Yeah, I think it's a little unfair to compare this to games outside of this genre. As a "Contra" style game I think it's done extraordinarily well -- both on the programming and the art end. I get a little frustrated when the mouse wanders outside of the Flash movie, but other than that it's a kick ass game with good controls.
On a side note to all you pixel artists/programmers looking to recruit people for projects... seeing one level from a game like this is a great way to spur interest. It shows your dedication to the project and to your craft. After playing a few levels I would love to work with DayDream on a project.
Excellent freaking game. Every bit of the pixel art and game design is flawless. Extra props for the handy tutorial.
One minor problem I had while playing was that when I kept moving my mouse outside the Flash movie while firing away and I would open all sorts of links.