Patapon

22 04 2008

Patapon is a brilliant mix of strategy, rhythm, and character that will have you awestruck for the first hour of play before getting a bit too complicated. Patapon is a side scrolling RTS with only four basic commands (attack, defend, advance, retreat) all accessible through a simple 4 button beat. Although this seems overly simple in principle it works fantastic in play. As you progress through the game you pick up armor, currency, ore, wood, and meat to build up your army. You’ll want different configurations of archers, sword/shield, spears, and cavalry depending on the type of mission. Collecting rare materials allows for hero units that along with being much tougher to take down provide bonuses for all your troops.

Unfortunately, after an an astounding first hour (super learning curve) I got owned. It’s at this point that grinding becomes a necessary evil. You’ll begin to be forced to repeat levels to build and/or rebuild your forces for more difficult missions. It felt very “we need our game to be longer” at first but the length of missions (around 8 minutes) makes Patapon a great game to play in small segments.

Graphically Patapon is simple but gorgeous. Great animation combined with simple but effective writing lets the patapon’s ooze with character. The music is enchanting but never becomes too repetitive. Patapon is perfect for the PSP and at only $20 will soon be making the jump from rental to my permanent collection.

length: ~10 hours (time spent: 6 hours)
score: 90%
| metacritic: 86

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