|Dev: SCE Studios Japan|
|Release: September 10, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes|
The standard enemies appear on the opposite end of the unusual spectrum than bosses. The same types of normal enemies populate every level of the game. Although each stage contains a few stage-specific foes, the proliferation of the standard minion leaves little room for unique cannon fodder. Besides the foot soldiers, the same mini-bosses follow Kutaro on his journey. These mini-boss fights, although aesthetically different, rarely distinguish themselves from one another. A little more variety would have been appreciated. Despite this, the inherent fun in the fights keeps the boredom at bay.
Everything in this game is designed to counteract boredom. During one scene in Act 2, a group of animals drags Pikarina into a Disney-esque sing-along. As the animals prance about and harmonize, Pikarina repeatedly declares how much she hates the singing and how she wants it to stop. Later on in the game, three mermaids, wearing kraken suits, sing about a kraken. These types of absurd moments come from one developers fevered imagination or another. However, the main source of verbal wit draws from popular culture.
The characters in the game pull a lot of dialogue and settings from easily recognizable sources. Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, Stephen Sondheim, and the Headless Horseman all either receive mentions or have entire levels or characters dedicated to them. The fevered way the game sometimes mixes and matches pop-culture makes it feel like the creative team built this game by randomly associating one well-known character with another. In one part of the game, a female rabbit vampire bites a stand-in for Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit. Because of the randomness of the game, though, these sections will seem right in place to younger players, while still giving older gamers a treat.
At first glance, Puppeteer can easily be dismissed as a copy of one thing or another. It has a LittleBigPlanet feel, a dark art style reminiscent of a Tim Burton animated film, and stages and characters ripped right out of popular culture. However, a completely fresh game waits beneath the veneer of unoriginality. Players of all ages will enjoy Puppeteer. It’s one show you don’t want to miss.
Date: September 9, 2013