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"Puffy P.S. I Love You" was developed by Exit in 1999 and published by Epic which is part of Sony Music. The game is a Japanese PlayStation exclusive. Puffy is a band which consists of Ami and Yumi. In Japan they are popular and they are also active in North America. In Europe they are relatively unpopular. Here we know them for the Puffy cartoon made by Cartoon Network and the two video games which spawned from it. In Western countries they have to operate as "Puffy AmiYumi" as the American rapper Puff Daddy filed a cease and desist letter against them for the usage of the name Puffy.
The game consists of four segments of which two use the Namco G-con (or as others call it Guncon) light gun. The other two segments are a video gallery and a video clip maker. The latter allows the player to make two Puffy video clips by choosing from one of three cameras positions at all time to compose a unique video. One video in the video collection is notable for the appearance of a Jimmy Hendrix impersonator who gets intoxicated by Puffy with a psychedelic mushroom.
The game has a one point calibration feature. This works pretty well and gives the game together with the G-con a nice precision allowing for usage of the actual sights. One gun segment consists of a shooting gallery of mini games which are held in front of a full motion video clip showing Puffy performing a live version of their song "Ta Ra Ran". The aim is to shoot red cans while avoiding blue cans. If certain criteria are met the mini games carry on. Otherwise a game over message is shown and the game goes back to the main menu. In the first mini game cans jump from the bottom of the screen to the top. In the next level the player has to shoot cans in order of their size. After that the player is limited to a single shot per round and has to hit a can which was fired by a cannon. The next mini Game has a lot of wiggling red cans which have to be shot within a time limit while avoiding a single blue can. In the last level the player shoots a series of robust cans placed in order of decreasing size front of each other within a certain time. If the player succeeds a video of Puffy is shown congratulating the player. The second shooting game shows a filing cabinet. The player has to shoot the doors open to look for rolls of film during a limited time. Every roll found will unlock some photos of Puffy.
The video quality is outstanding for it's time. I suppose the videos are encoded in Motion JPEG which is far superior to the composite video format found on VHS and even better than the MPEG encoding of VCDs. Although DVDs were already around at this time the video marked was still dominated by VHS. Owning this game allowed fans to watch the Puffy music videos in a quality not available before. Not many copies were made and as for the popularity of Puffy the game went out of print very fast.
Personally I like the game. Of course this is not a good game in the classical sense and owning it is just advisable for Puffy fans or die hard light gun collectors. But for its oddity I had quite some fun exploring it. Furthermore I really appreciate the extra effort they went through in order to license the outstanding Namco G-con. I am sure I wouldn't have enjoyed the game as much with exclusive support of generic light guns. Proudly I can say that "PuffyのP.S. I Love You" is the most obscure light gun game in my collection.