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PlayStation Games You Never Played: Pepsiman

PlayStation Games You Never Played: Pepsiman

If ever there’s a legitimate excuse to wheel out the tired ‘oh ho ho those wacky Japanese!’ intro, then… actually no. There’s no excuse to use that intro. Ever. Mostly because it’s the cliche everyone lands on after they put on their cliche hat and climb into the cliche cannon to be fired into the middle of writing-about-something-Japanese cliche land.

Although did you know they eat blowfish sperm? LOL! Japan! LOL!

So anyway. In the mid-90s, Japan decided it needed a mascot for Pepsi to compete with Coca-Cola’s dominance. It’s easy to think that mascots should be cute and cuddly things – it makes sense because you’d think cute and cuddly has the most universal appeal – but that’s not really the case. To give a famous example, there’s nothing cute and cuddly about Ronald McDonald (and if you think there is, then some things are better left unsaid.)

So maybe it’s no surprise that Pepsi Japan settled upon this mildly terrifying CG thing called Pepsiman as their mascot.

The idea is that someone is thirsty, Pepsiman races to the scene, makes a weird noise, makes a weirder face, a can of Pepsi turns up. Hurray! Then all is well in the world and the stage is set for a hilarious mishap involving Pepsiman to end the advert with. Classic stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Pepsiman caught on and eventually, it led to Pepsiman being made for PlayStation. Witness:

Yes, there was an entire game made around the Pepsiman-racing-to-the-scene-of-thirst aspect of the adverts. To put that into some kind of context, imagine if there was a game based on Sheila’s Wheels or the Go Compare guy. He could be running from a horde of people bludgeoning him into silence, so maybe it’s not that unlikely but point is, Pepsiman was a game based on an advert. Even in the bizarro world of videogames, that’s pretty unusual.

Pepsiman could run, slide, dash, jump, superjump and stop. The idea was that he got to the end of the level collecting as many Pepsi cans as possible, jumping through living rooms, Pepsi factories, busy roads and so on. You could unlock three outfits for Pepsiman (New, Old and Wire, naturally) and it was a budget release when it hit the shelves in 1999. It looks like it was cobbled together using the Tony Hawk Pro Skater engine. See the similarities?

Hmmm. Maybe it’s just us.

Regardless, Pepsiman is a PlayStation game you won’t have played and one we only played because we didn’t believe it was real. It is real. As real as eating blowfish sperm. LOL! Japan!




  • shaun

    What!! a game about a pepsi mascot, next you’ll be telling me they made a game about the 7up spot on the mega drive. Mmmmmmmmm