Patapon 2 review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Also on: PS Vita
Publisher: SIE
Developer: SIE JAPAN Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Patapon are the cutest disposable species since Lemmings and they made their presence known on Sony?s first handheld platform the PSP in 2007. These monochromatic cyclops went on to star in 3 titles on the platform before seemingly going dormant. However 2017 saw their return as their inaugural title made a reemerged on the PS4…so one would assume that the 2 sequels would quickly follow. Almost a year would pass before the fandom would start stirring and thankfully amongst them was probably one of the loudest voices in gaming. Greg Miller, the former face IGN and co-founder Kinda Funny. Miller would demand answers from Sony, sometimes asking the right people such as Shuhei Yoshida then President of SIE Worldwide Studios and sometimes random people within Sony such as Cory Barlog, creative director of Sony Santa Monica. Either his persistence has paid off or Sony just remembered it had this ready to launch Patapon 2 Remastered finally graced PlayStation 4 in 2020.

The Patapon race seeks to find the Earthend to gaze upon ?IT? and gain eternal contentment. Given that there was a sequel to their first title it?s probably safe to say these little guys haven?t found ?IT?. So their journey continues across the ocean to a new land, however the seas were not kind and shipwrecked their boat scattering their tribe to the winds. Your role in this title is that of God, you beat the sacred drum to motivate the patapon to action. Play the right sequence on beat and your troops will spring to action, play nonsense or off beat the patapon will fall on their faces. As you and your wards traverse further you will recover the 4 drums which will enable you to aid the patapon in their journey.

The game?s controls are pretty simple, each drum is assigned to each face button. Songs are usually 4 beats long. Comboing songs will eventually set you into Fever Mode which will make the actions performed by the patapon more effective. It sounds all simple on paper but keeping the beat can be tough for a lot of us who are rhythmically challenged. The game mitigates this by having an easy mode as well as a flashing frame on the screen which acts as a metronome. However being able to keep a beat will not be the only metric for success. You?ll need to build up your troops by expanding your unit types and forging new equipment to ensure that the your army will be able to fend off the eldritch horrors they will face. Having to replay stages to farm resources will extend your time with your followers.

The enhancements of this remake are rather nonplussed…on one hand the in game graphics look extremely sharp and vibrant, but on the other hand the in-game cinematics look like they were created in the PS1 era, extremely blurry and low res. The tip screens that are interstitials between stages look like they were resized from assets that were meant for the PSP?s 4.3 inch screen. Another unintentional defect of this port might be the fact of input lag being introduced since the video hardware that will be used to play this game is not a fixed constant…so much so that one of the tips on the reviewer?s god was is to plug headphones into your DualShock 4 to eliminated any lag. So my struggles with keeping the beat isn?t all my fault perhaps? Dispute all this the title is priced at an extremely reasonable $14.99, so it?s easier to forgive the barebones nature of this title.

Patapon 2 is an excellent follow up to Patapon. While it?s not something I would tell someone who isn?t familiar to the franchise to start with, it?s nice to have this title not be forgotten on an abandoned platform. The game is excellent in spurts and deserves to be shown to a wider audience. Hopefully Sony will not make fans wait as long to get the remake for Patapon 3 onto the PS4, cause Greg Miller has bigger fish to fry…afterall Warner Brothers has yet to release the Snyder cut of Justice League.

Sony Interactive Entertainment provided us with a Patapon PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B