Pulseman is a 2d platformer in a futuristic setting a bit like Mega Man, Astro-boy, or Pokemon. The game was actually developed by gamefreak before they hit the Pokemon formula. You can actually see some similarity between Pulseman's design and some pokemon...I wonder if it is coincidence.

First things first - the gameplay. It's very good, I think. The basics are all here: Pulseman can run, jump, punch, and kick. This is one of those games where the basic mechanics just feel right, no jankiness here. Pulseman has a few other abilities too, including a jump kick, dashing, and the main gymick which is that he can build up energy by walking and then expel it by bouncing across the screen like a superball. It's a lot of fun and makes for some interesting puzzle-like situations (no actual puzzles though, sorry). You get to tackle the games levels in groups of three, in any order you like. The levels themselves are all linear in that you go from left to right, or top to bottom, but there are little secrets tucked away and sometimes multiple paths (but don't expect much). Considering the overall quality here, Pulseman really feels more like a SNES or GBA game rather than a Mega Drive game.

On the topic of quality - Aren't the graphics nice? A lot of the levels have a kind of anime-like look to them, especially the first stage. Actually, the setting somewhat reminds me of Pokemon. This is one of those "full package" games where the graphics are just good from start to finish. Check out the cool level select screen, with pictures of each country (I might have taken some inspiration from this). There's some pretty big character art in this game too, like in the news reports which act as cutscenes. Without spoiling too much, large character art also features in the gameplay, which seems to be a rare thing to see. I'd rate this game up there (if not above) with the Sonic games or games like Ristar, in terms of graphical prettiness.

I really was hoping to say more about it but I finished this game months ago and didn't save my work last time I tried writing this review. I do remember that one reason I didn't talk about the story was that the cutscenes are all in japanese. Apart from that, this game is so English-friendly I actually forgot it was a Japan-only release.

Overall, I highly recommend this game. It's a shining example of a 2D platformer. It's a shame people don't talk more about games like this instead of Mario or Metroid...well, I will have to review more in the future.