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Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (Arcade) artwork

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (Arcade) review

"In The Name Of The Moon, I'll Clobber You!"

Sailor Moon became one of the biggest Anime to debut in the 90s in the US and is still a hallmark when it comes to magical transforming girls fighting off evil, a show which is highly recognizable by Anime fans both male and female. Of course there would be videogames based on the popular animated series and an Arcade adaptation would not be far fetched. Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon debuted in arcade format in the mid-90s as a Final Fight brawler clone developed by Banpresto, a gaming company notorious for making games based on Anime.

You get to choose from each of the titular characters at the beginning of the game, although none of them are really that different gameplay wise nor have strengths or weaknesses compared to each other. Each character share the same move set with different sprite animations really. Players can also tap the two buttons together to perform a special "extra joy" attack to clear enemies from surrounding the characters and can also run by tapping twice on the controller in the desired direction. Characters can also collect crystals dropped by enemies to increase a super special move which gets more powerful depending on the number of crystals collected not unlike the likes of Golden Axe, which also accompanied by an stellar animation sequence depending on the character used to perform it.

The controls are fairly simple, walking in all 8 directions and two buttons for attacking and jumping plus a third button for the crystal attack. However gameplay wise it does not share the control's simplicity. You will find yourself surrounded by an enormous amount of enemies who do not hesitate on attacking relentlessly and boss fights can be pretty unforgiving as well.

You do not gain extra lives on the game although you can restore health by picking up food items. There are times when Tuxedo Mask aids the fight by tossing a red rose which can restore an ample amount of health when the going gets rough, although this is more of a nod to the Anime than something that can actually help on gameplay otherwise.

Perhaps the charm of playing the game is the nostalgic feel players get from watching the series and confronting characters from the show as you progress through. The battle culminates when you confront the vile Queen Beryl who loves to choke the life out of you before winning the game. The music in the game is pretty faithful to the series, although the tracks are not exactly replicated. The sounds and voices during gameplay are pretty well done as well.

One let down on the game is that is only two co-op. Banpresto had a chance to make this into a 4 player game given the fact you have the chance on selecting every main character from the series to begin with. As stated above the game gets a bit rough at times and having only two characters onscreen to play as can only do much about it. This of course is only nitpicking, but it is a feature that I would of loved had seen made on this game.

Overall Sailor Moon is a pretty good side scrolling brawler despite its difficulty spike between stages. Fans of the series will sure feel at home playing as the defenders of justice and the casual gamer will indeed have a good time beating up ugly space monsters using girls in short sailor skirts.

CptRetroBlue's avatar
Community review by CptRetroBlue (March 03, 2019)

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hastypixels posted March 06, 2019:

Arcade games are pretty - er - predictable when you've had some experience with them. "Here's some excitement! When you run out, jam some more coins in the slot for more!" Makes it sound as salacious as it was once thought, once upon a historical period. Even so, your review gets right to the point: This is more of what you are used to, in short skirts.

I was a dyed in the wool Sailor Moon fanatic - I won't get into what that created, here - so it was interesting to me that there was an arcade game on the subject. I've tried the SNES fighter, and if ever there was an excuse for milk, cookies and a nap, that's a good one. I can't imagine that the arcade version would be much more than that, except with fewer continues.
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CptRetroBlue posted March 09, 2019:

You are right of course, the Arcade is a fanservice quarter-muncher as any built before and after it :)

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