What can I say about Patapon? It was certainly one of the few games I actively enjoyed for the PSP and it was trying to do something unique. At its most basic, it’s a rhythm-based strategy game with RPG elements. At it’s most complex, it’s all that what I just said. Basically you find yourself a little tribe of warriors called Patapons and you lead them into battle against the fierce warriors of the Zigaton empire who destroyed their lands and drove them away. The Patapons look upon you as a deity of sorts and the most interesting mechanic is the manner in which you lead them: each of the four face buttons controls the beat of a specific drum and you press these in patterns to direct their movements. For example, some commands are square, square, square, circle (Pata Pata Pata Pon) which commands them to march forward and circle, circle, square, circle (Pon Pon Pata Pon) causes them to attack. You can’t just flail at the commands like a spastic child though; the rhythm commands must be entered in time to the beat of the game’s music, a constant 1/4 beat that pulses both in music and on-screen. Failing to keep the rhythm will cause your Patapons to fall over themselves and glare at you until you pick up the beat again. Having to keep to a certain beat forces you to think ahead with your commands: attack too early and you could leave your Patapons vulnerable to danger, dodge too late and the Zigatons will rush up and rain spears and arrows down on you.But you’re not just limited to your basic starting warriors. Gather enough meat and material from hunting or battles and you’ll be able to synthesize a greater variety of warrior with which to bolster your ranks. Rarer material such as certain ores can even give you the same warrior class but with greater stats if you’re keen on a certain kind. There’s even a few mini games with this singing and dancing tree or a crying baby mountain who can provide you with bonus material for more patapon warriors (and a “cooking” game too!). But mechanics aside, the music is catchy and doesn’t grate on your nerves even after a good while and the art is superb. Simple silhouettes on backgrounds with filled with a rich gradient color. It’s simple but bold and effective (and cute as all hell).
If you happen to have a psp I highly suggest this game.