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22 Oct 2013
By Beserker-Boy

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BB's review of Puppeteer

[ Edited ]
1 Reply 1,856 Views edited 22-10-2013
22 Oct 2013
By Beserker-Boy

The Puppeteer



Every once in a while, a game comes along that totally re adjusts your perspective on the entire gaming horizon. These games just seem to tick every box, do everything right, and in short knock our socks off. The Puppeteer does that, and not only does it well, it could even be considered the best this generation of consoles can offer.

The Puppeteer. Heard of it? No you probably haven’t as in the current gaming climate all the talk is about GTA, COD, Battlefield and what the next generation of consoles will do to make the same crap look just a bit prettier and try to convince us all “ its new “. But, if you pause, just for a minute, bring your head down from the future and just enjoy what can be had now, you may miss one of the most magical, exciting, FUN and stunning piece of art on a digital screen ever!

You see the Puppeteer is like an award winning Disney film. It transcends all ages so everyone can come away with a light heart and a smile on their face after spending time with it. It’s basic enough for young children to be fascinated with, with the castles, witches, pixies and so forth, but highbrow enough that adults can laugh at the humour also.

So what exactly IS the Puppeteer? Well, to say it’s a “plat former” is a disservice. You play as a character called Kutaro who is a wooden puppet with interchangeable heads. Your quest is to save the children’s of the world souls from the evil Moon Bear King who wants to rule the universe. To defeat the Moon Bear King you have to collect each of the moonstone shards from the Moon Bear Kings general’s.

And so starts your journey. To help you do this you have a pair of scissors named “calibrus”. Calibrus, can chop down enemies, and cut through objects, but also can help you get from a to b even if those points are off the ground by chopping your way up to them. Other powers are bestowed upon Kutaro as your epic adventure unfolds, like a shield, hook and slam. You use all these powers in various ways to traverse the environment.

And what an environment it is! The scene is literally set as you play as though you’re in the theatre watching the most fantastic puppet show you will ever witness. The voice acting and narration is utterly brilliant. The screen even has the outline of the stage, lights and curtains to give you a thespian; you’re at the theatre feel.

But the backdrops! Oh the backdrops are stunning. The game doesn’t hide the fact it’s a puppet show with the backdrops all being propped up on sticks, but what’s amazing about it all is it’s all just achingly beautiful to look at with such clarity and detail. Bright, colourful, detailed, varied. The adventure will have you on pirate ships sailing the vast sea, a desert, a Mexican town, mountainous snowy peaks, jungles, castles, and of course, the final frontier, space! Each set piece is lavish in its design and artwork, and sometimes is only on screen for a scant few seconds before it’s all replaced with yet another stunning beauty!

The game is for this day of age, pretty long too. It’s divided into 7 chapters (called acts) and each Act is split into three chapters (called Curtains). Each curtain is at minimum 20 minutes worth of gameplay, or for some of the longer curtains, up to a whopping 45 minutes. During that 45 minutes the backdrops and sets will change many many times, so it’s not just a case of the same theme, same look for all that time, OH no. Oh yes it is, Oh no it isn’t! In fact one curtain could have up to around 25 to 30 beautifully crafted and thought out scenes.



The gameplay is also fantastic. It’s a custom built engine for this game by Japan studio. Everything from the lighting to the physics is made for this game only and it shows. It’s superbly smooth, works brilliantly, is fun to be part of and looks utterly fantastic. The lighting is especially standout as it manages to capture emotion and feel. The audio is also superb, down to the tiny details. There is even perfectly timed “ohhs” and “ahhhs” from the virtual audience you are supposed to be with, with rapturous applause at the games end. Even the end credits are entertaining and interactive!

On this journey, Kutaro is flung around the screen with reckless abandon. Massive set pieces to negotiate, huge boss fights, exciting chase sequences, stunning on rails sections, quick time events, puzzles, battles and timing, it’s ALL here and paced to perfection.

Even when playing in 3D, the design of the game is set up perfectly. Not too garish to be a distraction and in fact designed to simply enhance the depth of the screen rather than shock you. There are moments where things pop out at the screen towards the player but it works wonderfully well. Even without 3D it’s still gorgeous and perfect.

The story is a little trite, and possibly the weakest link to the whole game. It’s sometimes difficult to follow who’s actually speaking on screen as the animations for characters talking is a bit iffy at best. The movement for who is supposed to be talking is far too OTT. However if you turn the subtitles on, all soon becomes clear and then easy to follow.

Be that as it may, it’s still an enjoyable plot with twists, turns, gasps of horror, laughter, love, and even time for some proper west end musical numbers, which all in all makes it utterly unique and joyous to behold and listen too from start to finish.
In short, every aspect of the game is breath taking and perfectly designed for maximum enjoyment.

Conclusion


The nearest game you could compare the Puppeteer to is Little Big Planet, but that’s at a stretch and even if you do so, it’s still putting the Puppeteer into a metaphorical box it doesn’t deserve to be in. Although it’s a platformer it does everything it can to not be exactly that. You’ll be amazed at what places you’ll end up for something you think is meant to be on a flat screen!

It kind of makes me sad, that games like this are so few and far between. We’re inundated with the same boring commercially successful crap these days, from developers who have to play it safe due to pressures from the almighty publishers. How refreshing it is to play a game that brazenly stands up with an identity all of its own at the worst possible commercial time and says in a tiny voice, “This is what I am and I’m proud of it.” The gaming industry would be better off with ten versions of the Puppeteer than ten versions of the same boring FPS, driving, or cover based 3rd person shooter.

This game is not just good, it’s jaw droopingly stunning. It’s not just game of the year good, its game of the entire generation epic! Move over Uncharted 2. Put the champagne on ice, The Last of Us. Park it back in the garage Gran Turismo.

The Puppeteer is game of the generation and when we all look back on the PS3 age, this will be the game that I think is worthy of the title of the PlayStation 3’s finest hour.

Rating 10/10
Quite simply faultless entertainment for all the family. What this generation of gaming should have been like from the beginning.

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xX-ArcticFox-Xx

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Sticking out for the little guys eh? I might check the game out now thanks for the insightful review.
I like to play games such as Battlefield and Killzone because not only the shooting but because of the community spirit. You go to the battlefield battelog and you'll see many people looking for new friends to play with and platoons to get starting. I'm not your typical Call of Duty player but I am one who looks out for a game with some real online virtue. I also like to play many countless hours of leveling up and getting slightly better at the game day by day sort of person. Those sort of games fill the need for challenge with the wide array of different players playing every day including your very own friends!
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