Patapon takes a real-time strategy game, but instead of using a menu to select the actions of your characters, you tell them what to do by beating out a drum pattern.

There are different patterns to tell your “Patapons” to do different actions. Square Square Square Circle is the command to move forward, whereas Circle Circle Square Circle is the command to attack.

It sounds much easier than it is. There is a background beat going on in the game, and you need to keep the pace. You must hit the drums to that beat, and then allow the Patapon’s to repeat the command to you as they do the action. If you just hit lots of buttons than it’s not recognized as a command. Hitting them to fast or two slow so they are off beat will make your Patapon stumble, and you have to start over.

If you do 10 commands right in a row you go into Fever mode. In fever mode your Patapon all get stronger. This unlocks special bonuses called “miracles.” You need to stay in fever mode sometimes or else your Patapon will die when a miracle ends.

Patapon takes the story of a race of creatures that are in a small isolated area surrounded by enemies and almost surely going to die soon.

There is a legend of a great deity that once led them to power and “IT” at Earthend. You become the deity leading the Patapons through your drumming on different keys on your PSP.

The game is very precise on the beats and it’s very easy to miss a command, and lose the combo by just missing the beat by a little amount. Issuing the wrong command can sometimes be deadly.

Luckily most of the time if your Patapon die then they drop a helmet that you can pick up and then restore them to life when you get back to town.

Some enemies will eat your Patapons, helmet and all. If you fail to grab it in time, the Patapon is gone forever. With as few Pataon as you have in the game you don’t want to lose any of them. You can create more Patapon by hunting for meat and special items, and money known as K-Ching. All three of these are needed to create a new Patapon.

When you create a Patapon the types of material used will influence the abilities of the Patapon. If you use better materials the Patapon will be stronger, or faster, or have a higher defense. You’ll need to collect all kinds of materials though to create the different types of Patapon you want. There is also a certain amount of strategy to creating your army. When you go into battle you can only use three types, and certain types are better for different things. Some are strong for hunting, but weak in a battle, others are strong at battle, but weak at hunting.

Hunting can be annoying, as you need meat and K-Ching to create new Patapons. The hunting levels are pretty much the same, you walk across the screen trying to kill as many birds or boars as you can before they run away. This can get monotonous, as you’ll need a lot of K-Ching for creating some Patapon, and you need the meat to create them. So every so often you just have to go on a bunch of hunting missions to then go back to the regular game.

The graphics in the game are fairly simple, but they fit the style and make it amusing.

The Patapon are basically huge eye’s with legs and arms. The eye is also important because it will change as a status symbol. The eyes look towards the drumming beat as you drum, and they will turn angry when they are within attacking range of an enemy. The music in the game is a lot of fun, but definitely detracts from the portable nature of the game. You need to play with the beat meaning that outside influences can mess you up, and even kill you. If something distracts you, or you can’t hear the music for a second you will likely lose your concentration and the beat of the game. Also if something moves you, or bumps you or such you might hit too early or too late. This game seems to be better for sitting at home, or with headphones waiting somewhere. I wouldn’t recommend for playing while your walking around, or even on bus or train could be hard.

Overall, the game is a lot of fun, and for the cost of the game well worth it.

Quick hits:

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PSP
Genre: Strategy
Players: Single player
Launch Date: February 26, 2008

Playability: [rating:4/5]
Learning Curve: [rating:4.5]
Sound: [rating:5/5]
Graphics: [rating:4/5]
Overall: [rating:4.5]

About The Author

Bradley Ouellette is a Blast staff writer who's been with us since the bitter beginnings when we were an attic and basement operation on Mission Hill.

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