Patapon 3
Developer: Pyramid Japan Studio
Publisher: SCEE
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: Singleplayer, 2-8 player multiplayer, 2-4 player co-op
Words By:

Patapon 3 is the series’ third outing to the Playstation Portable, and is a direct sequel to Patapon 2. The story continues directly on from the end of Patapon 2, with the Patapon all having been turned to stone after opening a mysterious box. Although it does continue on, no previous knowledge of the story is needed to be able to pick up and play this game and enjoy it. The story itself is almost standalone, with there being only a few references to the previous games.

As in the first two games, Patapon 3 has you play as the god to the tribe of Patapon. The Patapon are controlled throughout all the levels with ‘The Drum of Valour’, where you use the four face buttons (cross, circle, square and triangle), to tap out short rhythms to tell the Patapons what to do. Unlike the previous games, this time you start off with access to all the commands available, giving you a wider variety in the tactics you can use during levels. The graphics of the game will also be very familiar to those of you who’ve played either of the other two games, having you control the 2D silhouettes of the Patapons, marching against a Technicolor scrolling background, animated with layers of scenery. There are also the various forms of weather first introduced in Patapon 2, such as blizzards which increase the freeze rate of your Patapons, meaning your tactics will have to vary depending on the type of level.

Where Patapon 3 has really changed is in the customisation features. In Patapon 1 there were very few, just different types of weapons etc. Patapon 2 improved in this department and added extra customisation options such as changing the classes of the Patapon. Now Patapon 3 has improved this further, adding many new features. Before you could have three different units of Patapon, each consisting of three Patapons, this has now changed because there are only four Patapon brought back to life in the story; Ton, Kan, Chin and Heropon, now called Superhero Patapon. The old customisation Tree of Life is gone, replaced with many different locations set in a cave, which houses all the customisation options possible. The main change is that an experience-based level system is now present, where the different classes of Patapon will unlock new abilities and upgrades via levelling up through experience gained by completing levels, rather than by purchasing them with items.

The main base of the Patapon, now an ancient Patapon settlement in a Cave, has a number of buildings, all with a different purpose. The items can now be used in the Blacksmiths, where all the currently acquired weapons and armour can be upgraded to give better statistics, and improving your efficiency in combat. The Armoury allows you to dismantle unnecessary items into much-needed parts and money. The barracks are where you’ll spent a lot of time, this is where you can customise your Patapon team, you can customise their equipment, change their class or give them skills, which can boost certain abilities. The Team Totem is where you’ll create your team to use online. The Battlegate and the Herogate are the two portals to access the multiplayer modes; competitive and co-op. And finally the Master Obelisk, where you select which level to play, and can replay previous levels in order to gain experience and items.

Other changes include new items added to the game, including powerful “one of a kind” weapons, which are found in chests, obtained by killing bosses or large creatures. These chests range all the way from basic wooden chest, up to large jewelled chests which contain the rarest items. The Superhero Patapon has a special ability, activated when in fever mode and a perfect string of four beats is hit, giving you extra damage or special defence bonuses.

The story mode itself will last you a long time, with there being over 70 levels to complete, including some multi-level dungeon type missions that don’t allow you to return to base after each level is complete. This story can be played through by yourself, but can also be played through with up to 3 of your friends in the co-op mode, either via adhoc local play or online over PSN. The game also features a four Vs. four competitive mode, with modes such as ‘capture the flag’, where each team starts on opposite ends of a level and they race to get to the other end while earning points for destroying enemy towers, and capturing towers for themselves. The first to get to the other side, or with the most points when time’s up, wins.

These added multiplayer modes, and the numerous other additions, help make Patapon 3 a fun game to play, for both people who’ve played the series before, and those new to the series. The gameplay may be difficult in places, and, unless you’re playing in private, headphones are recommended to be able to hear properly and hit the buttons in rhythm, but Patapon 3 is a good solid game, retains the series’ uniqueness, and is well worth your time.

Best Bits

- Huge range of customisation.
- Range of multiplayer modes.
- Unique gameplay and graphics.
Worst Bits

- Headphones or a quiet room needed to play properly.
- Difficulty spikes.
- Gameplay starts to get a bit repetitive after a while.

by: coolalien

Copyright © Gamecell 2011