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Thread Author: Kazuya_UK
Thread ID: 759
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There are 36 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 17801 times.  There's also files attached.
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Pulstar Discussion
Note: This was a previous game of the week discussion thread!

^ Click for full version

Genre: Shoot 'em up
Meg Count: 305 MB
Players: 1 or 2 player
Released on: Home/MVS/CD

Brief Description:

Developed by Aicom (who don't exist anymore), Pulstar was released in 1995. Without a doubt, this is one of the more challenging shoot 'em ups on the Neo Geo; it's slower paced than a lot of games, but it requires lots of forward planning. You'll need to memorise a lot of enemy patterns, but there's more to it than just that: you'll need a lot of skill to complete the game that's for sure! It also features some very good pre-rendered graphics, and a wonderful soundtrack.

At first glance Pulstar does bear more than a passing resemblance to Irem's R-Type series, especially with the shield that attaches to the front of the ship which is very similar. It's said that some ex Irem employees joined Aicom, which if true, would not be surprising.





One Life Walkthrough Stage 1:


There is unfortunately no sound on the above video, but go here if you would like to see the rest of the authors Pulstar videos!

Other media:

Pulstar music is now available in the Jukebox! Several tracks from the Neo Geo CD version have been added for your listening pleasure!

Link -->

So, let's discuss this game in detail. Have you played this game before or is it a title you have missed out on with it being one of the older titles, and do you have the cart/CD in your collection? Also, how do you rate the game for the era it was released in, and has it stood the test of time well?

Please vote in the Pulstar poll to your right! -->

Past GotW Discussions:

#1 Magician Lord -->

#2 Nam 1975 -->
Edited by Kazuya_UK on 15. February 2008 18:23
I love this game and used to own a full MVS kit, but alas I sold it on and completely regretted the decision within a week. It's one of the best shooters available on this system, but even to this day I can't decide which I prefer between this and Blazing Star, but although I used to think Blazing Star just about edged it, I think I prefer Pulstar now, but it's incredibly close. One advantage this has is the lack of a cutesy voice shouting "BONUS!!!" every five seconds! Wink

So, who here has managed to complete this game? Due to the way continues work, with you being put back a bit when you die it can be very hard. I managed to do it a long time ago on an easier difficulty, but will have another go at it during the course of this week.

Love the soundtrack on this one and while I don't often sit and listen to the music outside of the game, it's the perfect accompaniment to the action in game. I've added 4 tracks from the CD version of the game to the Jukebox by the way Smile

Yet another game that's gonna make you cry for mommy after about ten minutes. LOL This game seriously kicks my ass - I've never beaten the second boss. Looks like I'll have to get my shmup chops in order tonight!

Before I start though, I have to say this has one of the sweetest intros. I often leave it in my 2 slot just for that alone.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
its a very very very hard game :sweat: but fun to play Grin
Had a few plays of this and to be honest it's kicking my ass again although I'm improving quickly. I can get to stage 3 very easily (that 2nd boss isn't so bad once you know the pattern bp Smile), but even the first stage was kicking my ass because it's been a while since I last played it. A lot of the game does basically require that you memorise all the stages, and then make sure you don't get overrun because if you do then you're toast, and it can get quite frustrating seeing as it sets you back a little way when you die, rather than letting you continue from where you were. It would have taken away the challenge if it wasn't for that, so it's a better game for it.

I will get my Pulstar skills back during the course of this week! Grin

Edited by Kazuya_UK on 03. February 2008 18:42
I'm worse at this than I've ever been. Couldn't even get through level two (though I am using a keyboard).
It took me no time at all to start kicking things and swearing. I have such a love/hate relationship with Pulstar it isn't even funny.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Man, I'm not a big fan of Shoot 'em ups (I really dig the Touhou series though) but Pulstar and Blazing Star always interested me, so I downloaded Pulstar today and played it. Damn, this game is tough! I really gotta play it some more though, cause I can't even beat the first boss! But I do think it's a great game and I'll be checking out Blazing Star as well.

Anyways, I got a question about the difficulty. I've played the home version on 1 and 4, but I don't really notice a lot of difference. Anyone can fill me in about this?
Awesome game but way too difficult for me, more so because I really suck at Shmups...I do love them though (especially Cave shmups). Great graphics which are very detailed and also everything is nicely animated. Music is nice, but I do think that the sound quality isn't that great...the music could have sounded a bit clearer than it does now.
My arcade stuff

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!"
Midian wrote:
Anyways, I got a question about the difficulty. I've played the home version on 1 and 4, but I don't really notice a lot of difference. Anyone can fill me in about this?

