Puppeteer Review - Dark, Bizarre, and Fantastically Good

Puppeteer Review - Dark, Bizarre, and Fantastically Good

Puppeteer is a game that most might overlook, but it's an inventive, beautiful new world with fantastical ideas.

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How is this compared to, say, Rayman?

I bought the relatively new Origins and I am absolutely loving it. Plus its a hoot to play coop with my GF :)

The framing reminds me of Dynamite Headdy with the theatre-theme and all.

Dammit, QTEs! I feel like they're the herpes of videogames, popping up at inconvenient times and being a serious detraction from an otherwise great experience. Especially the "press X to not die" variety.

tzimize:
How is this compared to, say, Rayman?

I bought the relatively new Origins and I am absolutely loving it. Plus its a hoot to play coop with my GF :)

Having played both, I'd say that for $20 less (in the states, at least) puppeteer is as good as Rayman for single player play. It's lacking vs. Rayman in two departments: Length and Co-Op. The Co-op in puppeteer is basically the second player doing minor boosts and being along for the ride of how fun the story is. Puppeteer just simply isn't as long as Rayman, sadly, and that's truly where it suffers. Rayman also does more traditional platformer stuff and then breaks those rules, whereas puppeteer does wacky things all the time, which is fun, but can be inconsistent.

They're both great games! This has been a wonderful year for platformers.

Kutaro's head is missing, you get a series of replacement heads throughout the game, which serve as both special powers and your lives. You can carry three heads at once, and if you get hit a head gets knocked off, then you have a limited time to recover it. Certain heads allow you to do context-sensitive actions to get health or unlock secret areas, like a drum head that plays a song for some frogs, who then invite you into their drum-themed minigame bonus stage. You don't always have the right head for the job, which can be frustrating, but adds to the game's replayability as you jump from stage to stage trying not to get hit, and therefore preserve the heads you've got with you.

Interesting reading this, having literally just come out of playing Dynamite Headdy on the megadrive.

This game sounds pretty good. However, I've only got a Vita, so the game would have to be on that game for me to invest in it. Also, the visuals look a little too similar to LittleBigPlanet. But, heyho, I hope this game finds a good, big audience.

JonB:

tzimize:
How is this compared to, say, Rayman?

I bought the relatively new Origins and I am absolutely loving it. Plus its a hoot to play coop with my GF :)

Having played both, I'd say that for $20 less (in the states, at least) puppeteer is as good as Rayman for single player play. It's lacking vs. Rayman in two departments: Length and Co-Op. The Co-op in puppeteer is basically the second player doing minor boosts and being along for the ride of how fun the story is. Puppeteer just simply isn't as long as Rayman, sadly, and that's truly where it suffers. Rayman also does more traditional platformer stuff and then breaks those rules, whereas puppeteer does wacky things all the time, which is fun, but can be inconsistent.

They're both great games! This has been a wonderful year for platformers.

Thanks for the short comparison! Guess I'll have to get Puppeteer at some point then. After Rayman Legends that is :p

I went ahead and bought the game. And while I'm enjoying a lot so far, I will say it is directed to a younger audience. Not necessarily a bad thing if you still like Disney movies and things like that, but it's something to be aware of. This an absolutely perfect game for your kiddos if you have any.

Terramax:

Interesting reading this, having literally just come out of playing Dynamite Headdy on the megadrive.

This game sounds pretty good. However, I've only got a Vita, so the game would have to be on that game for me to invest in it. Also, the visuals look a little too similar to LittleBigPlanet. But, heyho, I hope this game finds a good, big audience.

Welcome to club Dynamite Headdy.

Not quite all Treasure titles were an absolute blast and hardcore deluxe gaming extravaganza bliss, but most were. The first time I saw Dynamite Headdy, it pretty much blew my mind. Everything was so neat and perfect and slick and fast... and quite crazy, too.

There are two things in Puppeteer that make Headdy heads spin into Headdy mode, and they are both visual cues, although one is a concept: random theater setting complete with red curtains, protagonist has a thing with heads, mostly because their own head went missing or is removable as a fun feature.

I'll only get into the Vita thing with the Vita TV, but I think there is one big issue that would prevent Puppeteer making it onto the Vita in its current incarnation: The thing is a whopping 11 gigabytes of awesome. Now, I am not a kid, haven't been a kid for a long time, but I find playing Puppeteer to be the best thing since... Dragon's Crown. Or sliced bread, if you missed out on that one, skipped it on purpose or didn't like it.

image

Headdrivehardscrew:

Terramax:

Interesting reading this, having literally just come out of playing Dynamite Headdy on the megadrive.

This game sounds pretty good. However, I've only got a Vita, so the game would have to be on that game for me to invest in it. Also, the visuals look a little too similar to LittleBigPlanet. But, heyho, I hope this game finds a good, big audience.

Welcome to club Dynamite Headdy.

Not quite all Treasure titles were an absolute blast and hardcore deluxe gaming extravaganza bliss, but most were. The first time I saw Dynamite Headdy, it pretty much blew my mind. Everything was so neat and perfect and slick and fast... and quite crazy, too.

