Pon Pon Pata Pon! Hear the sounds of the mighty ancient race known as the Patapon! Over a decade ago, this game was released on the OG (Original Gamesta) PSP and, if you haven’t played it yet, you’re definitely in for a treat. Although the remake does not offer anything new outside of HD graphics (as well as some technical problems), is this game worth it?
BREAK IT DOWN!
Don’t know what Patapon is? I gotchu, fam.
The game story begins with a little introduction into who/what the Patapon Ancients are and their epic journey in search of “IT” (no, not the creepy clown that lures children…crossover possibility?). Guided by the Great Mighty Patapon, these fearless ‘minions’ would conquer anything in their path without hesitation. True warriors. True bad asses. This would give birth to a legend which would be continued for generations to come. Now, it’s time for you to continue the legend with a new generation as the new Mighty Patapon!
At the core of it, Patapon is a rhythm game. By pressing the face buttons of the PS Controller, you need to put in commands in a rhythmic beat (1-2-3-4). Various combinations will let you perform various actions like attacking, marching, defending, etc. By getting the beat right repeatedly, you’ll enter into FEVER mode where your army attacks harder, blocks more damage, and so on. . As the Great Mighty Patapon, you will have the ability to use your “JuJu” which relate to unlockable miracles – from “Rainfall” which makes it harder for your Patapons to be detected to shaking the ground with an “Earthquake” miracle that staggers your enemies (definitely useful when you are outnumbered).
You will face many enemies ranging from the Zigotans; which have square shaped eyeballs; who seem to be your mortal enemy to HUGE MONSTERS / ENTITIES. To overcome them and the various obstacles you are faced with, you’ll find various soldiers (warriors that use spears, shields, ride on horses like the Dothraki, and of course your classic bow and arrow folks) who’ll help increase your army’s strength. You’ll also get loot that will allow you to craft various weapons and armors for your warriors
REALLY PRETTY… AND PRETTY MUCH THE SAME.
It is unquestionable that this game was one of the stars of the PSP. And now, with Patapon getting Remastered for the PS4, it simply looks gorgeous. You can play it up to 4K and it will still shine. With how simple everything is in the game, beautifying it became no problem whatsoever. Cutscenes may not have all been remastered but the actual game is definitely pretty.
As far as “remastered” goes, it’s all in the graphics and the look. Not much has really changed but that’s okay! This classic was such a bright star for the PSP that making it available for the PS4 is a good way to expose the game to others who weren’t able to play this awesome game.
MAYBE NOT AS FUTURE PROOF
Yes, it’s pretty much the same but that also means that it’s not as future proof as it could be. Certain problems arose but they are quite few.
There have been reported issues about some frustration with playing with a wireless controller (like we all do nowadays). There seems to be some input lag that may hinder your ability to actually drum on beat. This being a rhythm game, you can understand how that becomes problematic. I wish they added a calibration option to the game which would solve this problem. However, if you are connected directly to the PS4 with your controller it seems to not be a problem.
These days, not everyone is also up for grinding which becomes a thing if you really wanna trick out your armies via crafting. The way the missions are laid out you will have to repeat the same levels multiple times just to collect the loot needed to craft items. On top of that, it’s kind of RNG based (say your prayers before journeying) to get those said items which kind of hampers the fluidity of the game. Although it is entirely OPTIONAL, some may feel it’s REQUIRED just to move further into the harder levels. I mean Link didn’t really go all the way to the end with a wooden sword from a random strange man in a cave right?
Also you cannot pause the game. Only suspend; which may mess up your timings.
FINAL VERDICT: IT’S STILL A GEM!
Aside from the minor issues, the game itself is a joy to play. The unique gameplay and music just hits the mood of each area and you feel engaged to keep beating that drum away (unlike the old drummer boys in wars, this is actually fun)! It’s a breath of fresh air in a generation of shooters, fighters, and mmo’s. The graphics do hold up well for a remake similar to God of War: Ghost of Sparta when it was ported over to the PS3 in HD. Although some of the pre-rendered cutscenes look a bit outdated. I actually didn’t mind it as it brought a bit of nostalgia to me personally.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Patapon Remake for its unique take on a rhythm style game and for the great music accompanied by it. Although there were some technical gripes, it shouldn’t steer you away from giving this hidden gem a try.
If you didn’t know there were actually two sequels. Even though the consensus is they were a bit more convoluted, it still would have been awesome to have a trilogy barebone remake instead of just the one. If you missed it 10 years ago, it’s back for a reason. Don’t let it slip away this time and remember…keep drumming away into the sunset… PATA PATA PATA PON!
- Great soundtrack with a multitude of things to do
- Simple gameplay and family friendly
- For less than $20, it’s a bargain
- Input latency Issues
- No pause option
- A little repetitive to upgrade your followers
Final Score: 8/10