Patapon Review
Patapon box art
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
Groovy, Great, and Genius
by Maria Montoro

Pon-Pon-Pata-Pon...That's the mantra you won't forget once you play Patapon for the first time. Let me start by saying this is a unique title every PSP owner should play, as long as everyone's willing to sacrifice their mental harmony for a bunch of army chants! The creators of the highly-praised LocoRoco are back with a new exceptional adventure. The two games are not all that similar, but you'll probably find a few reminders when you play Patapon. The game is a mix of very basic real time strategy, RPG, and music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

Patapon screenshot

The whole premise of the game is to follow the rhythm in order to meet the goals of each quest. Your PSP will become a very slick instrument with four buttons that will double as drums. Each of the drums (X, circle, square, and triangle) will make different sounds, and specific button combinations will lead the army to perform different actions like advance, attack, charge, defend, etc. If you manage to perform nine combos and keep your cool, the Patapon army will enter Fever mode; your soldiers' attacks will be much more powerful.

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The Patapons are a cute tribe of eyeballs with spears, helmets, and more. They were exiled to other lands and now they're back to reclaim what's theirs with the help of yourself, the "Mighty One." The evil Zigoton army will do its best to keep the Patapons away, but nothing can stop them now from reaching Earthbend, where they'll find the mysterious "IT" they keep talking about. The Patapons are led by the Hatapon, a brave warrior who protects the Pata-Drum. He's also the standard bearer. The rest of the army is made up of different Patapons of your choice. You'll start with the basic Yaripons, strong spearmen. Later on you'll obtain Yumipons, who can shoot arrows at great distances with their arches. There's also Tatepons, who wield shields, axes, etc. The game will surprise you with amazing Patapon combinations and looks; the basic ones are all black and white, but when you build up your army a little more, they'll show up in new colors and shapes.

Patapon screenshot

Everything starts at the home base, Patapolis, which acts as the main menu. Here you'll see the Patapons dancing around the fire in the Festival Plaza, and then scrolling towards the right or the left with the shoulder buttons you'll see the Tree of Life (it combines the different ingredients you provide and creates new Patapons), the Treasure Room Altar (your inventory), the Stone Obelisk (where you select your missions), and a few mini-games. These mini-games help you obtain food and treasures. Ubobon Tree, a tree with an itchy head, dances to the rhythm of the trumpet; if you hit the right notes at the right time he'll drop presents for you. The Rumbling Kettle is where Ra the Gashapon cooks delicious meals; here the knife will chop the food when you follow the rhythm. There are five mini-games in total that allow you to earn gear upgrades and bonuses.

Patapon's main gameplay is found in the actual missions you'll select by going to the Obelisk. In the Patapon World Map, you'll see a list of the quests with icons representing the mission and the current weather. If it's raining in the hunting ground, animals can't smell you, so it's your best chance to hunt and come back home with a bunch of meat/kill. In other levels, weather conditions may turn against you. That's why later on you'll pick up (one by one) the weather miracles, which you activate when in fever mode. For example, you can cause rain to help you go through the burning dessert or stop the wind so the arrows and spears reach the enemies appropriately.

Patapon screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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