There are two things in Puppeteer that make Headdy heads spin into Headdy mode, and they are both visual cues, although one is a concept: random theater setting complete with red curtains, protagonist has a thing with heads, mostly because their own head went missing or is removable as a fun feature.

I'll only get into the Vita thing with the Vita TV, but I think there is one big issue that would prevent Puppeteer making it onto the Vita in its current incarnation: The thing is a whopping 11 gigabytes of awesome. Now, I am not a kid, haven't been a kid for a long time, but I find playing Puppeteer to be the best thing since... Dragon's Crown. Or sliced bread, if you missed out on that one, skipped it on purpose or didn't like it.

I happen to be a major fan of Treasure Co. I own a number of their games, including a Japanese copy of Dynamite Headdy! (I live in Japan).

Dynamite Headdy was my introduction to Treasure. Indeed, there was something about the creativity which immediately clicked with me.

I fully agree not everything with Treasure is solid gold. In fact, I'd say they've made as many misses as they have hits, or that has been the case post PS2-era. They started to go downhill with games like Silpheed: Lost Planet, Freak Out!/ Stretch Panic, and Dragon Drive.

Regarding the Puppeteer - indeed, 11gb is huge! However, I'm sure they could find a way of down-scaling, from a visual perspective. I'm sure much of that memory comes from the visual wonders. Seeing as the Vita is small screen, I'm sure too much pizzazz would work against it (for instance, I found Wipeout 2048 to be a bit confusing because of too much detail).

I've yet to play Dragon's Crown too, due to lack of funds. I'd have to import a US version, as a PAL version doesn't exist. However, I've heard there are/ will be downloadable extras that I won't be able to access, having an EU account :(

I'll get it later.

Terramax:

I happen to be a major fan of Treasure Co. I own a number of their games, including a Japanese copy of Dynamite Headdy! (I live in Japan).

Dynamite Headdy was my introduction to Treasure. Indeed, there was something about the creativity which immediately clicked with me.

I fully agree not everything with Treasure is solid gold. In fact, I'd say they've made as many misses as they have hits, or that has been the case post PS2-era. They started to go downhill with games like Silpheed: Lost Planet, Freak Out!/ Stretch Panic, and Dragon Drive.

Regarding the Puppeteer - indeed, 11gb is huge! However, I'm sure they could find a way of down-scaling, from a visual perspective. I'm sure much of that memory comes from the visual wonders. Seeing as the Vita is small screen, I'm sure too much pizzazz would work against it (for instance, I found Wipeout 2048 to be a bit confusing because of too much detail).

I've yet to play Dragon's Crown too, due to lack of funds. I'd have to import a US version, as a PAL version doesn't exist. However, I've heard there are/ will be downloadable extras that I won't be able to access, having an EU account :(

I'll get it later.

Aye, Treasure games really are special to and treasured by me, as well. Treasure and Natsume made games that were very pleasing to the eye, yet absolutely impressive and sound on a technical level. These were some of the first home video console games I've played that were not marred by technical issues - if you died, it was clearly your own fault. That was in stark contrast to the monochrome of the Macs and Ataris of the day, and it was just a level of design and competence not seen on the Amiga or the PC. These were not quite arcade games, but they were worthy of being considered as such, as they were to us what dropping acid was to Timothy Leary. Start up, sit down, play... and hours were spent, not lost, playing some of the most awesome games we've ever seen.

Puppeteer I basically just picked up on a whim. It looked very nice, the price point was below average, it was a Sony title... it just appealed to me. Then I noticed that I just started downloading 11GB and that was when I first started browsing around for information on this weird little big no-name sleeper title. Wow. When I first started playing it, I immediately stopped again, as it did not feel right to start playing ('checking out!') this one title with but ten minutes or so to spare. I was right. It's pretty epic... and awesome, too. This game makes the best use of a big screen, a sofa and surround sound. It makes me long for times gone by. It makes me want to go to the theater, watch Shakespeare, listen to Mozart and support the artsy fartsy crowd of artists wiggling their asses to the tune of some choreographer. As a game, I can only tell you that I enjoy it as much as I seem to be confused by it, but as a ride, it's just about the most impressive thing I've seen on the PS3. The attention to detail is incredible and the lighting and presentation are just impeccable. I still stay away from teh evul interwebs on anything Puppeteer, as I don't want the bosses - or anything else really - spoilered to me.

Since you live in Japan, you might find this here article inspiring:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/andrew-edney/puppeteer-interview-family-gaming_b_3593740.html

Aye, I also happen to think that wipE'out should generally be played on the biggest screen possible and available, as immersion just happens when you finally master controlling the hovercrafts, and they still feel as real and genuine and immediate as they first did on the PSX. Too bad Psygnosis / Studio Liverpool is no longer with us. They gave us some great games.

