Patapon Review

  • Posted March 21st, 2008 at 10:16 EDT by

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Patapon is a huge success at a mild $20 USD. The game will create a rhythmic addiction unlike any game before it and will pull you into its euphoric world to the point where you won't want to leave it.

We like

  • Patapon army variety
  • Great mini-games
  • Awesome music

We dislike

  • No pause option during missions
  • Lack of in-game save option

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Do you sometimes look at people playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band and just laugh at how ridiculous they look? You’re about to join their exclusive club with the head-bobbing, foot-tapping, rhythmic hand motioning game, Patapon. Looking back to 1997 with the release of Parappa the Rapper from Sony, who would have thought that 11 years later, the rhythmic crazed genre would still be alive and booming like it is? With Sony’s latest offering into the genre, Patapon may very well be the greatest thing to hit the PlayStation Portable since Lumines.

Big things sometimes come in small packages and that has never held truer than it has for Patapon. With your army of pint-sized warriors teaming up against large dragons, gigantic crabs, and rival Zigotons you’ll be placed in the driver seat in order to determine their fate and future. With their God disappearing and ultimately causing the downfall of their fierce army, it is quite the stroke of luck that their Almighty (you) has returned to them to help lead them to glory. The only problem is your magical chants have been dispersed throughout the land and you must fight in order to retrieve them all.

The leader of the tribe, Hatapon, will take up the banner of the tribe and lead his people into war with the sound of your beating heroics. With the Zigotons causing more trouble than they’re worth, you’ll find yourself leading the Patapons and their tribal leader Hatapon in the adventure of recapturing their land. From this point forward, you’ll be faced with over 20 missions and a control scheme that makes the entire experience come together.


The control scheme is very basic, yet fulfilling once you get it down. With a simple rhythmic tapping of the face buttons you’ll be able to make your Patapon army move forward, attack, defend, create rain, etc. Though this does sound like an easy concept to pickup and learn it isn’t always the case. The game will give you the musical aid and beat to play to, but it isn’t always easy to tap the buttons in unison. This becomes especially hard when you try to make it rain while crossing the desert. For example, this mission will involve hitting X, XX, XX. After playing the entire game with a simple four-button step, it’ll throw you off a bit to get the double-beat pattern right away.

As you progress further into the Patapon world, you’ll come across new drum techniques that will allow your Patapon to perform the different tasks. Straight out of the gate you’re given the ability to move forward and then you’re taught how to attack. From that point forward, you’ll come across defense stances and other various beats. The ultimate objective to the drumming is to eventually hit FEVER mode. This will happen once you’ve strung 10 combos together in perfect unison. The timing of your drumbeats will also become less forgiving in FEVER mode. If you’re a moment too soon or too late in tapping the drum, FEVER mode will end and you’ll be forced to build it back up. Once in FEVER mode you’ll be able to increase the power of your attacks as well as perform miracles that’ll help you traverse difficult plains.

One of the downfalls of the game and a lot of people tend to agree with this, is the fact that the game has you go back to certain plains to pickup things that are now available. The reason this is such a downfall is because the game never really lets you know you need to do this you kind of just have to figure it out on your own. While this may be only a minor snag, it may cause some mass frustration amongst more impatient gamers. However, with gamers who love having 100% of everything, this game has a lot of extra content to offer.

Patapon can be completed very quickly if you choose to blow right through it; however, for those who love to collect, you’ll have the option to build your army up with a large variety of Patapons. Though the game starts you off with the Tatepon, you’ll eventually be able to have a total of six ... (continued on next page)

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