It has been more than two years since we had Patapon Remastered grace the PS4. The rhythmic beat of the drums, the cries of Fever, and the adorable race of eyeballs that fill the screen still offer a roaring good time, so with Patapon 2 Remastered finally arriving, the hopes are that it will capture lightning in a bottle once more.
As a rhythm action side-scrolling strategy game, it continues where the first game left off. The Patapons are still on their search for the mythical IT at Earthend, but their plans are torn asunder due to a monstrous kraken and the Karmens, a new tribe. Once more, the player assumes the role of a sacred deity, tasked to guide the Patapons in their battles to fulfil their destiny.
The tale of the Patapons requires you to maintain a sense of timing. Hitting different drums and sequences inspire the creatures to move, attack, defend, and more. Of course, it would not be a sequel without additional bells and whistles. More variety of Patapons are also now at your godly disposal.
The spear-throwing Yaripons are great at short-range, while the Tatepons form the melee phalanx of your army. As you progress through the game’s many levels, the more options you will have.
Considering each time you venture out, you can only bring along three squads of Patapons, the mixture is where more tactical nous is required.
If there is strong wind or rain, then the Yumipons’ arrows will be rendered useless. Facing an army of melee units? Park your strongest ranged fighters behind the formidable tank that is the Dekapon. It is such scenarios that truly allow the player to experience all there is to offer in Patapon 2 Remastered, and lends a new sense of appreciation for the little guys.
The biggest addition in Patapon 2 Remastered, though, has to be the Hero Patapon. The mysterious newcomer can don a variety of different masks, each changes its class and bestow different benefits.
Its power are complemented by increased health, and the various abilities that can be activated by four perfect beats can easily turn the tide. Not only does your hero get amped up, so does your entire army. Whoever stands in your way is in for an unstoppable crescendo of pain.
Much like the first game, there is plenty of grinding to do in Patapon 2 Remastered. That is, if you are looking to create the best armies with the best equipment. Resources can be hard to come by, and certain ones require special conditions to even appear. At least the repetition does allow you to practice your timing and songs.
Considering how important music and sound is to the game, it is no surprise that Patapon 2 Remastered’’s music is one of the best in the franchise. Starting out simple and melodious, it builds with an intensity that is matched by your marching Patapons on-screen.
As you pull off perfect beats with your drums, your army echoes back in unison. Get into Fever mode and everything just sings. Not only are you getting a feast for the eyes, music for the ears, but also a high-spirited army dealing high damage to all your enemies.
Messing up is almost an inevitable occurrence, especially with so much going on around you. Trying to keep track of the beat, the action in front of you, and recalling the different songs can be a challenge, but when you get into the groove, it is where Patapon 2 Remastered shines the best.
Unfortunately, this sequel is once again missing the input calibration tool that had many fans enraged the first time around. While the game is still very much playable, your screen’s latency will determine just how much you will have to adjust. It is a simple adjustment that could have made sure everyone’s experience with Patapon 2 Remastered goes without a hitch, but has sadly been overlooked.
The remaster of the PSP classic is also a tale of unfinished business. With the gameplay visuals of the levels, the Patapons, and the many moving parts looking extremely crisp on modern displays, the opposite is true for the in-game cutscenes. Imagine a PSP-esque resolution video playing on your 4K television, and the disparity is jarring.
This remaster has also removed the multiplayer mode, which is a huge loss considering the Internet has made multiplayer an ease. However, with the issue of latency, perhaps this was the better option.
Nostalgia may play a big role, but the position of Patapon 2 Remastered as a genre-breaking title remains true. The unique blend of action, rhythm, and the ever-lovable Patapons make for a mighty concoction, and a deserved return to the spotlight for this PSP classic, albeit with some shortcomings.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The rhythmic beating of the drums in Patapon 2 Remastered summons not just your Patapons, but a sense of fun and merry not found anywhere else.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 8/10
Presentation - 6/10
Value - 7/10