Japan is well-known for its eccentric commercials and their love for lycra and spandex on their tokusatsu superheroes; and they have taken their idiosyncrasy a step further and fashioned a lycra-donning superhero, whose duty is to quench the citizens’ thirst with Pepsi—Pepsiman! And yes, they made a video game based on this soda superhero.
Like Tony the Tiger from Frosted Flakes, Pepsiman serves as Japan’s official licensed mascot. It’s a shame Pepsiman never reached the other side of the world, or even expanded beyond the Pacific side of Japan because the West is losing out on a worthwhile advertisement.
And there have been countless console games based on licensed advertisements and, almost all of them, do not compare to Pepsiman’s unyielding explosion of unconditional satisfaction. Take, for example, Burger King’s Sneak King, I did not even bother to invest 5 minutes into it before I popped it out of the disc tray; and now, it is probably shoved beneath broken controllers, collecting dust.
Just a little backstory between me and Pepsiman: my adventures with this Japanese mascot started when I was still a padawan in video games and my fingers lacked the dexterity I have now. Walking into the living room, I remember my older brother wide-eyed and slightly perspiring, standing in front of the television playing none other than Pepsiman. I kept my eyes glued to Pepsiman and five seconds later, I collapsed on the ground laughing. The amount of absurdity happening in the video game crucified me into a non-stop chain of choking cackles and pig-snorting giggles.
C’mon, whoever is not tickled by the occasional soprano-pitch wailing, “Pepsiman! Pepsiman!” must not have a soul—well, that’s not for me to judge. I digress. Overall, Pepsiman’s cheesy quirks and easy-to-follow mechanics definitely deserves a high-five for a licensed advertisement game.
Almost similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, Pepsiman’s objective is to run from Point A to Point B whilst avoiding obstacles and collecting treasure points, except the obstacles are flying sofas, banana peels, and angry drivers, and instead of rings, Pepsiman gathers Pepsi cans.
All in total, there are 8 stages in the game; totalling a collection of 800 Pepsi cans. For each can Pepsiman collects his health bar increases along with the countdown timer; giving Pepsiman more leverage.
In most stages of the game, the perspective is played behind-the-back of Pepsiman. Take note, Pepsiman does not stop running and he is constantly on the move. Have you ever played Crash Bandicoot: Warped where Coco Bandicoot is riding her pet tiger on the Great Wall of China? Yeah. Pepsiman is very much identical to that.
The ’90s truly loved their platform games and Pepsiman rightfully belongs in that sphere of love.
With that said, if you grew up in the ’90s and missed out on this, it’s never too late to quench that gap with Pepsiman!