TGS 2007: Patapon First Impressions

   25/09/2007 at 18:15       Nick H       4 COMMENTS.
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In Patapon you are a god tasked with guiding a tribe of spear wielding eyeballs, the Patapon, by commanding them with your Taiko drum.

Patapon Logo

Patapon immediately impresses with it's lovely 2d design, reminiscent of Loco Roco, if a little less colourful. The characters animate smoothly and with bags of charm, over simple but striking backgrounds.

The demo begins with your tribe of Patapon stuck behind a giant brick wall. The first challenge is to get them past it. Here the game teaches you (through on screen prompts), the first of the two command rhythms used in the TGS demo.

The buttons on the PSP correspond with different sounds you can play on your drum, square is PATA, circle is PON. Different combinations of these, played in time with the beat (shown by the screen edge flashing) will make your Patapon perform actions. The attack rhythm is circle, circle, circle, square if you input it correctly the on screen characters will sing it back to you, and begin throwing spears. If you repeat the rhythm back to the characters in time after they sing it back, then you will begin a combo which according to the demo lady starts to power them up.

Once I'd used the spears to break down the wall, I needed to start using the move forward command (Square Square Square Circle), to move them onto the next objective, in this case a herd of hippo like animals that needed moving to a goal marker. To get these animals moving I needed to use a combination of both the attack and forward commands to push them on. This is where I started to get the hang of comboing the two different rhythms together to keep my Patapon tribe moving. As the combo get's longer and longer it starts to feel really satisfying, in a manner not unlike successful sequences on a dancing game or Parrapa.

The successful herding of the beasts to the goal unfortunately ended my all too brief demo. It felt like a very early level, perhaps even the first, so didn't show off how complex the game will get, but was none the less extremely enjoyable.

A quick scan of the control list revealed that in the full game the triangle button is also used for a CHAKA sound, so more complex rhythms will most likely appear. Additionally trailers point to a host of other Patapon soldier types, like archers, cavalry and bird riders, so I'm hopeful there's a lot more to discover in this imaginative game when it' released this winter.

For the official Patapon trailer visit here.
User Comments:

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quedex - on 25/09/2007 at 22:31 wrote:
 
I want this game so badly. It really can't come out soon enough.

Did the demo have any music? The only vid clips I've seen were FX only.
 

Trip SkyWay - on 26/09/2007 at 03:16 wrote:
 
I'm really looking forward to it too.

I think the music that there was started when the characters sang back to you, but as far as I remember it was mostly singing.

Subtle sound effect were pretty tricky to hear on the show floor, even using the headphones so I may have missed some.

 

Hughes. - on 26/09/2007 at 13:58 wrote:
 
I needs it!
 

dirigiblebill - on 26/09/2007 at 14:07 wrote:
 
Fricking awesome.

That Loco Roco developer is fast becoming the PSP's Ueda Fumito :D
 


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