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August 28, 1995

Pulstar is a 1995 horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game published by SNK. Players control a starship in its mission to eradicate the Solar System of a hostile race of aliens that threaten mankind. Its gameplay has been compared to the R-Type series for its similar premise and mechanics; players must complete each of the game's eight stages by destroying constantly-moving formations of enemies and avoiding their projectiles. There are power-ups that can be collected that provide additional abilities for the player. It runs on the Neo Geo MVS arcade system board.

Developed by Aicom, Pulstar is the first Neo Geo game to incorporate 3D pre-rendered visuals. Its music was composed by Harumi Fujita and Yasuaki Fujita, both of whom previously worked for Capcom on the Ghosts'n Goblins series. Pulstar has been ported and re-released several times, seeing conversions for systems like the Neo Geo CD and digital storefronts such as the Wii Virtual Console. The game and its re-releases have received mixed reviews from critics, who felt its gameplay and graphics were good but its difficulty was too high and it lacked originality. A sequel named Blazing Star was released in 1998, which aimed to correct the flaws present in the original.

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