Patapon is FREE to all with a Playstation Network account so be sure to put it on your download list today to bind it in your account 5ever.
To celebrate, here is an old-ass review of Patapon from 2008. If you are new to the game, welcome to the party.
Patapon is a quirky little rhythm game developed by Pyramid and Japan Studio exclusively for the Playstation Portable (PSP). I haven’t played anything for 10 hours straight since FF8 during college, so it was very surprising that this game kept me interested for a long time (I have very low attention span for games these days).
So what is Patapon? It is a game (released February of 2008) that has got all the elements I look for in a video game. Rhythm / Music game? Check. RPG? Check. Strategy-based? Check. Quirky graphics? Check. Innovative game system? A damned big checkmark here as you haven’t seen anything like it, for sure.
Basically the game works like this. You play as Kami, the deity who guides the Patapons by playing the game’s war drums (played by pressing the X, O, Triangle and Square buttons). Square does the PATA sound, O button does the PON sound, while Triangle does CHAKA and X does the DON sound. Playing songs for 10 consecutive times (sometimes less, if you hit your drums in perfect timing) will make your Patapons reach Fever status. Being in Fever will give your Patapons higher attack rates and enable them to move faster.
There are six different kinds (job classes) of Patapons in the game, and you can fully customize them to suit your game plan (yes, give them equipment and stuff :D).
Tatepons are your melee tankers and are your frontliners (they don’t really have a choice as they’re always positioned at the front). They wield axes and swords and can equip shields. Yaripons are your second-in-line spear attackers. They are your Tatepons’ support group. They are immune to sleep and being burned by your enemies’ fire attacks. Then there’s my favorite — the Yumipons. They are your archers that do incredible damage once your group goes into Fever as they shoot 3 arrows at a time, so if you have 6 in your group = total pwnage at 18 arrows per attack.
There are three special Patapons which I have not used in my game yet (but fully intend to). They are the Kibapons (Patapon with steed), Dekapons (giant club-wielding Patapons) and the Megapons (saxophone users, lol).
Aside from Patapon job classes, there are also different types of Patapon per class. You can make Patapons by offering materials to Mater, the tree of life, and it will give birth to a Patapon depending on what kind of materials you have offered. Materials needed to create Patapons are tree branches or wood, meat or vegetables, and stones or ores. So obviously, the rare materials will net you a Rarepon (high-damage, high-HP) while the not-so-rare materials will birth a special colored Patapon. There are seven kinds of Patapon per job class (Standard is white, Pyokola is orange, Gekolos is green, Mofeel is purple, Tikulee is blue, Mogyoon is the horned rarepon and Barsala is the winged green rarepon).
There are several war drum songs that command your Patapon in doing different things. For example, playing Pata-Pata-Pata-Pon will make your guys charge forward, Pon-Pon-Pata-Pon will make them attack. There are also songs for defending, retreating, charging up and invoking JuJus.
JuJus are godly commands that you (as god) can invoke to grant your Patapons what they wish for when they reach Fever status. Basically, after reaching Fever, the Patapons will sing the Don-Dodon-Dodon (X-XX-XX) chant and call out to you (while doing a funky dance, lol) to grant them the JuJu they need. There are four JuJus in the game — rain, tailwind, earthquake and tornado. The JuJu is a pretty interesting game element that adds challenge to some of the stages that require them.
The objective of the game is to guide your Patapons to Earthend to see ‘IT’ to attain eternal contentment. Apparently, seeing ‘IT’ at Earthend is an ancient legend that Patapons want to accomplish, even at the ire of the Zigotons — your main nemesis in the game. Zigotons are desert-dwellers that have oppressed the Patapons and their great warriors. They will stop the Patapons at all costs from reaching Earthend. Aside from the Ziggies, you will also encounter boss monsters that you can fight repeatedly (while they are gaining levels) to gain rare items and Ka-chings (spiritual money, which aside from materials, are needed to birth Patapons through Mater).
Also, there are five minigames that you can play to farm items. The trumpet game with Pon the Pakapon will give you branches when you help clear Ubo Bon the tree’s itchy crown (dancing tree, lol). The farming game with Fah Zakpon will give you vegetables when you water Pop Bean and revitalize her beauty. Also there’s the xylophone game with Kon Kimpon and Rumble Thump which will give you ores and stones, and (my favorite) the cooking game with Rah Gashapon and Slurp Simmer the pot. Gashapon creates stews that you can bring to battle, and they are really good stat-boosters as the best stew (Divine Stew) will give you a big HP boost and make your attacks fire-based by default. Finally there is Kampon the smith, who can create godly weapons for you when you offer him mithrils.
I was able to finish the game last night by only using the basic Patapons — 6 Tatepons (1 Moogyun and 2 Tikulees, 1 Mofeel, and 2 standards), 6 Yaripons (2 Mofeels, 2 Tikulees and 2 standard), and 6 Yumipons (1 Tikulee, 2 Mofeels, and 3 standards). I have yet to experiment on creating Dekapons, Kibapons and Megapons… and maybe create 1 Barsala for each class. Whew.
My only peeve in this game is that you have to pick up items dropped by your enemies. That’s not really bad, you think, but if you’re playing it and can only move rhythmically, it’s a big pain in the ass especially because the items disappear after a few seconds. Also, boss monsters dropping their rares from the farthest reaches of the screen makes me cry as my Patapons can’t reach them in time when the mission ends. Hopefully, they fix this in the next Patapon game.
If you want to spend 10 hours of your life on a game this Lent (or whenever), I’d suggest you play this. When in your life can you play another rhythm / war strategy game?