I'm not too sure you're really missing out on the extras in Dragon's Crown. I've read that the various 'extra' narrator voices were up for download for free to early buyers/adopters, but I never checked it out, as that stuff is available for sale in the game anyway and I despise DLC deal shenanigans and generally ignore them wherever possible. I just read that the freely accessible narrator voices were 'just' the US ones, not the Japanese ones, so I really couldn't be bothered, as I can pick those up whenever I feel like I got a million to spare.

I play the US version on various accounts, most of them EU (due to the way I fragment/manage my buddy lists),to no ill effect. All I can say is I've played Dragon's Crown for over 200 hours now and if you happen to love Capcom's Shadow over Mystara or Tower of Doom, this game is pretty much a dream come true. To me, it only started to feel a wee bit repetitive after the influx of people playing online that are neither very inquisitve nor very social, and I've (we've) discovered all (?) of its secrets and got a trophy completion rating of 91%, which means I will have to find out how to platinum this one like I did Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, pretty much the only games where going Platinum seemed like an absolutely fun and reasonable idea.

Headdrivehardscrew:

Aye, Treasure games really are special to and treasured by me, as well. Treasure and Natsume made games that were very pleasing to the eye, yet absolutely impressive and sound on a technical level. These were some of the first home video console games I've played that were not marred by technical issues - if you died, it was clearly your own fault. That was in stark contrast to the monochrome of the Macs and Ataris of the day, and it was just a level of design and competence not seen on the Amiga or the PC. These were not quite arcade games, but they were worthy of being considered as such, as they were to us what dropping acid was to Timothy Leary. Start up, sit down, play... and hours were spent, not lost, playing some of the most awesome games we've ever seen.

Puppeteer I basically just picked up on a whim. It looked very nice, the price point was below average, it was a Sony title... it just appealed to me. Then I noticed that I just started downloading 11GB and that was when I first started browsing around for information on this weird little big no-name sleeper title. Wow. When I first started playing it, I immediately stopped again, as it did not feel right to start playing ('checking out!') this one title with but ten minutes or so to spare. I was right. It's pretty epic... and awesome, too. This game makes the best use of a big screen, a sofa and surround sound. It makes me long for times gone by. It makes me want to go to the theater, watch Shakespeare, listen to Mozart and support the artsy fartsy crowd of artists wiggling their asses to the tune of some choreographer. As a game, I can only tell you that I enjoy it as much as I seem to be confused by it, but as a ride, it's just about the most impressive thing I've seen on the PS3. The attention to detail is incredible and the lighting and presentation are just impeccable. I still stay away from teh evul interwebs on anything Puppeteer, as I don't want the bosses - or anything else really - spoilered to me.

Since you live in Japan, you might find this here article inspiring:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/andrew-edney/puppeteer-interview-family-gaming_b_3593740.html

Aye, I also happen to think that wipE'out should generally be played on the biggest screen possible and available, as immersion just happens when you finally master controlling the hovercrafts, and they still feel as real and genuine and immediate as they first did on the PSX. Too bad Psygnosis / Studio Liverpool is no longer with us. They gave us some great games.

I'm not too sure you're really missing out on the extras in Dragon's Crown. I've read that the various 'extra' narrator voices were up for download for free to early buyers/adopters, but I never checked it out, as that stuff is available for sale in the game anyway and I despise DLC deal shenanigans and generally ignore them wherever possible. I just read that the freely accessible narrator voices were 'just' the US ones, not the Japanese ones, so I really couldn't be bothered, as I can pick those up whenever I feel like I got a million to spare.

I play the US version on various accounts, most of them EU (due to the way I fragment/manage my buddy lists),to no ill effect. All I can say is I've played Dragon's Crown for over 200 hours now and if you happen to love Capcom's Shadow over Mystara or Tower of Doom, this game is pretty much a dream come true. To me, it only started to feel a wee bit repetitive after the influx of people playing online that are neither very inquisitve nor very social, and I've (we've) discovered all (?) of its secrets and got a trophy completion rating of 91%, which means I will have to find out how to platinum this one like I did Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, pretty much the only games where going Platinum seemed like an absolutely fun and reasonable idea.

Wow, insightful post dude. I'm pretty much sold on Puppeteer.... I just need to own a PS3 first XD

I ended up with the 360 for a handful of exclusives, but I've always meant to get a PS3. Maybe I'll likely get a PS4 instead. Whatever the case, this rates very high on my shopping list of games to get for the system.

I'm glad you mentioned Wipeout, as I happen to be a big fan of that series as well! In fact, my name 'Terramax', derives from the third course from the very first games on the PSX and Saturn. Indeed, Wipeout 2048 is a good game, but much too detailed for the small screen, so I don't play it as much as I want to out of frustration. Thankfully, the PS Vita TV is being released in JP soon, so maybe I'll pick up one of those and play it again on the big-screen.

As for Dragon's Crown - one of my fav Treasure Co games is 'Guardian Heroes', and that's what DC reminds me of. Thanks for the details regarding DLC. Maybe I'll invest in a retail copy of the US version sooner than later.

 

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