I stumbled upon Patapon the other day here in Japan and realized, after a bit of research, that it is being released in North America for the PSP (Playstation Portable). I can only describe it as some insane combination of Loco Roco, Pikmin, and Taiko Drum Master. If that doesn’t have you running out of your house with $19.99 in hand to buy it than I will elaborate.
In Patapon (????), you play God. Don’t worry, there is no sewing monkey heads onto walrus bodies or anything to that effect. You are God to a race of… things called Patapon. They resemble walking eyeballs with 3 tufts of hair and are often wielding various weaponry.
The Patapon were once a proud race of things until they were defeated by a rival tribe of things, the Zigaton. The Zigaton in contrast are not cute at all (although some might argue –ed.):
As God, you can control the Patapon’s in battle against the Zigaton by means of a war drum. You need to hit different beats (square, circle, triangle, X) in different patterns to give orders to your troop of Patas. If you can keep the beat steady, then they will go into a kind of frenzy, and fight harder. Here are the available commands:
- Use Magic
One of the coolest aspects of the game in my opinion, is the ability to change the little Patas’ equipment, which alters their appearance and stats. I saw a variety of tiny swords, spears which can be thrown, as well as shields and helms for defending. Some units are even able to ride on horseback. New items can be won via a variety of bizarre mini-games, or as spoils from completing a level.
The music in the game is probably one of the coolest parts. Unless you have no rhythm at all, you will have no problem getting into the beat. The art is also very unique and fun, with beautiful backgrounds and scenery.
This is a great addition to the somewhat lacking number of quality games for PSP. If my preview wasn’t sufficent in selling you, there is a playable demo available at the Official Patapon Site.