Fun With A Few Strings Attached
Sony's Japan Studio has been rather quiet on the PlayStation 3, releasing very little for the platform. They have finally come out of hibernation/off hiatus to deliver to PlayStation 3 owners the ultra-quirky and super-charming Puppeteer. Is Puppeteer a cut above the rest, or is playing it "shear" torture?
The Moon Bear King was once loyal to the Moon Goddess, but he soon overthrew her, stole both the Black and White Moonstones (the latter being broken by the Moon Bear King and given to his 12 Generals) and went on to start his rule on the moon. When the moon is lit, the Moon Bear King steals the souls of innocent children and turns them into his controlled grunts. One such boy is Kutaro, who unluckily the Moon Bear tyrant decapitates, swallows his head, and tosses our protagonist aside like garbage. However, Kutaro gains the aid of several allies, finds replacement heads, and steals the mystical pair of golden scissors known as Calibrus. With all of this, Kutaro hopes to regain his head and head back home where he belongs.
Calibrus is invaluable to Kutaro's quest. With these sensational shears, Kutaro can cut across rugs, flags, and other cut-able objects to use them as a means to cross chasms and reach high up platforms. As long as there is something to shear through, Kutaro can stay in the air. There are even threads that Kutaro can cut along, sending him traveling across a predetermined path in fast fashion. Calibrus is also used for combat, allowing Kutaro to slice and dice grunts, saving children's souls in the process.
|Kutaro is certainly one kooky cut-up.|
|The Moon Witch teaches you how|
to properly use new abilities.
|What big teeth you have!|
The better to floss?
|Kutaro wonders what's cookin'.|
|Climb aboard General Snake|
as you make your way to its head.
|Heads actually have a limited use|
in Puppeteer, which is a shame.
Despite all this, Puppeteer is still a very fun and engaging game. There are seven acts, each housing three curtains (or levels) each. Each level has a number of souls to save, heads to find, and a bonus area to complete. Completing all of this in the game's 21 levels is no simple task and will make even the most veteran of gamers feel the challenge. Puppeteer has a lot of content, so someone who picks the game up will have a meaty title to play through.
Puppeteer is presented like a play. There's even an audience (though unseen) that applauds, cheers, and gasps depending on what happens on the stage. This is extremely clever in how it is done. Worlds and levels are made up of arts and crafts and characters are as whimsical as you'd expect. The art design is really well done and ensures that Puppeteer doesn't look like any other game on the market. The voice work is also implemented in fine fashion, having a narrator and cast that doesn't mind breaking the fourth wall consistently. The music is also fantastic, performed by an orchestra and presenting the player with mysterious and marvelous pieces to listen to. While the gameplay might leave a little something to be desired, the presentation of Puppeteer is among this year's best.
|Talk about a bad case of acne!|
[SPC Says: 8.5/10]