Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art(http://us.playstation.com/games/puppeteer-ps3.html)  Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.   The story of Puppeteer begins with a young boy named Kutaro who becomes magically transformed into a puppet and has his head bitten off by the tyrannous Moon Bear King. Using any replacement heads he can find and a magical pair of scissors named Calibrus, Kutaro seeks a way to transform himself back to normal while saving the Moon Realm from the Moon Bear Kings rule as well as freeing the souls of other transformed children along the way. This fantastical story and a vast collection of imaginative characters are all wrapped up in a captivating game that mimics the appearance of a live puppet show complete with a narrator and audience. Japan Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment are well known for their wide selection of unique games and Puppeteer is no exception. The game offers a truly new and refreshing experience to the world of gaming.

Puppeteer (PS3) Box ArtPuppeteer (PS3) Logo(http://us.playstation.com/games/puppeteer-ps3.html)  Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.  The story of Puppeteer begins with a young boy named Kutaro who becomes magically transformed into a puppet and has his head bitten off by the tyrannous Moon Bear King. Using any replacement heads he can find and a magical pair of scissors named Calibrus, Kutaro seeks a way to transform himself back to normal while saving the Moon Realm from the Moon Bear Kings rule as well as freeing the souls of other transformed children along the way. This fantastical story and a vast collection of imaginative characters are all wrapped up in a captivating game that mimics the appearance of a live puppet show complete with a narrator and audience. Japan Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment are well known for their wide selection of unique games and Puppeteer is no exception. The game offers a truly new and refreshing experience to the world of gaming.



Graphics:
The whole experience of Puppeteer is meant to feel as though you are watching a puppet show so naturally all of the characters look like hand painted wooden puppets and just about everything else in the game looks like hand crafted stage props and effects. The models and their textures are quite detailed despite their “low poly” appearance. You can even see wood grain on the puppets and places where the paint looks worn. The lighting effects also add to Puppeteer’s theatrical theme. Kutaro is almost always followed by a spot light and many different colored stage lights are used to enhance the atmosphere of the games environments and stages. The backgrounds are a combination of 2D cloth backdrops and painted wooden scenery and are most of the time very interactive. The scenery is filled with plenty of hidden collectibles and heads for Kutaro so make sure you investigate them thoroughly as you play. The developers really went all out and took the time to study different stage effects in order to achieve believable environments where you can sometimes even see the gears and levers that are moving the backgrounds and scenery. The camera angles are that of your average side scrolling game with added stage lights and curtains framing the screen to complete the effect of watching a show. It would be impossible to pull off the theatrical theme in Puppeteer without all the details in its astounding graphics and art direction.

Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art

Sounds:
In Puppeteer, your journey is guided by a narrator named Professor Gregorious T. Oswald, played by the award winning Stephen Greif. There are plenty of amazing video games out there with astounding narration but none quite like in Puppeteer. Not only does Gregorious tell Kutaro’s fantastical tale, but he also voices many of the characters as he narrates! The game also has an epic orchestrated soundtrack to go with its incredibly talented narration. The soundtrack is composed by the world famous Patrick Doyle who also worked on the soundtrack for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Thor, and Disney/Pixar’s Brave. An orchestrated soundtrack is the perfect fit for the games showy theme and changes as you play to match the environments and theme of the stages. Changing from the sounds of romantic Spanish guitars and trumpets in the moon realm desert, to the exciting swashbuckling nautical music as Kutaro sails the across the moon realms salty seas. To top it all off, the game has a live audience that reacts to your gameplay gasping and laughing at events as the story unravels. If you set down your controller and leave or if Kutaro is inactive for long periods of time, the audience will begin chattering to each other and when you continue to play they “shush” each other and quiet down to watch. All these little details really make you feel like you are the star of Puppeteer!

Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art

Gameplay:
Puppeteer’s gameplay is that of a side scrolling platformer with a fantastic and in depth story to tell. Three years before Kutaro’s journey begins, the Moon Realm was ruled by the beautiful Moon Goddess who was over thrown when the Moon Bear King stole her magical Black Moonstone, Calibrus, and shattered her White Moonstone. He gave a white moonstone shard to each of his 12 generals. Kutaro must defeat all the generals and obtain all the moonstone shards in order to transform himself back to normal and end the Moon Bear King’s reign. Puppeteer’s controls are the typical basic side scrolling controls with a few exceptions. You control Kutaro with the left joystick and use various face buttons to jump and perform different actions. With the right stick, you control whatever ally is currently joining Kutaro on his journey. If you would like to play with a friend you can connect a move controller and have your friend control your ally. You can use the allies to interact with the scenery using the right trigger in order to find hidden collectibles. There are two main collectibles in the game:  heads and moon sparkles. Kutaro needs heads in order to stay alive and each head does something different and can be used to unlock secrets in the game. He can have up to three heads at one time which he can switch between. Every time Kutaro takes damage his current head will pop off and you only have a short amount of time to retrieve it before it disappears. If Kutaro loses all of his heads then you must restart from your last checkpoint. The number of times that you can ‘continue’ from a checkpoint is determined by how many moon sparkles you’ve collected. Kutaro gains one ‘continue’ for every 100 moon sparkles he collects, similar to collecting coins in Mario. Kutaro’s main weapon is the magical pair of scissors he stole from the Moon Bear King named, Calibrus. You can use scissors to snip through enemies or even get around the level. There are many types of materials on stage that can be cut by Calibrus such as cloth or paper. Calibrus moves forward as you cut and can be guided with the left joystick. This feature really made Puppeteer stand out against the typical side scrolling game. Puppeteer has unique and enjoyable gameplay that really makes it hard to tear yourself away from.

 

Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art

Longevity:
Puppeteer has done a wonderful job at spreading out content and ultimately extending the hours of gameplay. It is impossible to collect everything during your first play through of a level. Many of the heads are blocked off or hidden and require you to use specific powers to obtain them. Powers you do not learn until later on in the game. In order to obtain all the heads you must re-play the levels at least once. Also, as you play and defeat enemies, you free the souls of other lost children like yourself. So if you re-play a level over again, then you might find some souls that you had missed before. Normally I am not a fan of having to repeat levels but finding new heads was so rewarding that I found myself really enjoying level repeating for the first time.

Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art   Puppeteer (PS3) Box Art

Conclusion:
Overall, Puppeteer is a wonderfully imaginative game with one of the most in depth story lines of any side scroller I have ever had the pleasure to play. The game was absolutely everything I was hoping it would be and more. You become so enveloped in the massive back-story of the Moon Realm that it almost feels like a real place. The colorful graphics and beautifully orchestrated music perfectly complete Puppeteer’s theatrical theme. The gameplay was simple and yet completely different than what I have experienced in similar games. Also, large amount of collectibles ensures for great re-play value. I have always been a fan of Sony Computer Entertainment and Japan Studio and love the originality of their games but this time they really out did themselves. I would recommend this game to anyone regardless of your gaming skills or experience.

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