It's no secret that the video game industry is dangerously close to transitioning full-on into the "next generation" of gaming. The wording and context behind the definition of "next gen" is clearly debatable, but that's neither here nor there. What's important to note is that in a couple of months, brand new consoles will be released, effectively ending the run of releases on PS3 and Xbox 360, save for a few random released scattered here and there. For the most part, however, developers will be focusing most if not all of their time and resources into development for the new consoles, all but moving on completely from the current generation consoles.
Usually this transition from one console to the next version means the lack of good, quality games are at a minimum in the last few months of life. It's hard to convince consumers to invest in games at the end of a console cycle while simultaneously expecting them to save up for the new systems and plethora of launch day games, which keeps developers shying away from pouring too much heart and soul into games that are at risk to be all but forgotten about and neglected.
Sony has decided that this trend needed to come to an end, by refusing to allow the PS3 to limp into the sunset, and actually pushing out games.
Not just any old games, either, but truly legit, great titles. One of those games that Sony decided to roll out before the end of the PS3 is Puppeteer, and despite it's unique style and cheaper price tag, it has staked its place among the best of the best Sony titles. Unfortunately, I worry how many people will miss out on this true delight of a game.
First of all, it carries a $40 price tag, and while cheaper MSRP right off the bat usually indicates a lesser quality of game, in this case, it couldn't be further from the truth. In all honesty, I have no idea why this was only 40 bucks, as it is a complete game worthy of sitting on the shelves next to the big boys. My only thought is that since it is an original IP, the first in a series (hopefully!) and at the end of a console cycle, that Sony banked on a lower price tag as the best way to move copies of the game. Either way, it's a win-win, as long as people are willing to drop assumptions and actually play the game for themselves.
The game itself is brilliant. You play as a puppet, without a head, and on a journey, of course. You find different heads along the way, which act as both a life meter and add different abilities to your character that allow you to get bonuses throughout the levels and unlock bonus stages along the way. You also carry a pair of golden shears, that not only act as a weapon, but also as a method of transportation. You see, as you begin to cut fabric or other things throughout the game, you propel yourself in the direction in which you are cutting; sideways, up, down, forwards and backwards.
The best and most endearing thing about the game is the setting of the game. As a puppet, it's only logical that you are on a stage, and in this game, that's exactly where you are. There are red curtains framing in the screen of the game, the bottom of the stage is visible at the bottom of the screen, spotlights move around and shine on things that need highlighted, and there is even a "live" audience (unseen) from the perspective that you see the game from, that applauds, reacts and cheers for you along the way. It's a unique thing that sounds quirky and gimmicky, but once you see it play out, it's more magical and whimsical than you could possibly imagine.
So far, Puppeteer is easily turning out to be one my all-time favorite platformers, if only because of how unique and different it is than all the cookie-cutter games out there. I couldn't thank Sony more for taking a chance and putting this game out there, with the PS4 looming just around the corner. Hopefully, the trend of consoles dying without good games on them for months before hand is over.
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Games played for project : 365