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Not very saucy, but still a great puppet show.
I knew absolutely nothing about Puppeteer when I was first assigned it for this preview. Going by the name I knew it had something to do with puppets (well, duh), but beyond that, I just had no idea. This is why I feel so lucky now that I was chosen to check it out and report back, because this is the sort of thing I like: a beautiful fusion of traditional gameplay with modern execution.
The story is all about a young man who's been pulled from Earth to save the goddess of the moon. She's been captured by evil forces (I have no idea just which ones as it was a sparse demo), and the task of recovery falls squarely on our Earthline's narrow shoulders. He has a few tools to help him along the way: a grabbling hook, some small bombs, and one big-ass pair of scissors that occasionally light on fire when used excessively. I have no idea if the burning actually affects anything, whether it's a power-up NBA Jam-style or hurts my little fella, but either way it looks amazing.
The stage I was able to play was reminiscent of the stages in Mega Man 8 and X, when X had to hop on the top of a platform on rails, avoiding objects and adversaries to reach the next section. But it was the boss battle at the end with a giant paper dragon that really set Puppeteer apart, and the strategy around cutting your way through him that appealed to me.
Everything you see in the foreground is useful, and that includes the paper clouds that spout from the fire of the dragon; it's actually the only way to avoid being burned in certain sections. There were quick-time events as well, but the platforming was as complex and intuitive as it could be. The best compliment I can give it is that every fall I took was my fault — the controls are that good.
Puppets start dancing on September 10th of this year for PS3. And I genuinely hope Puppeteer's a good seller… I love this revival of the side-scrolling genre too much for a game this solid to go down in flames!