Few people could’ve predicted that a light-hearted anime platformer would become one of the most sought after hidden gems on the Sega CD.
Popful Mail is a 2D platformer with light RPG and adventure elements. Originally developed by Falcom and released on various Japanese exclusive platforms, Sega themselves decided to create their own port of the game to their Sega CD platform with Working Designs handling localization. This Sega CD version is the only localized version of Popful Mail and is significantly different than other ports. Featuring more of a focus on action and streamlining story elements to reduce backtracking, the Sega CD version of Popful Mail is generally regarded as being more fun than other versions more faithful to Falcom’s originals.
The gameplay involves you taking control of the titular heroine, Popful Mail, as she tries to make a living as a bounty hunter. All action takes place from a 2D side-scrolling perspective as you slash your way through the world hunting down the biggest bounty you can find. Along the way you can purchase armor and weapons to make battles easier (something really important in the harder localized version) and meet new party members with new weapons and abilities that can be switched between at any time.
Despite receiving critical praise at its release, Popful Mail for the Sega CD fell under the radar of the gaming public and has gained a cult following. This has caused the game to become a hidden gem and has made it difficult to find the game at an affordable price. Despite this, it’s still worth playing this game if you get the chance, either on real hardware or via emulation.
At one point, there were plans to create a Popful Mail anime. The anime never made it to air, however, there was at least a promotional video of the anime released which can be seen below, enjoy!