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16 July 2009

Patapon 2 [PSP]

Plot Synopsis: 6/10
Patapon 2 continues the story, where the first game left off, of the Patapons' search for Earthend. The game starts off with the Patapons being shipwrecked in a new land, and finding a new enemy tribe to face off against. The basics are just more of the same, really, with the Patapons fighting their way through one stretch of land after another. Some of those areas become hunting grounds, once the enemy tribe is cleared out. The rest become a chance to simply re-fight the same battle again, for crucial items. This continues, mission after mission, until you finally reach the final boss.
I'll give the story a 6 out of 10. It's fun and interesting, but I find other aspects of the game keeping me engaged more than the story.

Game Play: 9/10
Okay. So, the basics of the game play are identical to the first game. Press the buttons in time with the beat to command the Patapons. The commands you give them are what determines their success. Easy enough. However, there are a few differences in other areas. First of all, there are more bosses in Patapon 2 than there were in the first game. Secondly, some of these bosses are FAR more difficult than anything in the original Patapon.
One difference I found myself grateful for is the fact that it seems like Patapon 2 is a bit more forgiving, should your button-pressing fall ever-so-slightly off beat. The game won't let it slide forever, mind you. But if you press a button a fraction of a second off the beat, you won't necessarily screw up your army. There were even a few times, while playing, that I missed the beat so much that I thought for sure I was going to trip up my army, but the game registered it as still being on beat, and they continued on their way as though nothing happened.
Another major difference is the way you construct your army of Patapons. This time around, there's an entire gridwork through which you can evolve existing Patapons to new forms. You do have to create certain forms before you can unlock other forms. Each new form has it's own strengths and weaknesses that can be either an advantage or a hinderance, depending on the boss you are fighting at the moment. Luckily, once a given Patapon has taken a particular form, if you find yourself having trouble with a particular boss, you can go in and change your Patapons back to other forms that may do better in the battle.
I'm giving the game play a 9 out of 10. It seems like they took the ideas they had in the first game, and expanded on them rather well, making for a well-rounded experience.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are identical to the original Patapon, and, for what the game is, didn't need to be improved at all. Thus, I'll maintain my rating from my review of Patapon and give the graphics an 8 out of 10. Simple and stylized for a unique look. What more do you need, for a game like this?

Audio: 9/10
Again, not much has changed, in regards to the music. It is all still very tribal and percussion-heavy. The music is still catchy enough to make you bounce and tap your foot a bit as you're playing. The voices and music tend to mix and blend just a bit better than the first time around.
I'll give the audio a 9 out of 10. The sound wasn't mind-blowing, but it was incredibly appropriate for the overall feel of the game.

Overall Score: 8/10
This game is very well put together. I think they could have done just a bit more with the story, but they made up for that with the improvements and changes to the game play. Personally, I think this is a very good game, and well worth the download.

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