Compile is well known for making excellent shoot'em ups and of all the ones I've played, Gun-Nac is my favourite. This is not a game I played as a kid. I only tried it for the first time within the past year, but I was immediately hooked and I now consider it one of my favorites on the NES.
Aside from very solid controls and a variety of weapons and power-ups, the thing that stands out most is the amazing, somewhat bizarre, environments. Each stage has a theme that's a little different than your average shmup. In one, you battle sentient vegetables, while in another you're up against currency. Boss battles that include giant robot rabbits and Maneki Neko are a nice change from battling other spaceships.