Pulstar is a horizontally-scrolling, ‘bullet hell’ style shooter developed by Aicom and published in arcades for the Neo Geo MVS in 1995.
And – let’s face it – it’s also a blatant rip-off of Irem‘s R-Type too. That said: it’s not a bad rip-off at all, arguably eclipsing R-Type in terms of graphics.
Gameplay in Pulstar is (as you would expect, after my intro) very similar to R-Type. You basically pilot a spaceship that can power up its weapons, and can also attach weapons pods to the front and rear of the ship. This acts both a shield, and also a “remote smashing device” (meaning: you can shoot it out to destroy things). The aim is to make it from one end of a level to the other, and then prevail in a boss fight.
All of the eight different levels have a detailed biomechanoid/technological feel to them and the alien enemies seem to mimic anything from the insect world that we find disgusting.
Playable single, or two-player simultaneous, Pulstar is a nice-looking shooter that is fun to play for a while.
More: Pulstar on Wikipedia