Patapon PSP

Patapon PSP
Patapon is both stylised and stylish; it’s a two-dimensional multi-genre effort that doesn’t attempt to shrink a console game down to size but instead offers something all new. Well, not new exactly — it’s the spiritual successor to Japan Studio’s equally awesome LocoRoco. It shares a silhouetted look and innovative vibe, though this time the designs come from the fevered imagination of Rolito, a French graphic artist with a yen for eyeballs. For that is what the game’s tribal villagers look like: adorable and violent little eyeballs with legs. Once again, you don’t control the cute critters directly but where LocoRoco had you tilting the environment to use gravity, in Patapon you move ’em about with a drum. See, you’re literally God in this here game and by rhythmically pressing buttons you can create a drum pattern that gives the lil’ guys orders to move forward, retreat, defend and, of course, attack. That’s where the real-time strategy element comes into play. The longer you can keep the rhythm without a flub, the more fevered and effective your acolytes become. It’s no walk in the park to maintain a pata-pata-pata-pon beat while planning strategy and admiring the game’s impressive aesthetics and fantastic sound but it’s an addictive enough experience to psyche you up for the challenge. After all, once you’re a deity with fervent followers, you kind of have to follow through. (SCEA Japan Studios/Sony)