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Addicting Eyeballs: Enter Patapon

After seeing one of the few Patapon download links available, I decided to download it, pop it on my PSP and run a 5 minute trial. To sum up the experience, Patapon is addicting.

It was I loved it so much I think it deserves a review. A big thanks to the provider of the Patapon download link though (you can see it at the bottom ^^).
Despite the really crappy name and the unassuming and weird appearance of your army, Patapon (means trashy in our native language) is a simple yet enjoyable (sometimes addicting) game that casual gamers would love. Instead of pushing buttons to score high points like most Rhythm games, you get to move your Patapon Army with it. You start from basic Forward and Attack commands to more complex ones as the game progresses. Of course, the button presses required gets more complex too.

~Pata Pata Pata Pon~A full hour into the game after the Patapon download and I’m already singing the song >_<

Later into the game, you also get access to more advanced and more powerful units but you’ll only be able to field up to three different squads at once on a mission. It limits the strengths of your forces, but like any stategy nut it’s fun to experiment on which troops compliment each others skills and abilities. Note that if you lose any of your force in battle, you can always revive them from the Tree of Life.

To add more depth to the gameply, Patapon also has an RPG-like system of status upgrades. The more improved your troops levels are the more powerful they become (like in any RPG). On some stages though, you’ll find that strategy is much more important than your troops level. The Zigoton army carries with them a number of variety of monsters, that include shock troops, fierce crabs, stone golems and battle tanks while you’re stuck with your variant Patapons (unfair ain’t it?) so it’s best that you know your strenghts and exploit them.

The downside though is the absence of a pause feature (it almost made me regret my Patapon download) since the Start button is used as the Quit function so once you start a stage, you’re committed to it. Sure you can put the PSP to sleep but it’ll put you off beat and keeping your rhythm is very important in Patapon.
If you do a quick search for Patapon downloads you’ll get the EU version (US version is out next week) so it’s up to you to wait or download the EU version now.

Screens:

Patapon
Patapon

Patapon Patapon Patapon Patapon

Gameplay

The player controls a tribal warband, the warriors of which can be infantry, ranged troops or cavalry. Initially, the warband consists of only a few basic-type spearmen wielding plain weapons, but as the game progresses more units, greater warriors and more powerful weapons can be obtained. The warband is commanded through beating rhythms through combos on four talking drums, each mapped to one of the PSP’s four control buttons, where, for example, one rhythm wills the band to advance, another to press an attack, and one to back up and defend. By keeping the rhythm going and not missing a beat, continuously beating out and switching between rhythms, the band builds up a frenzy which, when reached, increase attack speed, power and general prowess.

The game and story is unfolded through a number of missions of increasing difficulty, introducing new opponents and unlocking more drum rhythms, allowing more advanced tactics. Between missions, new troops can be spawned by spending currency called ka-ching and resource items. The player can also acquire new weapons to equip their Patapon with and edit their troop formations.

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Your Patapon download via free PSP Games courtesy of Atma Xplorer Game archive.

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