Its merely a case of keeping things as simple as you can, and to your current level of skill and knowledge.
If you are beginner at writing games, or just breaking in with a new language, then a console-based game is an excellent idea. It ensures your knowledge of programming and of your chosen language is sound before you move on to more ambitious projects.
The next step, and a good exercise, would be to then convert your command-line game into a visual application game, with text boxes, buttons etc. If you are using an OOP language such as C++, Java or Visual Basic then you will find it easier to separate the UI code from the underlying game code. This is good because you then gain the ability to develop tools such as level editiors for more action based games when you come to them. Hard-coding a level, for an R-Type style game, is not something I would recommend!