review
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POSTED 27/9/13


PUPPETEER

Sony
PS3

You dress me up, I’m your puppet. You give me head, I love it...

Wha-wha-what?!

OK, try to keep up. Bear steals stone and scissors, switches off moon, nabs kiddie souls and stuffs them into puppets. Kutaro, who you control occasionally between cutscenes, is one such puppet, rendered headless thanks to the bear – who’s declared himself king - chomping it. Pinocchio may be fucked up, but it’s got nothing on this.

Luckily, you’re allowed by some magical mysticism to wield the scissors, so along with Peter Lorre cat/bitchy princessesque chick/whichever orbiting helper (hello Wizball) you plummet through various ‘acts’, slashing scenery and amassing powers like ninja bombs, shields and such.

As the title intimates, and our already mentioning puppets reiterates, it’s all done puppet show style. Sets flit hither and thither, and scenes are usually restricted to single frames. Amazing screen-sized marionettes wibble and threaten, while you toddle along trying to retrieve chunks of moonstone to get that large lunar thingy all illuminated again.

Yeah, so what about that head business? Well, since you’ve had yours munched off, you’re able to grab any old bonce going as you progress. These possess various vague powers, usually more useful for collecting bonuses than accomplishing anything super-constructive.

Story, style, sound – everything about Puppeteer is super. Almost. Unfortunately it seems everybody was so distracted fabricating wonderful whimsy that they forgot to make the most important bit – controls - consistently functional. They’re just so... wishy-washy. Innumerable times you’ll have NFI what to do until you plummet to stringy, wooden death – still wondering what the utter fuck happened. Stubbornness eventually rewards, but that’s not how these things should roll.

The only reason for nobody to look for a Puppeteer in today’s wintry economic climate is ’cos the controls suck. Now that’s a shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good headless boy like that...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.