Patapon 3, PSP

Patapon 3 – the third game in the Patapon series – was developed by Pyramid and SCE Japan Studio and published by Sony in 2011.

I have to admit that I’d never played any of the Patapon games until recently, and – wow – I’m very impressed!

Patapon 3 – like its predecessors – is a weird mix of rhythm game and God game, in that: you’re issuing commands to a set of marching soldiers (cute, weird-looking soldiers, but that’s basically what they are) who are motivated by the beat of a drum. You control the drumbeat by pressing the face buttons in certain combinations, but must abide by the rhythm which is shown as a pulsating box on the outside of the screen.

You can command your little warriors to march forward, attack, retreat, and so on, but you must do it precisely to the drumbeat. Miss a timing and your men will move half-heartedly, so it pays to get the timing right.

As your mini army advances your aim is to reach a series of checkpoints, to pick up any treasure you find along the way, and also to kill any enemy who you encounter. At first you play and replay the same level until you have levelled-up a few times and acquired some better weapons and armour. Between missions there’s a shop (for selling stuff you don’t need), a blacksmith (for enhancing weapons and armour), and a Barracks (for changing character items, classes and skills).

As well as the single-player game Patapon 3 also has a multiplayer component, with versus and co-op modes.

At first I didn’t really know what to make of Patapon 3. The game mechanics are very strange and take some getting used to, but after I’d levelled-up a couple of times and gotten used to the process of repeating the same mission, then I really started to enjoy it.

This isn’t a game that’s going to appeal to everybody, but there’s no doubt that Patapon 3 is both a beautifully-made ‘jewel-in-the-crown’ on the PSP, and also the best game in the Patapon series.

More: Patapon 3 on Wikipedia

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