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Patapon Review

Patapon
Sony Computer Entertainment
PSP
Single player
"E" for Everyone
Rating: 8 out of 10.

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When Sony first showed me Patapon in December, I didn't know what to make of it. Firstly, it's rhythmic, and I love rhythmic games. It's a side scroller, not a plus in my book. But it is cute, very cute. If you're not a lover of cute, then maybe you'll find the art interesting - it was designed by the popular French graphic artist, Rolito and the 2D art involves catchy abstract shapes, and colorful environments.

The principle of game play is that you have to lead the Patapons through a series of epic battles against opposing armies and gigantic monsters. You control the Patapons by pushing buttons that make drumbeats and send commands like march, attack, and defend. There are six different drumbeats that are combinations of X, O, box, and triangle. For example, circle, circle, box, circle might mean charge. You have to push the buttons in time to the background music, which is also in time to the action. If you chain a bunch of commands together, then you unlock a special mode where your attacks do more damage.

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I think the whole concept is very cool. I really enjoy the music. Yet, the game becomes repetitive. I find that even though things change from level to level, they don't really change all that much. There's a whole RPG-like strategy to the game where you can find and equip over 100 weapons and items. I don't find that part to be all that exciting, but I can see that it was done to increase the complexity of the game and therefore increase replayability.

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One great thing about Patapon is that to the casual observer it just looks like some kind of cartoon. No one would immediately grasp the concept that pushing the buttons makes the drum sound and that makes the warriors march and fight. I like that aspect of the game. It makes it more intriguing.

Overall, I like Patapon and I recommend it. It's a lot of fun and it's addictive. I did reach the point where I just lost interest in it though. So, my verdict is that I like it, but it isn't the greatest game ever made.

Pata-pata-pata-pon!

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