Review: Patapon 2 Remastered
After we thought it wouldn't happen again, Sony and Japan Studio surprised the fans with a remaster of Patapon 2 on the Playstation 4. The first part has been available as a remaster via the Playstation Store for a while now. Does the Patapon glory live on, or is it nostalgia?
Originally released on the PSP (Playstation Portable) in 2007, Patapon was a very unique game in many aspects back then and still is today. It's a game in which timing and a sense of rhythm are essential building blocks for success. The PSP games succeeded very well in this. The small handheld device was ahead of its time and brought the most brilliant games to the palm of your hand. Grand Theft Auto titles similar to the console could now be played anywhere. Even on the shit house! Still, when we think back to the magnificent device from Sony, we don't immediately think of Vice City Stories, but more of the very unique titles that appeared on the PSP such as Daxter, Loco Roco and Patapon!
In Patapon, you control little black eyeballs with your hands and feet. They love music and fighting and let this be the ideal tribe combination to provide an incomparable gaming experience. In the Patapon titles, including Patapon 2, you take on the role of a kind of Patapon god. You control your Patapon army with nothing more than a simple drum. Depending on the sounds you make, your Patapon executes a command. These include marching forward, attacking and defending. You can equip your army with swords and spears. As soon as the eyeballs start to look angry you know that you are in range of the enemy and can therefore switch to the attack command. Pon-Pon-Pata-Pon!
That's not the only indication you get. The other, much more important, is the music and the white border that keeps lighting up while playing. These indicate the rhythm in which you have to bang on the drum. Every known Playstation symbol stands for a certain sound. Certain sound combinations therefore provide the various commands. It sounds very simple and at its core it is, but as you progress through the game it doesn't stay as simple as it seems.
Patapon 2 builds on the success of the first game and this is no surprise. The same fantastic and minimalistic drawing style is used and this looks really cool. This drawing style has also been carefully chosen. It looks like you are playing a cave painting. The figures are mainly black and the background and certain accents of special units or monsters are brightly colored as she used to use bright colors to paint the wall. This of course fits very well with the game as you play a kind of tribe that is completely obsessed with music.
The second part starts again with the basics that you also learned in the first part, but quickly takes it a step further. You can equip your army with different weapons and armor. Certain weapons are stronger against certain types of enemies and occasionally you'll need to replay previous levels to collect resources to make your journey more enjoyable. Small RPG elements enrich the game, but don't feel annoying. So you don't spend hours collecting the right objects or levels to beat a certain boss. Timing and rhythm remain the key to victory at all times.
Out of Size
Despite the success of the PSP titles, it felt a bit strange on the Playstation 4. As if it was much harder to play to the beat, or as if I had completely lost track of it and my Guitar Hero spirit is gone. Anyway, I got the PSP from under the dust to check if it was really me. So that was not the case. I was doing a lot better on the PSP, so I looked elsewhere for the problem. So it turns out that due to the only delay in the TV (which you can't do much about, let's say the ailments of console gaming) you can't time your beat very well. It is all perfectly playable, but that fraction of a second often really does it.
That's a shame because the game continues to work perfectly on the Playstation 4. Except for the cutscenes that got stuck in 2008, the game looks slick and you even play in 4K on a Pro. In addition, you even unlock trophies, because the PSP didn't have these yet.
Undoubtedly, the classic is still a brilliant game. A PSP diamond with a lot of nostalgic value, but not necessarily for the memories. Patapon 2 is a very unique and beautiful fusion of elements. The result is a masterpiece, even after 12 years. Unfortunately, that masterpiece doesn't fully come into its own on the Playstation 4 and it becomes a bit of nail-biting every now and then if you're allergic to missing the perfect tones. It's not going to cost you in most cases because you don't necessarily need the perfect FEVER, but it sure feels damn good to drum perfectly to that beat. After all, that's what this game is all about.
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