on September 28, 2013
These last 5 years or so I have fallen into a deeper and deeper depression. Without going into too much detail, lets say there are very few things left in life that I enjoy. Video games have become a way of forgetting my life and not so much an avenue for enjoyment... but there is something special about this game. The writing is witty and full of humor. The characters are endearing and the musical numbers really lift your spirits up. I found myself smiling like a little kid through each level.
Please do yourself and the developers a favor and buy this game.
on October 1, 2013
I usually play "E" games with my six-year-old nephew. So I appreciate it when developers work local co-op into games. This game has a drop in/drop out co-op mode. There's no split-screen that often accompanies games such as the Lego franchise. It's a charming, dark fairy tale. It reminded me a lot of Little Big Planet in terms of its charm. However, unlike LBP, its setting is dark. Initially, my nephew was a bit daunted by the musical score and environment. He found it to be ominous. However, once we began playing, he confided in me that his reservations about the game went away.
The game is a 2D side-scrolling platformer and it takes place on a stage of a puppet show. You have the option to play it either using the Move Motion or Dual Shock controller. I am playing it using the latter. The first player plays as Kutaro, a puppet who's literally lost his head because the evil Moon Bear ate his head and transformed him into a wooden puppet.
Like Little Big Planet, there's a narrator in Pupeeter. It's isn't long after you begin playing that Kutaro obtains a magical pair of scissors. With this pair of scissors, you can battle bosses and make your way through the different stages. You can glide upwards/downwards/sideways by cutting through fabric, paper, strings etc. The environment is made of arts and crafts.
The boss battles consist of cutting through fabric instead of the traditional way of taking out any boss. In my opinion, this is what sets it apart from other traditional platforming games. (There isn't much of a learning curve while wielding the scissors and I managed to get the hang of it quickly. You get a basic tutorial after procuring the scissors.)
Kutaro finds heads during the different stages. The heads are an eclectic bunch ranging from banana head to Spider head. It had my nephew laughing at the different heads we've amassed. You can carry 3 heads with you during a mission (and have the choice to choose between them). If you lose a head, you lose a life, so it's important to not lose your head. In the event you do lose a head (which is a lot), you can run after it and retrieve it. But it has to be done quickly, otherwise it will vanish and you'll end up losing a life.
The second player plays a cat who can fly. Then, after defeating the first boss, you play as a fairy/princess. There isn't much that the cat and fairy/princess can do except for investigating certain objects in the environment and help Kutaro. If I'm not mistaken, you always use the Circle button, so it's pretty straightforward. My nephew enjoyed playing as the cat and fairy and I heard no complaints from him. Personally, I've gotten loads of help due to my nephew playing as my companion. Even though he is my sidekick, he helps me find heads and protects me from harm's way. I think this role is best suited to younger kids who want to play with their parents and/or older siblings.
The game is punctuated by applause and gasps from the audience, which I found to be pretty neat. The artistry is imaginative and vivid. I was so taken by the visuals and graphics. The game looks amazing. I was more into the visuals than the story.
My only gripe is that I'm not a fan of Quick Time Events (QTE) and this game employs it during the boss battles. I ended up losing my head quite a lot due to QTE. But that's just me. If you like QTE, then you won't have a problem.
This game auto-saves quite frequently, so rest assured that you won't have to wait long before the game saves your progress. Another thing I noticed is that you get bronze trophies VERY easily. I think of all the games I've played, this is the only game where I've gotten trophies easily. So if you're a trophy collector, this game will appeal to you.
I'm mid-game and my nephew and I are enjoying it. If you're on the fence about it, I say go for it. It's a good game for the entire family.
on September 10, 2013
This game, without question, receives an "A" for imagination. I have been playing games for a long, long time, and very rarely do I experience one where I can genuinely say that it is a unique concept. I can wholeheartedly endorse "Puppeteer", and I promise you that it is a novel, fun, heartfelt experience. It's weird, whacky, and wonderful. Quite frankly, you can stick this sucker in your pipe and smoke it, it's so downright funky. It's like the psychedelic product of somebody's crazy dreams after drinking a whole box of Sangria and eating a tray full of magic brownies.
The art direction of this game is marvelously realized. Whoever came up with the concept to place a game in the setting of a puppet show/theater is some kind of crazy genius. Oh, and then this crazy genius decided to give your character the ability to swap out his head... you know, with things like bananas and cherry trees. Yeah, it makes no sense... get used to it. This game does, after all, take place in the setting of a puppet show, so the developers wisely elected to let their imaginations run wild as the story progresses through its wild, Moon Bear King infested chapters. Further capitalizing on this unique setting, the visuals of "Puppeteer" utilize a beautiful paper-craft style, which is intelligently implemented into the actual gameplay (with particular emphasis on your "magic scissors"). The inclusion of an actual audience and curtains is brilliant, framing the experience into something that has never before been attempted in a video game - and it works! This game's art style will make it impervious to aging, and I think it will still look wonderful 20 years from now, just like the recent Rayman titles.
