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Patapon Preview

Duke_Ferris By:
GENRE Rhythm 
E Contains Mild Cartoon Violence

What do these ratings mean?


Some games are known as much for their unique artistic style as their gameplay - Parappa The Rapper, Skullmonkeys, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Katamari Damacy, and LocoRoco, to name a few. They’re so charmingly original that they stand out fondly in our memories.

click to enlargeAnd the cats that brought us LocoRoco have clearly managed to do it all over again with Patapon. As the almighty god of your little tribe of eyeball guys, you beat out a rhythm on your celestial drums, and they respond to it.

However, you can’t just bang on your drum all day; you have to have to time it with the music and use one of the drumbeats the Patapons understand. CHICKA CHICKA PATA PON encourages your little eyeball army to lock shields and defend its ground, while PON PON PATA PON will put them on the attack.

They even dance to your beats as they enthusiastically fight all manner of beasts and critters. Of course, when you stumble, so will they - so you have to keep your rhythm going for the little guys.

click to enlargeAnd the animation is so adorably cute, you’ll be glad the rhythmic nature of the game doesn't distract you from watching the screen just for the sheer pleasure of watching the Patapons in action.

But the Patapons aren’t as paper-thin as they appear. Different materials are needed to create different Patapon types, and rarer types of wood or stone, for example, will get you more powerful warriors. They have a whole bevy of stats hidden behind their cute exteriors.

On top of that, you can arm and armor them with all sorts of different items you find. Is the steel shield better than the wooden shield? You bet it is. You’ll even find yourself becoming attached to the little guys.

click to enlargeBack in their village of Patapolis, they’re always partying (at least when they’re victorious) and it’s there that you create new soldiers and arm them. Or if you want, you can just play the bugle for a singing tree. It’s just that kind of game.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being the divine rhythm section for an army of cute eyeballs, you take stranger drugs than I do. Either way, you’ll have the chance to pick up this stylish new diversion in February. Now if there only was a way to make it work with my Rock Band drums…

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