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This is a childhood favorite of mine. Its time to go back 20 something years later and take it out. I built a sanwa joystick like used in mad catz controllers for street fighter 4. This should help me out a lot.
Beat on day 7. The last level was so long and tough that I ended up using an NES advantage and turbo. I won but it was bittersweet. It takes around 9 minutes to play all the way through level 24 fighting: battleship, carrier, battleship, carrier, 2 flak cruisers and finally the yamato.
I was able to get nearly max p-38 but I stuck to the shotgun 2nd POW as my only weapon with charged lasers for the boss. Its very effective because it destroys bullets, (even the laser!!!) but it does reduced damage so it really becomes a pain to defeat bombers w/o laser.