p>When Puppeteer from Sony’s Japan Studio was announced at GamesCom 2012, it stood out from the crowd. It immediately looked like it could be the platformer that the PlayStation 3 has been waiting for since the first LittleBigPlanet. Almost exactly a year later, Puppeteer is ready to be played, and it does not disappoint.For those who’ve seen videos or screenshots of this game, it is definitely reminiscent of the LittleBigPlanet series, so much so in fact, that you would be forgiven for thinking that the game has been developed by Media Molecule. However, that is not the case, and although it does have a similar style to those games, the platforming elements are also very different to what you might expect. I’d go as far as saying that this could be an IP that has some staying power.
Puppeteer is a side-scrolling platformer, where you play as Kutaro; a boy who has been turned into a puppet, and subsequently had has head torn off by the Moon Bear King. There’s a short introduction to explain who the Moon Bear King is, and why he is so bad, but the gist is that he’s bad, and Kutaro wants to get his own back. After losing his head, Kutaro is helped initially by a floating cat named Ying Yang, who explains how Kutaro can collect a variety of heads, with different powers and abilities.
Some of these heads have no real ability, other than to unlock a secret or allow you to progress in a level, whereas others may help you with combat in some way. You can control Ying (and other characters later on) at all times with the right-stick, and hit R2 to make him search objects in a certain area. He can unlock secrets or find gems for Kutaro to collect. If you are hit by an enemy, you have a “Sonic-esque” few seconds to collect your head before it disappears. If you lose all your heads (you can only carry three at a time), you will lose a life, which is where the gems come in handy. Ying will follow you, and is unnoticeable most of the time, so he will never get in the way.
Kutaro is controlled with the left stick and the face buttons. Platforming gets more difficult as the game progresses, but Kutaro’s jump is similar to Sackboy’s, although he can’t jump as high. Kutaro’s first mission is to steal the Calibrus from the Moon Bear King, a pair of enchanted scissors that can cut through anything. Once you collect these scissors, that’s when the game really begins. The scissors can be used to cut through flying or floating objects, allowing Kutaro to essentially cross over gaps in the floor, but here’s the catch, if you stop cutting anything for too long, you will fall. So you must also guide Kutaro along the cuttable objects, in order to continue moving.