Between missions, you can go on hunts (for food and money), bury and revive your fallen warriors, create additional units from the memories of great heroes, and sacrifice collected meat to a singing tree - alongside which you'll play a trumpet. To call Patapon a quirky experience seems like the understatement of the decade, but it's an appreciated quirkiness that extends to the visual presentation, which offers a darker and more animated take on the simplistic (but highly effective) designs of LocoRoco with the help of French artist Rolito.

Patapon also looks to be a lengthy adventure, promising more than 30 missions in total. We spent about six hours with an English build of the game and may have only seen a third of the experience, if that. With its smart rhythmic action and addictive strategic elements, Patapon seems destined to be a cult favorite upon release in February - that is, unless it finds a mainstream audience first.

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