Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Patapon [Review]

This is something new I'd like to introduce. Every now and then, I'll write up a review and talk about a great game I'm currently playing. I realize I've done reviews for Tekken 6 and Dissidia, but this "Featured Game" thing is really what I wanted to do with them; I don't really like writing solid reviews. Anyway, let's start with one of the cutest and best games on the PSP: Patapon.

Patapon is a rhythm/strategy game on the PSP. I realize that's a strange combination, but let me explain. In the game, you play a deity that is worshipped by a tribe of warriors called Patapon, which are the little eyeball things. In order to control them in battle, you must beat specific patterns on your sacred drums. For example, pata-pata-pata-pon will make the army advance forward, while pon-pon-pata-pon will make them attack. You learn several more songs as you advance through the game, like the songs for defend and retreat. There is a constant beat during battle, so you must keep your timing and plan your songs right so you can deal the most damage.

There are three types of levels: hunting, boss battles, and story battles. Hunting levels involve you hunting animals that drop ka-ching (game's currency) and materials, which are both used to create more patapon. The boss battles are definitely the most impressive levels, as the bosses are nicely designed and present quite a challenge. Both types of levels can be replayed to farm for materials and money. Story levels are only played once, and have you fighting against your enemy, the Zigoton. These levels will often give you weapon drops and are generally the most fun to play. There are also mini-games that act as their own rhythm games, and can be played to create higher level materials.

Let me just say, I absolutely love this game. First of all, I love the graphics. It is a very creatively designed 2D game with a cartoonish feel. The patapon are especially lovable, with their simple eyeball designs. Gameplay is very unique and fun to get into, but the most addictive aspect of the game is definitely building your own army. There are different levels of materials, and the higher level materials are used to create stronger patapon. Your patapon army has different classes like swordsman, archer, spearman, horseman, and each patapon can be made a rarepon, which are stronger forms of regular patapon. The amount of farming you do for materials, whether it is by hunting or fighting bosses over and over again, really takes a lot of time and will have you occupied for hours. The time and effort it took to build my own army is what made me love the game.

If you have a PSP, it would have been very hard to miss this game. There is a sequel out too, which is a vastly improved version of this game. Patapon is easily one of the best games on the PSP, so I recommend you play it as soon as possible.


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