April 14, 2008

Review: Patapon

And... we're back! On a side note, we've had about another 130 hits in the last 13 days. What. The. Hell.

A... unique adventure.

Patapon is certainly a different game. I suppose you could call it a strategy game, but not in the traditional sense. Really, it's a rhythm-based strategy game that plays in real time. I know what you're thinking, "What?". It actually works really well. Allow me to explain. In Patapon, you are in indirect control of the Patapons, little eyeball people with weapons. Your objective is to lead the Patapon to Earthend so they can find "IT". On your journey you must battle terrible creatures and the ruthless Zigoton army (red eyeballs). You control your troops by beating a war drum. There are four distinct beats that are mapped to the four face buttons. All you have to do is beat them in time to make the Patapons do stuff. For example if you hit square (the "pata" sound) followed by circle (the "pon" sound) then your troops will march. You beat the drum for a measure, the Patapons do what you say, you beat the drum again, etc. The longer you keep the beat going without screwing up, the longer your combo will become. When you reach a certain combo number (depending on the mission) the Patapons will enter into fever mode. When in fever mode, the Patapons will increase in strength, agility, and defense and you also gain the ability to use juju which has a wide variety of effects depending on which juju you have equipped.

When you first start out, you'll have an army of three spear-throwing Patapons and a leader whose job is to hold the flag. You'll unlock more ranks of Patapons as you progress (like archers, and warriors) which you can birth using materials collected on the battlefield. The higher quality the materials, the stronger the Patapon you will create. Different ranks require different materials to create, but all require cha-ching (money). You can collect money by defeating enemies. Really, the weapons, materials, and money you receive depends solely on what enemies drop (which is to say, completely random). When your not battling your way to Earthend, you can play minigames (rhythm-based, of course) to get items, or go hunting to get food. You can use food ingredients to birth Patapons or to cook food which powers up your troops. Before heading out on a mission you can equip Patapons, juju, and reposition troops to your liking.

The entire feel of the game reminds me of tribal Australia. Strange, yet true. From the stylized 2D visuals to the excellent music everything feels very tribal. Did I mention the game was in 2D? Well, it is and the entire game is side scrolling. It sounds strange, and to be fair it is a very strange game, but for some reason I simply can't put it down. Plus, it's only 20 bucks. Just make sure your not rhythmically impaired.

Visuals: 9
Controls: 10
Sound: 10
Replay Value: 9
Overall: 9/10

A great, quirky, and surprisingly deep portable adventure... as long as you're the musical type.

1 comment:

  1. lol I'm rythmically impared =p
    Wow i can't belive the psp is just starting to come out with good games its a lil bit to late