Both Patapon and Patapon 2 have enjoyed critical acclaim, as well as earning a devoted following. The previewing of Patapon 3 this week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has therefore generated a fair amount of hype and expectant fans will not be disappointed. Patapon 3 pays homage to its predecessors and has the same bold art style, however the game is slightly grittier and there are a number of other changes that have improved upon an already proven formula.
The demo shown at E3 begins with a short tutorial which introduces new players to the game and re-introduces returning players from previous games. Unfortunately, at present, it is not possible to transfer data from Patapon 2 as was possible between the first two titles. The game does, however, begin as a continuation of Patapon 2 which ended with the patapons building a bridge in order to open a chest. But the chest was a trap, and when opened unleashed seven evil spirits which turned the tribe to stone. The first mission of the game is to revive the tribe via the drums. You are resurrected as a hero and move from left to right using the face buttons in time with the drums causing your tribe to get to their feet and join you. As the game progresses you evolve your team to defeat enemies using bow and arrow, and spears as massive monsters threaten the tribe, and collect some loot along the way.
The main difference seen between Patapon 3 and previous titles is the development of the “fever mechanic”. The mechanic which makes your units more powerful the longer you are able to maintain your rhythm has been made more powerful and turns the red snake, that extends to its full length when fever is initiated, yellow and spiky.
Patapon 3 is designed to be played with other people. When venturing out on a mission you are asked if you want others to join and if you want them to join locally via ad-hoc or connect via the internet and play via infrastructure. It is possible to play with up to four others all of whom can each lead the tribe.
With eighty missions and more than twenty bosses, Patapon 3 is a comprehensive package with hours of entertainment. Whether the third outing successfully secures the developers similar acclaim is yet to be seen, but it’s looking more than likely if the full game carries on in the same vein as demonstrated in this preview. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on the Patapon videogame series.