Patapon 3 Hands-On

We check out a demo version of Patapon 3 during a visit to Sony's booth at E3 2010.

The Patapon 3 demo on display at this year's E3 is an odd one in that it's primarily designed for multiplayer (both ad hoc and online). Up to four players can each take control of a hero and join forces against any enemies that they encounter as they move from left to right in time with the music. They need to complete a brief tutorial first though, which covers the basics for newcomers and serves as a good reminder for those of us who haven't played Patapon or Patapon 2 in a while.

Upon starting the demo, we were prompted to choose one of three legendary heroes to play as. Save for being highlighted with different colors (blue, orange, and green), the only difference between the heroes was the weapons that they carried. Our choices included a spear, a bow, and a sword and shield combo. After we made our choices, the tutorial got under way, and we were pretty surprised by what we saw.

The bold Patapon art style remains intact where the titular soldiers are concerned, but the backgrounds now look quite different The tutorial, for example, takes place on a battlefield where the Patapon army has clearly suffered massive losses. The bodies of dozens of Patapon soldiers litter the battlefield--not piled up on the ground, but frozen like statues. Clouds of mist drift lazily across the screen, and shafts of sunlight do their best to penetrate the thick brown clouds above. The darker and somewhat more realistic art style employed for the backgrounds makes Patapon 3 feel less chirpy than its predecessors, but also contrasts with the original, bold art style of the soldiers brilliantly.

There are no Patapon survivors, but you're resurrected as a legendary hero (complete with ornate headdress and great-looking weapons), and as the basic movement tutorial teaches you to move from left to right by hitting the square (pata) and circle (pon) buttons in time with the beat, some of the bodies that you pass also come to life and join you. Other than the slightly different art style, the main difference that we noticed between this and previous games was that the "fever" mechanic (which makes your units more powerful as a reward for successfully maintaining your rhythm for extended periods) can now be made even more powerful. The red snake that appears onscreen and extends to its full length when fever is initiated can now be charged up a second time, at which point it turns yellow and has spiky edges. We're not entirely clear on what difference this makes, but it seems reasonable to assume that it makes the Patapon even more skilled and resilient.

Both of the previous Patapon games are great, so we're naturally pretty excited for Patapon 3. Expect more coverage of this promising sequel just as soon as we can get our hands on a copy.

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Discussion

27 comments
jw03
jw03

Oh & single player is just as deep on 3, maybe even deeper... With the addition of multiplayer of course :)

jw03
jw03

I have the game NOW, it's not released yet. I got it from an editor from IGN to help in their review of the game... they needed 3-4 people for the online play since there is no one to play (til it's released of course)! It is just awesome!... far better than 1-2! I wrote a blog about it on my profile. go check it out! I hope to see you online in the wonderful world of Patapon 3 -- Happy Gaming :)

Rahsilfer
Rahsilfer

I can't wait for this to be release :) Go Patapon!!

grimgamerzz
grimgamerzz

The patapon 3 is more Cooler than patapon 1 & 2.. Just imagine.. The Hero got More cooler Accessories and the new Terrain.. Music and Everything... Patapon 3 is the cooler of all Version.. Just hope that Patapon 4 is more cooler than ever

demonhunters98
demonhunters98

i hope its not just 4 multi,but that is a good addon to the series

Oorakp
Oorakp

YES, but it'll need a major innovation to keep me buying though

Dr_Jackal
Dr_Jackal

I'm excited about this but I also hope that there are some other innovations in this installment.

143C5
143C5

That;s great! I hope it won't be a total let down.

Oblivion000
Oblivion000

The miracle mode summons this giant patapon dude, which will release some blue, glowing arrows (i think it's arrows). Idk abt the reviving part cause i was playin alone. :(

jumpy46
jumpy46

What happened to the Patapon 2 hero? Will he even be in this game?

salari
salari

Two of the best and most addictive games on the PSP, I cannot wait for this. I really hope they don't make it too multiplayer based though, the meaty singleplayer campaign's what made the first two games great.

Harvestbuddy
Harvestbuddy

Makes me want to play the original Patapon games again

buft
buft

this looks and sounds amazing. the multiplayer sounds fantastic

koolkat14
koolkat14

I just hope that it's still the Patapon game we all know and love.

kevv20
kevv20

In fact when the Fever gauge is filled in Yellow, it allows you to use MIRACLE (Don Don-Don Don-Don) to instantly put all heroes in hero mode and instantly revive all heroes which are dead (you can also input commands on time with the beat to rack up some points but i dont knwo what it does)

Sayun
Sayun

@iginlawasup bon bo-bon bo-bon

rayamoyito
rayamoyito

@iginlawasup hey bro i got stuck in that level too. took me hours of battling other bosses to get good drops and darn it did it pay off :P i wasted more than 80+ hours on both of the patapons. lol they are just too addicting :P

whitejackel
whitejackel

the first two where hard... wonder how this will be. lookin great though.

iginlawasup
iginlawasup

the first one i could not beat the desert level so I did not buy the second and I will not buy the third.

athenian29
athenian29

This looks phenomenal like the first two, but will it be PSN-exclusive again?

divinelegend
divinelegend

i just watched the trailer and at the end there was info that you could pull from the EU sony blog for more information on the multiplayer beta O.o couldnt find anything but didnt spend much time tooking.

jumpy46
jumpy46

I saw in one of the screenshots that the Patapons now level up by EXP. Yay! I also saw on the other site that it will have several different 8-player online multiplayer modes. I hope that they add a system so I can trade equipment with other players.