Everything about Hydorah screams "awesome."
Yeah, the game itself rocks, and I'm not just saying that because A) it's an indie and B) for some insane reason, it's free. Locomalito pumped three years into this bad boy, and it shows. What's more, high-res posters, box art, and even an instruction manual were created for Hydorah; this is how you win my heart.
To paint you a picture of what we're dealing with here, the developer compares the game to "Gradius, Castlevania, or R-Type" and "other classics treated worse by the time: Turrican, Enforcer, Space Manbow, Hellfire, Guardian, Hydefos, and Armalyte." I don't even know what some of those are!
"Think of this game as a bastard son of the classics: it has the genes, but it's not a clone of one or other. It has a lot of original content, so I hope you understand my intentions when you also notice something familiar with the old times." Oh, we do (we do, right guys?).
On a good year, I play, oh, three or so new shmups; my pride can only take so much torture, you know. From what little of Hydorah I have managed to fumble through, I'm ecstatic this is one of the lucky few I'll get around to playing -- really playing -- this year. You should do the same.
Freeware Game Pick: Hydorah (Locomalito) [IndieGames]