Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Patapon 2

2:00 PM on 05.01.2009 // Brad Nicholson

So, Patapon 2 is Sony’s  big UMD-less release. Since we got an early copy, I thought it would be cool to talk (briefly) about how you go about getting the game on your PlayStation Portable. It’s quite simple, really.

Just update your PSP to the latest firmware, find a wireless signal, sign up for a PlayStation Network account and go to the PlayStation Store. From there, you’ll be able to sort through a bunch of demos and new offerings. Find Patapon 2 and select download. The game will automatically download and install from then on.

It’s nice when these things work.

As you can imagine, I’ve been playing the hell out of Sony’s Patapon 2. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not, then, well, you’ll just have to read the review.

Hit the break for it.

Patapon 2 (PSP)
Developer: Pyramid, Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: May 5, 2009
MSRP: $19.99

Patapon 2’s story is zany, if not completely ridiculous. You’re a god who is praised and revered by the game’s mini-protagonists, the Patapon. Your objective -- and really, it’s the curious creatures’ will -- is to lead an army of these pocket monsters to a magical place called Earthend. Many enemies and obstacles, big and small, will block your path and slow your progress. But clearing these impediments doesn’t require tactical genius. All you need to do is feel the rhythm, and, uh, an affection for upgrading.


I was late to the Patapon party. Sony’s original title hit retail in February 2008. I didn’t pick up the game until that summer. Much to my surprise -- and ultimately dismay -- I didn’t find the game that enjoyable. The delicious art style and character certainly tickled me. Yet, I wasn’t able to find that sweet spot between progress and backtracking that made the first game possible to play. In fact, the only thing I found was frustration. Despite my hours of effort, I was always underprepared, underpowered, and overwhelmed in the majority of the game’s advanced levels.

Patapon 2 hasn’t been that much different for me.

A couple notes on similarity and difference: Patapon 2 stays true to its source material. The progression for both levels and troops is handled in the same manner. The art design appears identical, and the game’s quasi-tactical combat is largely left alone in this installment. Adjustments have been made, of course, but they’re extremely subtle ones -- the kind that you don’t write home about. The tweaks and miniscule additions have made Patapon 2 a better game than its predecessor, but you’re still getting the same core experience wrapped in all the old frustrations and bliss.

Patapon 2 is a tactical action game with a rhythm twist. Your immediate goal -- as a god and commander -- is to lead a legion of deformed, yet cute, creatures to the end point of a level. The only way to make the Patapon do what you desire is through music -- the game’s weird bread and butter. By inputting simple commands (learned steadily throughout the game) you’ll be able to make your Patapon army move, attack, defend, charge, and even alternate the weather. The key is to input these commands with the beat. If you don’t, the Patapon won’t respond and you’ll likely take big damage from aggressors.

I believe this is where Patapon 2 fails as a strictly handheld title. You need to concentrate intensely on the music to have any measure of success. Good headphones or a quiet room are necessary to play this game.

If you’re down with the game’s groove and you’re hitting the beat perfectly, you’ll be rewarded with Fever mode, which makes the attacks and defense of the Patapon stronger. Let’s not piddle around here: the biggest key to success in the game is keeping Fever mode going throughout the entire level. The game expects you to be able to manage this feat. Difficulty is adjusted accordingly.

Whenever you successfully enter a command, there’s a slight delay in action. You can’t input beats while the Patapon are already engaged in another movement. This is detracting, especially during boss conflicts. You’ll often be one second behind being able to properly defend or attack. Most bosses require precise timing -- something the game doesn’t really allow you to do.

The frequency of boss battles is off the chain. Every few levels will have you and your Patapon army facing off against a massive creature. While the monsters are always delightful to look at, they certainly aren’t a pleasure to fight. These big baddies are ridiculously difficult to defeat, thanks to the game’s terrible scaling.

One thing that does help is the Hero unit, completely new to Patapon 2. This guy is capable of unleashing massive destruction when the Fever gauge is at its highest point. They’re also very durable and respawn after being knocked out of the fight. It gives a face to your army, almost literally. The Hero unit can don “masks,” which turn it into any type of troop in your army, be it archer, spearman, clubber, or cavalry.

Some quick notes about army diversity: many challenges in Patapon 2 require you to diversify and upgrade your army. You’re allowed four kinds of troops at any given time. The first will always be the Hero unit; the other three are of your choice. Some missions may require archers because of air threats; others, heavy-duty guys like the clubbers. Diverse armies typically prevail, but it’s unfortunate that you don’t get the clue to do so until you enter into a level and lose miserably.

And that’s only part of the rub. You also need to upgrade your troops. Patapon 2 has a deep upgrading system that allows you to transform and diversify your army according to your play style. Sounds great on paper, but there’s a problem with this. Upgrading requires practically endless hours of backtracking and boss battles to acquire the few items it takes to upgrade one measly Patapon.

The thing that keeps me from gushing over Patapon 2 is the blurry line between victory and defeat. Boss battles are always harder than the previous level -- one that you probably breezed through. But every once in a while, the game throws in a particularly challenging confrontation. At this point you’re expected to replay levels for hours and collect items needed for upgrades. In other words, you’ll be spending numerous boring hours rehashing old content.

Patapon 2 certainly has charm. Very few games have such a vibrant and flamboyant style. But the gameplay -- the fighting, backtracking, and item collecting -- is stale in comparison. The Hero unit, the extra mini-games (which allow you to get items slightly easier) make Patapon 2 slightly better than its predecessor. But the issues that remain with the game still dwarf the little strides made with the sequel.

If you’re a fan of the series, then this should be an easy get. If you’re not, then it might be best to consider if the frustration with backtracking and boss battles is worth your time.

Score: 6.5 -- Alright (6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)

Brad Nicholson,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Don't have a date for V-Day weekend? Why not fill that void in your life by making a Super Mario Maker Level for this month's Dtoid Designs Contest?
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So uh, my dream was interesting. Travel somewhere to get furniture, protests going on, police lock us behind a gate so we go round and blow up their car to escape. Now apocalypse time with city on fire and zombies and then I get a girlfriend.Quite varied!
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington last night. It got especially good once John Goodman appeared and it turned into a sort of fun, surrealistic drug comedy. But then the ending undid every bit of enjoyment it gave me up to that point.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Putting together the Valentines Day edition of Gaming's Beautiful People and finding it surprisingly hard - ooer, missus etc - to find a male couple to put in the list. Any suggestions? All I can seem to find is the guards from Undertale.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
The story in Destiny seem kind of crummy. I feel like I'm missing something here. It doesn't really click. Taken King however seems pretty good though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know how after years and years of constant truckin' Truckers are known to get one permanently sunburned arm?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Quick note for Soul Sacrifice Delta: Sony designed it weirdly, and so while most of the updates should come in by downloading the newest update, other stuff you might not get unless you hit this on the main menu. Don't miss out!
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
Getting my Ninja on for a selfie in the Bathroom for the contest:
Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Why did I have to read that Austin Grossman was going to be one of the writers on a cancelled Half-Life 2 episode?
Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -