But how to expand the appeal without disemboweling what made the genre - heavy in complex flight patterns and bullet storms - both unique and dizzyingly satisfying?
After soaring through the skies this week ahead of the game's launch today, we're deeply appreciative as to how both companies managed to retain both philosophies.
But first, the view.
On a purely technical point, the game looks wondrous. Cascades of colours, and smaller details like expelled shells falling from your ship, and the switch of light and shadow as you move between open areas to caves is amazing.
From the elegance and simplicity of the menus to the complex exaggeration of the bosses, there's a great artistic balance, despite radically different elements. Inspiration comes from many quarters, and communal participation provides stimulating scenarios and enemies at every level.
But best of all is when these art ideas play into game mechanics.
It happens in trap-filled corridors, environmental changes, or in the various parts that make up each boss, forcing you to change the strategy. In one level you're soaring through the clouds one minute and plunge into the sea the next, ship turned submersible, attackers altering to fit the new environment.