Patapon is a remaster of the critically acclaimed 2007 PSP game. It’s a 2D scrolling rhythm game, where you, the god of the Patapons, lead your subjects on a journey to Earthend so that they may gaze upon IT (“for eternal contentment!”).
You and your four drums, Pata, Pon, Chaka, and Don, order the Patapons to victory! Staying to the beat with your four drums, you command the Patapons to charge, attack, defend, etc. For example, pata, pata, pata, pon (square, square, square, circle) is the command to move forward. As you go through the game and acquire more drums, you learn more commands.
When giving commands, you need to keep in time with your Patapons. If you get the rhythm right a few times in a row, you enter Fever mode, where the Patapons are stronger than ever before. However, one mistake and the rhythm is lost. It’s really jarring when you get the beat wrong and everyone goes from super excited to awkwardly confused. But it’s okay because you know – and the Patapons know – that it’s entirely your fault.
I thought I was pretty good at rhythmic timing, but this game has humbled me. I messed up so many times I got all the “break the rhythm fifteen times in a row” trophies without knowing they existed. The disgrace! The dishonour! But at least Di would probably be worse at the game than me.
While the game never got me to rage quit, it did get me to shame quit. My Patapon’s are so disappointed in their god! How can they call me Almighty after I screw their rhythm up so much?! Fortunately, their forgiveness levels are on a divine level so my measly human skills are forgotten once we move on to the next beat.
Despite telling you how bad you suck (literally, the Patapons call you out whenever you mess up), there’s a sense of growth the further into the game you go. As you play each level you gather spoils which can be used to feed your Patapons, equip them with better armour and weapons, and resources to birth new Patapons to join your army! Then victory doesn’t entirely rely on you trying to remember the different beats for all the different commands, attempting to keep in time while also thinking about battle strategies, and moving forward fast enough to retrieve the dead when you do inevitably fail. Yeesh, being a god is not easy!
I must say, despite being absolutely terrible at the game, I did enjoy the music. It’s somewhat more enjoyable when you know you are a big part of it, with your drums and the excitement levels of the Patapons growing exponentially. It would be the only reason I kept going back to the game, though. Every time I did, I thought, “I’ve got rhythm, I can do this easy.”
And every time I shame quit and thought to myself, “Man, rhythm games are not for me.”
It’s funny, because I should have realised this with PaRappa the Rapper. But since PaRappa was such a short game and we completed it within a couple of hours, comparatively I really do feel like I suck at Patapon.
And that is why I haven’t completed the game. If, however, you love rhythm games, or you take this to be a challenge and think, “Hah! This girl doesn’t know what she’s talking about!” then I dare you to get Patapon. I dare you to tell me I don’t have rhythm! I dare you to tell me that I have a terrible case of git gud. But only people who have completed Patapon can say that. Got it?
- this is a good and challenging rhythm game
- I hate rhythm games
- I want to give it a low score
- but I didn’t because I did actually enjoy it when I was doing well
- so here’s a 6