You actually raise a pretty good question. I've been playing it on difficulty 1, Which I've never done before, and I'm doing worse than ever. What is up with that?
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Love this game :-) The only real flaw in it from my point of view is the large amount of slow-downs which can be very frustrating.

Otherwise the graphics and sound along with the gameplay pleases me every time I start it. Don't like the Neo Geo CD versions soundtrack though, the FM/PCM cartridge version is much better in my opinon.
Honestly, I've never played this game. Nice pre-rendered sprites and great music. I've only seen videos of this Although it reminds me alot of R-type just like Last Resort (Hopefully we'll cover that soon!) this is alot like a precursor to Blazing Star which is absolutely fantastic! Sadly, I probably won't get this since I only own the AES unless I get the MVS convertor
Pulstar is definitely my favourite Neo shoot 'em up. (I think it's the best on the system) Like everyone else has said it is extremely tough. To be honest I have not completed the game yet. I think the stage 2 boss is very difficult and although I did beat it eventually it took me a long time. It takes a hell of a lot of damage before you finally defeat it. I think it's a good thing that Pulstar is so difficult because it keeps you playing in the long term. Blazing Star is a bit too easy if you ask me.

The graphics and sound are both excellent and it's one of my favourite Neo soundtracks. I have this game on Neo CD so I sometimes pop it into my Hi-Fi to listen to the music. The music is quite dramatic and really adds to the atmosphere in the game.

Like Midian and Boogiepop I was also wondering about the difficulty settings because I normally play on level 1 but it didn't seem any less tough than on say level 4. I'm not going to play Pulstar this week instead I'm going to stick with Nam 1975 for the time being. I also wanted to say that Last Hope is similar to Pulstar so if you like this game you will probably like that as well.
Man, I don't have the patience for Pulstar. I think it's a great game, but for me it's just too tough. Can't even beat the first boss! I think I'll just pick this game up every now and then but I'm not gonna play it seriously, cause I'll just get pissed off in the end. Pfft

Also played some Blazing Star, is it by the same creators? It's really a lot different, really hectic at times and much easier. I really like it though. Thumbs Up
Ive got this on Neo cd,very hard indeed,but every time you play,u get a little further, i love it.
You know, I'm really not sure about the difficulty in Pulstar either, but I owuld imagine the change would be more to do with the amount of bullets fired at you and so on. I'll have a mess with it and see if I can figure the differences.

Eightman: welcome to the forums! Smile Thumbs Up

I need to sell my copy of Pulstar. It just pretty much just caused me to destroy my keyboard. A game this "fun" I should simply avoid.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Ouch, what happened dude?

edit: ok, I am done with stage 3 now, and feel pretty comfortable getting through the first 3 stages. I forgot how much I loved the boss on stage 3, but I have to say that the distance the game puts you back when die at this point is pretty damn annoying.

If you want to be really cheap, and if you do play it on an emulator, then use save states! I did finish it on the MVS before though when I had the kit, and I didn't have that luxury then. Can't believe how much my skills have deteriorated since then! Shock

Edited by Kazuya_UK on 05. February 2008 20:30
I'm sure you can guess. I sometimes do bad, thoughtless things when I'm angry and it was the closest thing at hand whilst playing. Thus, the destruction.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Ouch, not good! I must admit I've hurled a pad at the wall before, and my bro has disintegrated an expensive optical mouse... some games can get you frustrated. I think not playing Pulstar for a while might be a good idea dude!

FUCK YEA! Spent ages repeatedly playing stage 5 so I could perfect my tactics on it. Finally I think I have it all sorted out, so I'm pretty much ok with the first 5 stages now. The boss on stage 5 is actually really easy compared to the rest of the stage, the only difficult part (provided you are fully powered up) is the weird green sperm type lasers (!) it fires at you. Other than that, just keep blasting and it's not too bad at all.

The only part about this game that I dislike (and I'm starting to remember this now), is that it's quite unbalanced when you die. If you can keep going without dying, and keep all your power ups, then the game is a lot easier (of course, it's still a massive challenge though!). If you die and restart from a checkpoint however, it can be absolute hell to get past certain parts with a totally bog standard ship.I wish that they had at least started you up with the smaller shield or something after dying, because it would still be a challenge, just less frustrating. You have to completely alter your tactics when you die sometimes...

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