power-ups and bombs and bosses. The movement seems slow, but it's not like it's a bullet hell game, so it's not a huge deal. One interesting feature of the bombs is that they aren't of the usual “kill everything on screen” variety. It is a relatively small localized explosion, but it also acts as a shield by blocking enemy shots. This may be similar to some other title in the genre, but I'm not very into it, so I wouldn't know.
I can't really recommend this over any other shooter out there because it is basically just another of a million games like it. If I was choosing a game on the title screen alone, I might pick this because it has a grim reaper and the name Ghost Pilots gives me the false hope that the game would be some weird paranormal-themed shooter or something.