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Patapon 3

Patapon 3 (パタポン 3?) is a rhythm game for the PlayStation Portable and sequel to Patapon 2. It was developed by Pyramid and Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was first revealed during the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010 as one of the 70 PlayStation Portable games released "between now and December." The game was released on April 12, 2011 in North America, April 15, 2011 in Europe and on April 28, 2011 in Japan.
Gameplay is mostly unchanged from previous titles, but there will be a greater focus on multiplayer. A multiplayer demo was released on July 6, 2010, followed by a "100 Hour" demo on January 6, 2011. Patapon 3 is presented in a cartoonish, silhouetted two-dimensional environment designed by Rolito. The game will feature more realistic backgrounds.
Patapon 3
Patapon 3.jpg
Developer(s) Pyramid, Japan Studio
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable
Release date(s)
  • JP April 28, 2011
  • NA April 12, 2011
  • EU April 15, 2011
Genre(s) Rhythm game, god game
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer (1-8 players)
Media/distribution UMD, download

  • Delightful audio and visual presentation  
  • Lengthy and varied campaign  
  • More than 20 different playable Patapons  
  • Loot, loot, and more loot  
  • Impressive multiplayer options. 
If you're familiar with previous Patapon games, it might come as some surprise to you that in Patapon 3 you don't get to command an army. You're still a deity worshipped by the titular tribe, and you still get to issue the little guys orders by rhythmically tapping on sacred drums mapped to the PSP's face buttons, but the army has been turned to stone, so you have far fewer units at your disposal. All is not lost, though; not only have you been summoned into the body of a reincarnated hero, but there's so much emphasis on loot and leveling this time around that your small band grows more powerful practically every time you play. They can get so powerful, in fact, that where previous games have generally required careful strategizing to succeed, here it's often possible to forgo defensive and evasive moves in favor of an all-out offense. Still, there's plenty of challenge to be found in the colorful combat zones of Patapon 3, and even as you're decimated by a dragon or digested by a demon it's hard not to be won over by the game's quirky presentation and succumb to its just-one-more-try gameplay.  

 After picking one of three Patapon heroes to play as (would you prefer a bow, a spear, or a sword and shield combo?), four training missions do a good job of familiarizing you with most of the commands in your repertoire. There are only seven initially, including "onward," "attack," "defend," and the like. Each command is issued by hitting a different sequence of four drum beats in time with the music; you press circle, circle, square, circle to attack, for example. Those four beats compose one musical measure, and after you enter them it takes another measure for the Patapons to carry out your order. It's an unusual and satisfying way to command your forces as they march across the screen, and it's made less intimidating for newcomers by both a list of the correct inputs at the bottom of the screen and a flashing border that makes it easier to keep in time. String together a number of well-timed orders, and your units go into a fever that makes them significantly more powerful. Hit an unrecognized sequence of drums or miss the beat completely, and your troops just stand around looking confused. Patapon 3 is less punishing than its predecessors where the timing of your drum beats is concerned, but it also rewards you for perfectly timed beats by having them trigger your hero units' powerful special moves. 


Patapon 3 begins directly where the previous game ended. The Patapons finish the Rainbow Bridge and have crossed the river to a new land, where they find a large mysterious box. When the Patapons opened the box, the Seven Evil Archfiends come out and petrified everyone, except the flag carrier, Hatapon. A new tribe, the Bonedeth, are determined to crush the Patapons. Even the Akumapons are encountered later in the game. However, hope is far from lost, for inside the box was not just the Seven Archfiends, but also Silver Hoshipon, which found the Almighty and offered to help restore some of the Patapons back to life. The first Patapon Hoshipon restored was Hero, fusing him with the Almighty and thus transforming him into the Uberhero (essentially, a stronger version of Hero), augmenting his powers. Together, they found Hatapon and, after using the Pon drum along with Hatapon, the Uberhero learns how to use them. They also restored three other Patapons, forming the Trifecta and took the petrified Meden along with them to their new hideout, where they (and the player) are then introduced to the new shops, barracks, the Herogate, and the rest of the new features.

The occasional need to grind unit levels is at least acknowledged; missions that incorporate story events can't be replayed once you've beaten them, but typically upon beating said missions, you unlock one or two more in the same locale that can be replayed as much as you like. These missions even have descriptions that let you know whether they're particularly well suited for leveling or for collecting currency and crafting materials for use at the gear-upgrading blacksmith. Playing through most levels you also collect treasure chests that are dropped or even thrown at you by large enemies. You get to open treasure chests only upon completion of a level, but their coloring and a numeric value at least give you some indication of how good your loot is going to be when you pick them up. That's good to know when you're fighting your way through one of the new three- or five-floor dungeons, because at the end of each floor you have the option to either retreat to your hideout with your loot and start the dungeon over or proceed and risk losing it. Any loot that you don't think is worth keeping can be dismantled at your armory to gain more crafting materials and currency, though you shouldn't rush to get rid of any weapons and armor just because they're not immediately useful. Weaker items in your inventory might occasionally be needed for specific levels because they offer a resistance to or are highly likely to cause effects like burn, sleep, freeze, and poison.  


Gameplay remains mostly the same from previous installments, with each face button representing a drum that is beat giving instructions to an army of Patapons. The main new addition being "Superhero Patapon," who acts as the player's avatar and is the character that physically beats the drums rather than the omnipresent god previously.
The multiplayer gameplay has been expanded and will feature more heavily.A competitive mode with four way battles has been added, complimenting the co-op system. Every level will be playable in multiplayer mode and can be played by a single player or with a total of eight players. It can be played over the internet or locally with another PlayStation Portable. Progression of characters is based on a new experience point system.

Watch Patapon 3 video trailer.


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