Why is this game "budget priced" at $39? I have no idea. Don't be fooled by its enticing price, that by no means is an indication of a short game, or one that was put together with limited resources. This is a full fledged, wondrous experience, and I hope as many gamers as possible get to take a whack at it. There are tons of collectibles, challenges, and trophies. HOWEVER- if you are dead set against platforming or goofy ideas (in no way is this game at all realistic), you probably won't enjoy "Puppeteer". But for everybody else, this game is a banana-headed blast of craziness and fun. If you like Muppets or puppets or anything pertaining to Jim Henson, you will get extra tickled on your weird journey.
This game is, in short, a breath of fresh air. With recent releases like "Rayman Legends" and "Puppeteer", not to mention the forthcoming "Into the Nexus", this is turning out to be a wonderful time to be a platforming fan. This console generation is exiting on a high note. Now go get your banana head and take on the Moon Bear King!
on September 23, 2013
Somehow this game had slid right under my radar and I knew nothing about it at all. After watching a video I found on YouTube about a week before release I decided to pre-order the game and give it a shot. I opened it up Saturday and popped the game into the PS3 to try it out and I was blown away! Me and my niece played this game all day Saturday and Sunday almost non stop! I don't know why this game hasn't been getting any hype because everything in this game is above and beyond what most AAA titles deliver today.
The game is presented as a Bunraku Puppet Theater complete with narrator and audience. You play through the game in acts with a fully voiced segment in between to progress the story. The voice acting in this game is top notch and really makes you want to watch the movies between acts rather than skipping them! The visuals in this game are breathtaking and IMO will make this title remain timeless because of how well they are done. The controls are tight and neither me nor my niece has any complainants or issues playing the game. Since your playing as a puppet you have the ability to change your head, this will allow you different abilities as well as access to hidden areas depending on what head you have equipped. Also in the first chapter you will get a pair of magic scissors you will use to attack enemies as well as move around and change the environments. The Boss fights are some of the best I have ever experienced in a platformer and are a refreshing change to the genre.
After spending only 2 days with this title I can easily say this has very quickly became one of my favorite PS3 titles and one of the greats from this generation. This is a game that anyone who remotely likes 2D platformers must pick up and the best part about it is that its a budget priced game starting at only $40.00!!!!! I have always disliked rating games and giving them scores but this is as close to being perfect as it gets.
on October 20, 2013
It isn't often when a game comes along where I really can't find anything negative to say about it. I could suppose I could nitpick about the lack of significant challenge, or the slightly overlong scenes of dialogue, but those would be such minor details in a game that I consider to be the best AAA 2D platformer I've played this generation. Puppeteer is a masterpiece. What is shocking to me is how little attention the game seems to be getting. It did release very close to the behemoth known as Grand Theft Auto V, and is also arriving on the eve of the release of the next generation of gaming consoles. This is highly unfortunate though, because Puppeteer displays everything that makes a video game like this great: fun, responsive, and varied gameplay, a good story, incredible presentation, a sense of humor, and unabashed creativity. Puppeteer is a game that truly deserves to reach as large of an audience as it can, and hopefully over time, that will happen.
Puppeteer is the story a boy named Kutaro. Like many other children of earth, he's had his soul stolen by the evil, corrupted Moon Bear King, and he is given the opportunity to save the fate of not only his own soul, but those of all the other children as well. The story of Kutaro's adventure is told on a single-stage puppet show, a format that the game commits to 100%. Stage sets rise, fall, and shift as Kutaro moves from one area to another. Characters speak to the audience, which often reacts with gasps, laughter, shock, and amazement. A pitch-perfect narrator recounts each act and gives often hilarious commentary to the on-stage happenings. But the best thing about the puppet show format is the unfiltered way it allows the game to brilliantly shine with creativity. Stage prop backgrounds are vividly animated, packing the screen with an almost constant overload of visual delights. Story characters, friends, enemies, and especially bosses are memorable, beautiful, and often stunning to behold. Colors are vivid and dynamic, constantly enhancing the wide variety of themes that make each and every level in Puppeteer unique. Puppeteer is one of those games that you want to keep playing simply to see what comes next, and it always manages to surprise. Few games have ever been made that pack so much creativity and imagination into every frame of gameplay. It is a stunning feat of art direction, graphical par excellence, and pure creative ingenuity. I haven't been this much in awe of a game's presentation from a creative angle since I played Okami on the Playstation 2.
