Released only in arcades, R-Type Leo deviates from the normal R-Type style by removing the use of both the Force and the Wave Cannon. The new weapons are Force Bits (later identified in R-Type Final as "Psy Bits") which carry similar firepower to the main ship. The ship weapons are:
Red - Claw Laser - a powerful horizontal laser beam and horizontal traverse wave
Blue - Mirror Laser - fires multiple, ricocheting lasers.
Green - Search Laser LRG - fires semi-homing lasers that can bend at 90° angles.
Unlike previous Bit Devices, the Psy Bits are capable of firing forward or backwards (the direction is controlled by movement of the ship itself). Finally, the Wave Cannon is replaced by a "Bit Shot", where the Psy Bits detach from the ship and collide with the nearest enemy at high velocity. The Bits can only do this for so long before running out of energy, and must be recalled to the ship to recharge.
R-Type Leo is much more forgiving than its predecessors because if a player dies, the ship will immediately return instead of starting at the beginning of the level or checkpoint. If the ship has Psy Bits when he died, a laser crystal will be dropped and the player can get his psy bits (but not their weapon) back.
R Type Leo is the first game in the series to allow 2 players to play simultaneously.
Source: Wikipedia, "R-Type Leo", available under the CC-BY-SA License.