You use the face buttons to create a beat, of which certain patterns control the angry-eyed Patapon warriors you oversee. On its surface, Patapon feels like basic rhythm game. But as you progress you'll find the game has a lot of depth which requires micro-management, levelling and well-developed strategies.
The idea of controlling an army of vicious looking eyeball warriors with a set of bongo drums, is, well, fantastic really. And even though Patapon 2 is a sequel, it's just as fresh. The game teaches you certain beats as you progress. For example, Pata-Pata-Pata-Pon (Square-Square-Square-Circle) moves your army forward. Pon-Pon-Pata-Pon (Circle-Circle-Square-Circle) makes your army attack. The combination of well timed beat sequences results in the game going into "Fever" mode, increasing your teams attack, defense and allowing new character, "Hero" to perform a special move.
The inclusion of a Hero character and his numerous different types mean you are given a challenge at the start of every battle. Not only do you need to pick the right team for the job but you also need to pick the right type of Hero. Aside from the general 40-plus story driven levels, you are also able to replay each level to unlock extra goodies which can be used for levelling your Patapon. It can become a bit of a grind at first, due to the weak nature of your squad and complex levelling system but after a few hours with the game it all begins to make sense. Seasoned Patapon players will be able to import their save file from the first game and thus have access to all their objects from the first game. This allows quicker levelling and eases you into the new game nicely. The inclusion of an ad-hoc multiplayer co-op mode also allows you to go on looting raids with friends. It's a fun extra, that thankfully can be played with AI "friends" too, but it's a little stripped down.
There is no doubt Patapon 2 is an artistically striking game. From the cute vibrant colour palette to the excellent character design, Patapon is a game filled with charm that never gets old. While the different levels and enemies don't differentiate as much as some might like, it's hard to deny the loving craftsmanship that has gone into this game.
At times verging on irritating and at others genius, Patapon 2 packs an excellent soundtrack that will embed itself into your mind tempting you back for another "quick session". For music so strict with its beat, it's devilishly seductive.
Low price.Weighing in at under £20 if you shop online, Patapon 2 packs more than enough content for the asking price. There is plenty to see and do whether you're a newcomer or a veteran, and because of that alone it's hard to not recommend the game.
Newcomers entering the Patapon universe for the first time may find the experience a little bit overwhelming when they realise that levelling, grinding and micro-management is essential to succeeding. While the game has done quite a good job of simplifying things like team selection, the levelling process (or evolution) will be far too convoluted for strictly new players.
Despite its low price, if you are the kind of person who didn't like the original Patapon or got burnt out on it, this title will not change your mind. It is essentially the same game with some minor tweaks and additions.
Thanks to its low price-point, the fact that Patapon 2 feels more like an extension than a sequel is perfectly balanced with the fact that there is plenty of fun to be had, whether you're a series veteran or a newcomer.
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