Addictive, mesmerizing, infuriating. These are a few words that best describe Patapon. Who knew you could mash together two seemingly unrelated genres: real time tactics and rhythm/music? The game’s simple, whimsical art direction and smooth animation really make it stand out. It reminds me of cave paintings come to life.
When each mission begins you hear a steady, relentless beat that you have to keep time with on your drums that correspond to each face button on the PSP. Different combinations of four beat rhythms command your Patapons to charge, attack, defend, retreat, etc. Once you get the hang of the timing you will find yourself bobbing your head and tapping your feet to the hypnotic rhythm and chanting, so make sure you’re not in a public place.
Build enough momentum and your army enters into a morale crescendo known as “Fever Mode” in which it is nearly unstoppable and inflicts greater damage on its foes. Maintaining Fever Mode is essential to success, but man, it is an unforgiving beast! The slightest distraction or interruption will kill Fever Mode and potentially send your troops on a downward spiral of failure and death.
Patapon is an excellent title for the PSP. To succeed, though, you’ll need the following: a dark, quiet room, solitude, headphones, and your little brother’s Ritalin.
Pros:Infectious music, originality
Cons: Unforgiving precision, no pause function
Final Verdict: Praise It