Puppeteer is a platform game where we take the role of Kutaro, a boy that has been turned into a puppet and got his head ripped off by the maleficent Moon Bear King.
At first glance, Puppetter may seem a children’s game, with its puppets in a theather layout, but just a few minutes into the adventure and you’ll see that there is much more to it than the typical world saviour story. Altough Kutaro is a headless wooden toy at the beginning, he will be able to collect a lot of different heads thoughout the adventure, each with a special power, that can be used at specific points in the game, that will lead the character to bonus levels. Banana heads aside, Kutaro can also get permanent upgrades in his abilities, like the use of a pair of magical scissors in the shape of a sword, called Calibrus. Get it? There’s not one single dull moment in sight. Sense of humor is always present and the characters, and their interaction with each other and with the scenery, will definitely grab your attention from the start. There are even some movie references that get thrown into the mix that help build up some funny moments in the game, with recognizable characters and quotes. Other upgrades in the character’s abilities are a hook, to move platforms and objects, a drop down attack to break stuff, and the possibility to drop bombs.
Kutaro also has a companion that helps him reveal secrets hidden in the scenery and gives him constant clues for what to do next so that he always keeps track of the objectives and the ways in which they can be achieved. This companion can be controlled by the player, at the same time he is controlling Kutaro, or by a second player, if you want to play in co-op. Starting off with the flying magical cat, Ying Yang, for partner, the game soon finds a way to switch it for Princess Pikarina, daughter of the sun, that will speak in behalf of Kutaro, who is a silent character, and that will have a more vocal approach to every situation.
Puppeteer shines in all the fundamental parts. Presentation is off the charts, with excellent voice acting, extremely detailed, colourful and animated levels, and characters that seem to have gotten out of something done by Disney or Pixar. In fact, if someone had told me that this was a game made by any of those companies I would have believed him, if I didn’t already know the game that is. I would even go one step further and say that this game is better that anything I’ve ever seen from either of them. The game is full of lovable characters that get a lot of stage time in beautifully arranged cutscenes that constantly push the story forward, with several climax moments.
Puppeteer is a genuinely entertaining game from start to end, full of imagination and personality. Games like this are few and far between so believe me when I say that this is a play you will not want to miss. SCE Japan Studio just made an instant classic.