Patapon 2

 
Rhythm/strategy sequel is as fun, quirky as the original.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There is a lot of fighting, but most of the skirmishing is necessary for the tribe to survive and flourish. No battles are fought out of malice. Note, too, that the game supports local multiplayer. Up to four players can work together as a team. 

Violence

Battles make up the majority of play. Players command an army of tiny figures as they attack animals and barricades using spears, arrows, and swords. There is death, but no blood or gore.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Characters occasionally use words like “jebus” and “hell.”

Consumerism

This is the second game in the Patapon series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game's primary focus is tribal battles. That said, the fighting is fairly tame -- all we see are silhouettes of googly-eyed men throwing spears and shooting arrows at large animals. There is no blood or gore. Also note that this game acts as a rudimentary mock-up of primitive tribal culture. The googly-eyed tribe members mindlessly follow the instructions of the player, who issues orders in the form of repetitive drum beats/chants. There is, however, an ever-present sense of humor that keeps the game's events feeling rather whimsical.

What's it about?

A sequel to last year's critically acclaimed Patapon, PATAPON 2 once again places players in control of a tribe of googly-eyed warriors looking to gain control of their land and environment. Series fans will be happy to learn that the story picks up immediately following the events of the first game, with the Patapon voyaging across the ocean in search of the end of the world. Alas, they are besieged by a sea creature that wrecks their boat. The remnants of the tribe wash up on a strange shore, where they immediately get to work hunting animals and discovering the secrets of their strange new home.

Play is almost identical to the first game. Players use the PSP's buttons to beat out simple but strategic rhythms, which command the Patapon warriors to march, attack, and defend themselves. Each mission results in the unlocking of new music, new items, and new weapons that players can use to customize their Patapon army. New features include a powerful 'hero' unit that can unleash special attacks via specific drum beat combinations, an evolution system that lets players transform their warriors into more powerful fighters, and a four-player local area network co-operative mode.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Patapon 2 doesn't radically alter the formula of the first game, but instead refines it, adding new abilities, creatures, beats, and a multiplayer mode so that friends can experience the game's beautiful art and innovative play together. There's no need to worry if you missed out on the original; the game's story is more or less self contained, and the first few missions do a good job of acquainting players with the game's idiosyncratic mechanics. What's more, a trio of difficulty levels ensures that players of vastly different skill levels can make their way through the game with equal ease. And while the surprisingly deep warrior customization system might be intimidating to strategy novices, a helpful "optimize" command lets players properly outfit their fighters for each mission with the touch of a single button. In other words, Patapon 2 welcomes back and challenges series veterans while providing an accessible entry point for players who have yet to experience the franchise's delightfully unusual game play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this series’ odd mixture of rhythm and strategy. Did you try to imagine what it might be like before playing? Was your imagined version of the game very much like the real thing? Do you see why the developers chose to use a primitive, chanting tribe as the focus of such a game? Can you think of other seemingly disparate genres of games that could be melded together to create a fresh, new type of interactive experience?

Game details

Platforms:PSP
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:May 5, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language (PSP)

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bygameaddictwn April 3, 2011
age 7+
 

PATA-PATA-PON

A fantastic game. When I begin playing this game I couldn't get the patapon song right. After months of practice I now have fantastic rhythm. This game teaches a person rhythm and how to manage you're troop and lead them to their goal. The game can get frustrating. You also play as the "almighty" that may be offending to Christians (like me). The patapons will pray to you and give offerings to you. The violence is a bit too much for little kids. Every time you defeat a boss you are usually rewarded with the severed head of the creature.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 4 year old Written bymescvillot May 26, 2009
age 4+
 

I ran

Just Beginning
Kid, 11 years old December 2, 2010
age 9+
 

Perfect for kids nine and up

I only say it's educational because I'm in my school band and this helped me get a really good sense of rythm and frankly it's not really a bad game I think it's hilarious.
What other families should know
Educational value

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