Reviews: Pu Li Ru La

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Come for the weirdness, stay for the game
Though Pu Li Ru La is worth playing for the weirdness alone, it is also a decent game in its own right. The graphics are excellent, with vibrant and detailed backgrounds, large, well-animated sprites, and a host of effects such as shadows, reflections, and Mode 7-esque setpieces. All the music in the game is catchy and well-composed, with great instrumentation. The gameplay is a bit on the repetitive side, but it is a simple beat-em-up, so what else should you expect?

There are a large variety of enemies, each with their own strategies for defeating them. You play as the boy Zac or the girl Mel, who do not differ in any way other than visually. The game has a jump button - not that you really need to jump in this game, a normal attack button, which is a basic bash with whatever your character is holding, and a special attack button, which spawns a random helper who cleans up the playfield for you, while you remain invincible. The game gives you only three special attacks per life, and you will be needing all of them - this game is quite hard. There are often more than 10 enemies on screen at a time, and because the playfield spans 2 dimensions, it is occasionally tough to line up with an enemy to hit it. And there's no mercy invincibility, so when you get hit, you get hit several times. Expect to use lots of credits by the final boss.

Although the game is quite short, especially compared to console beat-em-ups, it's still a blast to play, and it means that beating the game isn't a chore at all, given enough credits. In short, this game is great for playing every now and then, and a must have for any emulated arcade library. Physical PC Bs for this game are extremely rare, and complete cabinets are practically nonexistent, so if you are an arcade collector and can find a board for a decent price, get it.
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