None of this raw beauty and spectacle would matter if the game wasn't mechanically sound, and it absolutely is. Playing as Kutaro is a joy, and whether he's moving along the stage floor, through the air with his magical scissors, on the backs of high-speed creatures, the game controls are tight, intuitive, and fun. As Kutaro slowly gains abilities such as being able to launch paper mache bombs (this is a puppet show, after all), launch a hook to grab distant objects/enemies, generate a deflective shield, etc., the controls are taught in a clear concise way and never feel overwhelming or convoluted throughout the entire experience of playing Puppeteer. The game is so diverse not only visually, but in its gameplay as well, as this is a game that never gets boring or repetitive throughout the entire 8-10 hour campaign. There are many secrets to discover, collectibles to find, and bonus stages to uncover. This is very generous game, especially considering its $39.99 price tag.
I was enamored with Puppeteer from the moment I began the game right through the ending credits. This is a special game that is one of the most beautiful and creative games I've played in the PS360 era. A shame it was wrongfully ignored by the gaming community, as the fantastic ratings here on amazon can testify. If you like 2D platformers, or just like to see games that are willing to try something new and be uninhibitedly creative while doing so, Puppeteer is a game you shouldn't miss.
on February 15, 2014
I had extremely high hopes for this game based on reviews I had read in various places. I thought the game's visual presentation was wildly imaginative and the narrator was really awesome. I can't give it more than 3 stars though because I found the actual game play to be very lacking.
I felt that the controls themselves didn't feel tight and refined. I got Rayman Legends and this for Christmas, and the difference was so stark. Rayman is insanely difficult but extremely fun because the difficulty feels fair and you have amazing control. Puppeteer was not very difficult, but I frequently felt frustrated with the controls. I don't mind that the play styles were different. I just repeatedly felt like the control of my character wasn't entirely mine when playing though and that is frustrating.
The bosses looked amazing and were very creatively designed, but they were very boring. I was particularly surprised here because reviews I read stated that the boss fights were not simply a matter of figuring out a pattern and repeating your counter to the pattern. In fact they were this in the worst way. Once you get to a certain point though they all jump into a mode often called "quick time events". In this mechanic you are a passive observer, prompted to push a specific button when it flashes on the screen. These sequences in particular were NOT FUN, and it happens with almost every boss in the game. That really gave the boss fights a very rinse and repeat feeling.
The other big disappointment for me was in the unrealized potential with the different heads. Again I had high hopes here being that the same reviewer on a gaming web site lauded praise on the game for how the heads provide "meaningful" changes to the gaming experience. If by meaningful, you mean that having the head at certain points in the game allows you to unlock a trivial bonus of some sort or another then ok. I however was excited for a game where the head you are using actually changes the games mechanics by doing things like letting you jump higher, or run faster, or maybe shoot a projectile. So this was a big let down to me, partly because I had heard reviews that gave me a different impression.
I finished the game because I appreciated the brilliant art design and quality production values that went into the story as a whole. It was not fun enough for me however to entice me to pick the game back up once I completed it. So long story short is that the game had amazing production values put into presentation and story, but I was very let down with how playing the game felt a bit more like a chore than fun to me.
on September 11, 2013
This game is simply awesome. It's art direction and storytelling are fun and superb. The gameplay contributes to the story without detracting. The fluidity of the animation and "scene" changes as experienced through the stylings of a Kabuki puppet theater is such a fresh and imaginative idea that really works (especially in 3D). The bonus features such as the stories you unlock between acts contribute to the atmosphere.
on January 10, 2014
This game has some of the more memorable art direction you are ever likely to come across. Undoubtably influenced by the art design in games by Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Pschonauts) and platforming in the Rayman Series, Puppeteer is a breath of fresh air in the platforming genre. There is really no game like it. The story is fantastical and theatrical (literally), as the sets change quickly like you were playing on a moving stage. Its dark in its thematic elements, and adds nice touches that remind you as a gamer, what your actions are on center stage. The audience "oohs" and "ahhs" during daring sequences, and after you complete staggering acts of courage, they cheer and applaud. Its funny how those little details go a long way in making this game just so damn memorable. It is fairly decent in length (12-16) hours depending on if you are collection-ist. If you are, its easily 20+ hours.
If you enjoyed the unique experiences in games like Okami, Journey, or Psychonauts, or enjoy the platforming of a series like Rayman, you will probably love this game. I highly recommend it.
It really is pure happiness in video game form.
on September 16, 2013
First thing, for $40, you can NOT beat the value of this game.
It's so fun, so creative. It really surprised me with how great it is. It has great writing, great acting, great gameplay. I love it. Definitely recommend it.
on September 10, 2013
Amazing game, Cant beat the price either for what you receive. Shows that even though it might be aimed at younger gamers, that it can still hold its own up to adult games as well. The art style and presentation are awesome because its presented as a opera/play in which you are the viewer which encompasses you into the story even more. Gameplay is solid and fun even if a little repetitive at times but is mixed up with the inclusion/acquiring of heads that not only give you a stylish look, but may also give you a new power to use along the way. As long as you have a head with the scissors by your side you'll conquer the moon bear in no time.
9/10 in my opinion and definitely worth the buy and play through.