Long ago the peaceful Patapon were driven away from their homelands by the evil Zigaton. Struggling for survival just before everything was lost I just happened to stop by at the right time. Suddenly they see a light of hope in me, calling me their “Almighty” and pleading for help. I felt inclined to take on the responsibility and guide them to reclaim their lands from their enemies. Day by day our friendship grew stronger and soon they began to recall a mysterious place called, “Earthend”. The Patapon often spoke of a sacred item known as, “IT” which can only be found there and so they regularly nagged me to accompany them till the end.

A first of it’s kind, Patapon is a smart mix of rhythm action, side-scrolling RTS with a hint of RPG. Certainly a unique visual piece and some may recall it’s similarities to Loco Roco. Your guess is correct the two have had the same artist on the job known as Rolito ( Now I’ve always had a soft spot for quirky games and I had my eye on Patapon for a long while. It’s almost definite that anyone who has lived through even a snippet of this game has had their heart melted and helplessly let out an “Aww”.

The learning curve is fairly easy and there’s a tutorial at the start to get you into the swing of things. Whenever you discover new items/commands it will give you a brief explanation and teach you how to use them. So for those of you who neglect gaming manuals you’re off the hook.

I’ll give you a run down of the basics though, your PSP buttons are mapped to individual battle drums, “Pata”, “Pon”, “Chaka” and “Don”. In the early stages you’ll have your basic calls for , “March”, “Attack” and “Defend”. You issue your commands combining drum patterns alongside the 4/4 metronome and the Patapon will respond accordingly. As you continue your quest new commands and powers will become available which can effect the battle outcomes.

Very reminiscent of Pokemon, the names of the Patapon units all end in “pon“. In fact the only one that has a different name is a priestess called Meden, who regularly keeps you updated. There are six Patapon unit types in the game but you can only deploy three units on a mission. It doesn’t end there as rewards reaped from missions and mini-games make you feel like a mother when you begin customising your small soldiers. Fussing over each individual making sure they’ve always got their best gear on. The added mini-games in Patapon are short and sweet leaving you handy items for your inventory. So even a quick go on the game makes it worthwhile.

On a down-note though, progression can be slow at times when you find yourself having to tediously redo missions to strengthen your army. (I’ll guarantee that there’ll be a boss or two who can’t be beaten first time around.) But sometimes replaying is also needed to learn how best to overcome obstacles.

The in game screen also has a lot going on, timing your commands, reading the dialogue, planning tactics, picking up items on the field, all running in real time but it doesn’t take too long for it to become second nature. The more I’ve played Patapon, the more I’ve started to notice the little touches to the game that make it truly unique and appreciating everything that’s built into this cute little world. (Not to mention I’m now living my life to the “Pata-Pon” beats!)







2 responses to “Patapon”

  1. Donna avatar

    I can’t help but think this would be a lot of fun on the DS with the touch screen with a couple syluseseses and drums to tap. That’d be fantastic fun.

  2. Donna avatar

    Oh and the art looks very Samurai Jack to me. Not a bad thing since I happen to like Samurai Jack.

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