Jan 2, 2008

Of all the curious (and exciting) concepts emanating from Sony Computer Entertainment's Japan studio (LocoRoco, Echochrome, The Eye of Judgment), Patapon may be the strangest of all. As the long-lost savior to the Patapons, a tribe of anthropomorphic eyeballs with arms and legs, you must pound out rhythmic patterns on your mystical drums (tied to the face buttons) to send your customizable minions into battle to reclaim their homeland.

Welcome to Exhibit A of "How to create a new genre."

Drum patterns are earned through the missions, and you'll start with the basic movement pattern: Pata-Pata-Pata-Pon (Square-Square-Square-Circle). Following each correct input, the Patapons will sing the melody back to you (while performing the command), and then you must immediately enter the next command to start and continue a combo, eventually sending the creatures into Fever (in which some characters are more effective on offense). Ultimately, the goal of most stages is to progress from the left side of the 2D map to a goal on the right, though you'll often have to battle through waves of enemy Zigotons.

Andrew Hayward
Freelance writer for GamesRadar and several other gaming and tech publications, including Official Xbox Magazine, Nintendo Power, Mac|Life, @Gamer, and PlayStation: The Official Magazine. Visit my work blog at