Obscure Retro Gems: #1 – Pulseman

While chances are you’ve already heard of Game Freak – better known as the creators of the Pokémon franchise – you may not have heard of their 16-bit 1994 platformer, Pulseman.

Physically released exclusively in Japan for the Sega Megadrive, the game enjoyed only very limited exposure in North America via the Sega Channel; which itself wasn’t widely used. Europeans were left in the dark altogether. As a result, millions of gamers missed out on what was arguably one of the Genesis’s most innovative games.

Channeling electricity through his body both as a means of traversing the game’s futuristic levels at high speeds and as a weapon to fight a gang of cyber-terrorists, Pulseman must stand up against his own mad-scientist father for the sake of the free world.

While the game may have taken more than a hint of inspiration from Capcom’s Mega Man, this platformer excels in ways its chief rival could only dream of back in the early 90s. Its psychedelic level design, glorious cartoony visuals and unique controls make Pulseman a game well worth picking up.

Look out for a full review in the coming weeks. For now, we leave you with this short gameplay video:

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