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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Popful Mail

A sidescrolling platformer-RPG by Falcom, released not long after the controversial third Ys game that used the same format (Wanderers from Ys).  Popful Mail at least feels a bit more polished than that game, with some after-hit invincibility and sharper animations, and, in the Sega CD version, full voiceover and animated cutscenes.  It does still have some frustrating elements, though - your attack range is short, enemies often attack from angles you can't easily avoid, and bosses are often difficult to hit and inflict heavy damage, making them very frustrating to fight.  Being localized by Working Designs also ensures that there's a lot of rather childish humor and silly accents throughout, which may grate on some.  They also made the game even more difficult than its Japanese counterpart for no particular reason, so its frustration factor is compounded even further.  If you can play it for cheap, give it a go, but I don't really think it's worth the bloated asking price most Sega CD games go for these days.

Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: Nihon Falcom, NEC, Working Designs
Released: 1991
Platforms: PC-8801, PC-9801, Sega CD, Super Famicom, PC Engine CD, Mobile, PC