Patapon should be introduced as a part of special forces’ entry exams. Play the game for two hours, then sit in a room, alone, for a further six hours.
During that time you are not allowed to tap a rhythm on anything, or audibly go “pata, pata, pata, pon” (or any other combination of drumming from the game).
If you do, you will fail and immediately be waterboarded until you admit to commiting crimes you literally could not have had a hand in.
Pata, pata, pata, pon! Oops. It gets in your head, you know? It just… stays there. It’s four beats – four little chunks of onomatopoeia – yet it can sit in the mind for hours, even days, slowly chipping away at your sanity.
While some proclaim it to be an innocent and simple attempt to perpetuate this rhythm-action series – now into its third instalment (the clue’s in the name) – we all know it’s just a thinly-veiled assault on the populace, likely perpetrated by the CIA.
Even so, we want to welcome our new CIA overlords with open arms, because Patapon is a proven formula and still tweaks our happy-time nips with its catchy beats, simple-but-not-that-simple fun, great looks and a few extras we’re seeing introduced this time around.
The main character is now an actual character, rather than a god – as such he can level up, get new weapons and even die. It’s a simple change, but certainly helps, making the player feel more connected to the action.
Then there’s multiplayer, which has been beefed up massively from last time around and allows people to play together from wherever they are in the world.
It’s not going to change the world – even though the CIA clearly want it to – but it’s nice to see an avenue a lot of PSP developers are approaching with success. Though there’s every chance we’ve been brainwashed into saying that.
It’s arguably the best version of Patapon yet released, whether it’s a super-secret mind-weapon introduced by the secret service or not.
At the same time, it’s same old, same old. As such, we can highly recommend Patapon 3 to newcomers, while those on the fence might want to weigh up just how interested they are in multiplayer.
And everyone has to consider whether they believe PATA PATA PATA PON should legally be defined as psychological warfare or not.