Review by Dove_cut
A visually strange game.
Pu-Li-Ru-La is a game that garners attention due only to its strange world and characters.
Radishland (where this game takes place) has a very dream-like setting: the environments and enemies just don't make any sense because they're quite literally unnatural and their presence is illogical, things you would only see in a dream. Some enemies include: a piece of cut bamboo which hide this big nosed creature that shoots pellets out of its nose; big-beaked, ice skating teapots, and a clown puppet thing that dribbles its own head like a basketball with its body closely following it. The bosses are just as bizarre.
Story 7/10 - From the game's introduction.
"Here is a wonderland called "Radishland".
In each town, under a keeper's control, the time flow was correctly kept with a time key.
But, a bad man appeared and stole the time key to stop the time flow. The towns were attacked one by one, the time flow was stopped and they received damage.
An old man was impressed with a sense of danger and he called Zac and Mel. And he entrusted them with his invented magic stick in order to defend their town."
So what you do is go around the land to hunt down the guy who stole the time key to restore the flow of time, and generally speaking, bring back peace to the towns. There is quite a bit of dialogue between the protagonist and the characters of the world, which is nice because it gives you an idea of what's going on.
Gameplay 7/10 - Like most beat 'em up games, the controls are simple, and Pu-li is no different. One button to swing your staff, one button to jump, and another to use a devastating special attack. The special attack is peculiar because it randomly executes different attacks. Not only that, but they're just as unusual as the rest of the game (e.g. stampede of animals, purple dancing featureless/blob-like man). Controlling the hero isn't a hassle at all, very quick, smooth and responsive. There are no context sensitive actions like grabbing or pummeling an enemy while they're on the ground, nor are there any weapons to acquire.
Playing through the levels is mostly easy as most enemies will die from one standard hit, with only hordes of enemies and the uncommon stronger enemies that take more of a beating are things that will cause you some trouble. The boss difficulty is fair and typical, ramping up as you go through the game, the bosses life and the damage they deal increasing as you go further. Magic and health power-ups are uncommon, almost rare.
Graphics 8/10 - The art direction for the characters/enemies is simple but look nice, the sprites are big and expressive, and they are well animated. The environments, however, are not so pretty. On one particular stage, you'll see photo-realistic digitized graphics of people and things that although make the world what it is, it looks rough.
Sound 6/10 - There's nothing memorable or enjoyable about the music or sound effects, but it also is not annoying, so that's something. The music ranges from upbeat to slow, but overall it is light and goofy. Soft also describes the sound effects in this game, as you'll mostly be hearing the pretty sparkling sound of your staff as you swing it around and the quick, light jingle that comes when you defeat an enemy.
Play Time and Replayability 5/10 - This game is extremely short; maybe about 20 minutes worth of play time. Because of all the weird things you'll see, you might want to play this game again later to refresh your memory as to why this game was weird.
Final Recommendation - This is worth a try, just to see first hand what kind craziness this game has.
Play Time,Replay Value: 5/10
Conclusion: Pu-Li-Ru-La is a game you'll like only because of its locales and enemy design. Everything else is either fine or mediocre; nothing novel or extraordinary, but it is competent. Play the game if you feel like being amused.
Overall score (not an average): 7/10
Product Release: Pu-Li-Ru-La (JP, 12/31/91)
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