|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Interlink Studio (SONY)||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Ultimately, you decide what kind of formation will be more effective for each quest, so you'll have to keep in mind the kind of enemies you'll be fighting and the weather conditions. The simplest quest happens in the Patata Plains hunting ground. You can easily get through this one and obtain plenty of ka-ching (the game's currency) and meat that you can later trade in for new soldiers or you can also have the chef Gashapon cook you a hearty meal. You can go back to the hunting ground at anytime, which is good for collecting resources you may need.
Other levels involve intense battles against the Zigoton army and once you beat them you can't go back to them. The boss levels are really fun and inventive. You can replay them whenever you want, but they get tougher and tougher each time you fight them. As you would expect from a boss, you'll have to study their attack patterns before you can plan your strikes and counterattacks. The bosses look even more original than the Patapons themselves, including cool fire-breathing dragons, giant crustaceans, worms, and other reptile-looking creatures that weren't as easy to identify. The game includes a total of thirty different levels full of ingenious characters and magical environments. If you were to throw imagination in a bottle and shake it, Patapon is what you'd get.
Certainly the graphics stand out the most. Not many games look as vibrant and imaginative as Patapon, which proves reality doesn't always win. The French artist Rolito is the creator of the game's addictive look. The comical 2D visuals will be hard to forget. The cute eyeball-looking characters are very simple yet full of detail, especially when you gear them up with upgrades. Each level was made with a good dose of imagination, and it will add new elements and vibrant colors to the formula. However, don't think of it as a Katamari kind of game; instead, you'll find perfect harmony in each scenario you visit.
Since the game is based entirely on music and rhythm, every player should be a good listener and have decent hand-eye coordination (or should I say hand-ear?). The troops' actions will depend on your abilities to match their hilarious "chaka-chaka-pata-pon" kind of chants. They sound cute and funny, and at the same time almost mystical; they're completely captivating and will turn you into a rhythm-robot. But beware! They do get repetitive. The background music is just as dramatic and engaging, and it plays an important role in the gameplay, as its beats will help you execute the proper commands at the right time. Funny enough, the background music will end up confusing you in further stages, which seems like it was done on purpose. All in all, the sound of the trumpets, drums, windpipes, etc. are the perfect formula to trap you inside the little world of Patapon. Just make sure to wear your headphones or pump up the volume of your PSP whenever you play the game; otherwise it will be almost unplayable.
Patapon is very revolutionary and inventive; it's a one-of-a-kind game no one should miss. Even people who don't usually play RPGs and RTSs will find this game to be a gem. Also, the more than acceptable price point of $20 makes it an unregretful purchase (unless you broke your sister's piggy bank to go buy it!). There isn't much to lose if you decide to jump into the game, except for the terribly catchy army chants, which are tough to get rid of once they stick in your head! Play Patapon, and see by yourself!
CCC Site Director