Patapon is one of the most beloved games from the PSP era, and there is a reason for it. It isn't the use of the tech that blew people away, or because it revolutionised gaming in any capacity. It is because the games were a sweet and charming unique IP, that due to their simplicity were as smooth as butter on the PSP, and their mix of genres made them something truly unique in Rhythm games. Thanks to the previous remaster of Patapon, new fans could check the gem out, and now Patapon 2 Remastered is making sure nobody missed out on its excellent sequel.
If you haven’t played a Patapon before, it is a rhythm action game where you are the god of these little charming tribal creatures which have massive eyes covering their whole bodies. The Patapons talk to you, but move from left to right around the world at the beat of your drum. Initially this works with a basic rhythm that it tells you to follow, but as the game progresses you start to use combinations of your own.
The Rhythm aspect of the game works better with sound as you hear a basic beat to stick to. It is also possible to play in silence if you wish by observing the border around the game which flashes to the beat. This method will be to your detriment though because the game is at its best when you hear the Patapons chanting “Pata Pata Pata Pon” to your beats as you play with the flashing, enhancing the sound.
If this is your first dabble with Patapon, don’t worry, there isn't too much story to worry about. The Patapons were sailing for Earthend when they were destroyed by a Kraken. Shipwrecked they call out to you and being their god, you use your drum to help them on their journey again. There is a lot more story than you would expect from this, a lot of which I glossed through, but given the surprising length of the game the story helps keep you engaged. Even if you skim read it like me.
The game has its slight RPG dabbling where redoing missions helps level up your Patapon types, so you can do better attacks and survive in the later levels. This felt unnecessary. As the game is plenty long enough, it could do without extra padding, but it is from the PSP days so it was probably more of an attempt to show how long games could be on the PSP rather than asking how the length serves the game itself.
The port isn’t perfect either. I found the game looked fuzzy on my 55 inch TV which gives the impression it has been made for a bigger screen that the PSP, but not for TVs that PS4s are likely ploughed into in 2020. It’s still playable and the massive button prompts at times give it a quirky charm, it doesn't feel like a PS4 game the way other ports do.
At the end of the day Patapon 2 Remastered is a good enough port of a fantastic game. If you haven't experienced it before then despite some flaws in the port itself, I still highly recommend checking it out. The charm of the Patapons are just too much to miss out on.