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This game review was generously donated by Mindchamber, Great Job!

At first my interest in the PSP game “Patapon” was merely because I was drawn to the visuals.

The silhouetted characters and colorful backgrounds reminded me of a style created by a good friend of mine, Eric Black.

I later found out it was rhythm game, by the “Loco Roco” guys, with strategy elements, set in a funky 2D side scrolling style created by a famous French flash artist Rolito.

I just didn’t know how catchy the music would be or how addictive the game would become.
The Patapons are a tribe of eyeballs set on a quest to find the elusive “it”, and it’s up to the ‘Almighty’ (that’s you, the player), to guide them through the treacherous terrain, giant monsters and enemy hordes to get there.

Every move you order your tribe to make must be done by hitting a sequence of beats to the rhythm of the song being played.
So if you want them to advance forward, it’s “Pon, Pon, Pata, Pon”. There are four drums that are mapped onto each face button.
Thankfully you don’t have to remember too many sequences from the beginning, but as you get the hang of things the game throws in a new sequence that allows even more control over your tribe.
So at first you may start with, advance, and attack, but by the end of the game, you will feel like you’re Tito Fuentes, banging out new rhythms to the beat, and having Patapons singing out to each one in compliance!
What’s great about having to memorize the beats is that you actually get to enjoy the action. Most rhythm games have some kind of bar, or moving cursor you need to follow, but in “Patapon” all you have to do is hit the drums to the beat, and watch the epic battles in all their glory! (There is a small border around the game that flashes to help you along if you are that off key).

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If you hit your beats perfectly over nine times, you will go into fever mode, in which the Patapons will double or triple their attack power. Hold up the fever, and you can plow through most of enemies and bosses.
So sticking to a rhythm in this game is definitely key, as well as understanding the attack sounds of enemies and sound effects that warn you of their next sequence. Not that all battles are cakewalks though, some require actual strategy, and you to really pay attention to the benefits and detriments of every class in your tribe.

In fact, I have once played this game on the train simply by placing the PSP speaker to my ear and hitting the buttons based on the audio cues alone (due to lack of headphones). I could definitely see this game being tweaked, so as to be enjoyed by people who can’t see, and I don’t say that in jest. Everything about the sound department is that dead on!
At this point, this is already a fun rhythm game, with great graphics and incredibly catchy music, but the creators take it even further by adding light role-playing elements to the mix. Fighting the enemy tribe (Zigatons) usually reward you with new weapons that you pass down to your tribe.

Hunting the indigenous wildlife will bring back food, metals and ka-ching (game money) to the tribe, which can be used to make stronger Patapons. Fighting new bosses also rewards you with new abilities, such as new juju powers and unlocking certain levels. Another feature that also adds replay power to the game is the fact that defeated bosses level up, and playing unlocked mini games that can reward you with tribe powerups.

I have played more than 10 hours, and have beaten the game, and have yet to see every Patapon, or unlocked every level available. So replayability is an understatement.
On top of that it's only 20 bucks, you just can’t go wrong with Patapon!

Thanks again for the great review, Mindchamber

Get Patapon Here

Graphics A
Sound A+
Pickup & Play B-
Overall Fun A

Posted by oxyjen on May 18, 2008


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