Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 04/08/08

Sony does it again

This was a game that the PSP gamers were buzzing about. I did download the demo but my memory stick was too tiny to hold the file so I couldn't even try the demo and I would prefer not to waste my gamefly time with PSP or DS titles.

However I was able to rent it via other means and I'm glad I did. I originally booted the game up while filling my Jeep with gas. Figured a quick little rhythm session would pass the usually boring time period.

I had fun but I must have looked like a total nerd as I sat there tapping the beat out. What I didn't realize is that Patapon is all about keeping a beat and while you only gain three different beats it's about keeping them in time with each other and knowing which to use and when. Confused?

The basic idea of the game is that you, the gamer, is some magical drummer (the Patapon) who will lead these little eyeball guys to IT. The whole point of the game is this journey that you lead them on, searching for this mysterious IT. It's kind of cute and funny and while it's far from deep and the internet slang does get a bit tedious, it just has its own charm.

My description to a friend about the game was that it reminded me of Lemmings but on second thought it really doesn't have anything in common with that series. Instead you have stages that you need to travel but you only move to the right. It starts off easy with you going for just the exit but you soon gain more troops, learn to attack so you find yourself hunting for items to bring back dead troops and fighting your way to the next area.

It's simple yet fun and it's very addictive as I finish the game in two sittings (the first stage having been finished in my Jeep). The actual game play mechanic rely on you being able to keep a beat of four. It sounds easy and it is but try keeping that beat in a steady combo for five minuets and thinking about which four beats to use.

The first beat you learn is three squares plus a circle button. This has your troops march forward. To attack you hit two circle, one square and a circle. To guard it two triangle, one square and one circle. But remember that you must keep the beat (think of it as button, pause, button, pause and repeat that) Once you finish a beat of four the eyes say some words in four beats (usually a tip on what you should tap) and then you hit your beat again so it creates a nice little march.

To keep it all refreshing is an ever changing musical score which is up beat and urban but maintains the four beat rule. It's very pleasing to the ears and I would recommend playing this title with the headphones on.

Not only does it sound good but this game is very pretty. It's style reminds me of Locoroco a bit with the bright colors and while enemies and terrain may be limited, the bosses tend to provide a nice shadow based look which reminds me of Shadow of the Colossus but toned down in size.

The game isn't all that long but it contains some side missions and you can replay every boss and they get harder each time. You can also hunt for new weapons and do some little mini games here and there (which don't follow the four beat rule).

All in all I'd recommend this game for anyone who is into the rhythm genre as I haven't come across one since the Bust a Groove days which I sucked at and still bought both games but hey, I use to buy pretty much every game. Although, I do think if the price isn't right then this would make a fine rental for anyone going on a trip that has some decent travel time.

Story - 7/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 9/10
Replay Value - 7/10

Final Score - 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Patapon (US, 02/26/08)

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