Puppeteer: Beautifully bizarre PS3 platformer looking the part
30th Sep 2012 | 12:01
Though he used to be a real boy, the bear (who is also a tyrannical lunar dictator) transformed him into a puppet and then bit his head clean off - suggesting that puppet heads taste better than little boy heads, which is highly unlikely.
Being headless isn't all bad, as Kutaro can jam other heads onto his neck-stump thanks to his new puppet nature. They don't have to be true heads, either. Anything from spiders to hamburgers to teacups to copyright-infringing yellowish submersibles to an actual knife can take the place of Kutaro's missing noggin, and they all bestow him with a special power based loosely on what they're made of. The spider head, for example, allows access to hidden areas stuck behind spiderwebs. Presumably, the knife helps with shanking haters. If Kutaro gets hit, his head pops off and he's got three seconds to grab hold of it and jam it back on before he loses a life - a bit like Sonic's rings, but with more decapitation played for comic relief.
IN FOR THE CHOP
Those scissors are useful too, despite being roughly three times the size of Kutaro. Aside from doubling up as a nifty sword, they can slice through scenery to pull our hero through levels by simply cutting along the dotted line. At one point in the GamesCom trailer, Kutaro chops his way upwards through an endless swarm of paper bats.
All very charming, but there's something that everyone's overlooking here in regards to the inspiration behind the story - a story about a puppet boy with interchangeable heads, set in an entire world of puppets, in which an antagonist bear dogs your every step? It's all shamelessly stolen from Dynamite Headdy, one of 1994's best Mega Drive platformers. (The bear was called Trouble Bruin, by the way, which is also one of 1994's best bear-themed puns.)
Still, SCE Studios can be forgiven a little appropriation in the name of generating great games - and Puppeteer looksbe pretty charming all round. We only hope that the sheer array of heads doesn't become redundant, andthat there's some tactical nous to choosing the rightonefor the right situation rather than it being a simple, brainless (yes, pun intended) gimmick.