People who know my gaming habits know that I game in what I call "itches". I'll get a gaming itch in the form of a particular genre I feel I want to play, and I'll scratch it with my favorite game. For months, or at least a few sleep-deprived weeks.
For example, when last I got the RPG itch, I played the first Knights of the Old Republic for a solid week and a half. Delayed my graduation, KotOR did. (Well, that and some issues involving a hospital and a roommate, but I prefer to blame KotOR, since it's a funnier story). When I wanted to play a strategy game, I decided that I was going to play about 120 hours of Disgaea. So I did.
Usually, these itches come up every few months, and then stay scratched for a few years. For example, the last console RPG I really played before KotOR was Final Fantasy X in Japanese, which was around 2001 or so. The last strategy RPG I played before Disgaea was Shining Force III, which was long before that. I won't even tell you about the gap between Streets of Rage 2 and Dynasty Warriors 3...
Anyway, this rant is about my Shooter Itch. The last time it was scratched was in 1998 with Radiant Silvergun, one of the few Sega Saturn games I still own--and proudly so. I bought it when it was $50 and I'm keeping it, demmit). Six years later, and I still hook up my Saturn just to play Silvergun from time to time, just like I still have my Genesis plugged in so I can play Streets of Rage 2. And six years later, and I still sometimes wake up in a cold sweat from the sound of my own heartbeat--get to the last boss and you'll know what I mean.
Six years, and I haven't really played shooters much. I played Mars Matrix from time to time due to my roommate at the time loving the game, but I always went back to Silvergun once or twice every year, because the design was so great. I especially liked the part where you didn't have to run around grabbing power-ups, and could just play the game.
Yet a few months ago, some friends who follow the doujin game market (you know, stuff like the Tsukihime-based Melty Blood, the silly little Super Cosplay War Ultra, and their ilk) recommended a shooter called Touhou Eiyoshou - Imperishable Night to me. It was a remarkably complex game by Team Shanghai Alice, and it was hard as all-get-out, too. I was intrigued, but it still wasn't convinced that I'd play it very much.
Enter Touhou Youyoumu - Perfect Cherry Blossom, a prior effort from the team. Much simpler than Imperishable Night, and just right for my purposes. Oh, and still insanely hard. I've been working on it for about a month now, and still haven't managed to beat the game on Easy mode with one credit. I've gotten riiight up to the end, but I haven't quite touched the promised land. I'll do it some day, I swear. As long as Sister Prismriver and her band don't take out too many of my lives before Youmu comes along with her ability to slow time.
Anyway, given that I've been splitting my time between City of Heroes and Perfect Cherry Blossom over the past few months, I guess you could say that I recommend you find Perfect Cherry Blossom from any place willing to send you doujin games. It's good stuff.