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”’Platform: PSP”’

“Pon-pon-pata-pon….chaka-chaka-pata-pon…” Last night I could hardly sleep for this sort of thing, running around and around in my poor tired bonce. This morning, over breakfast, the same thing: “Pata-pata-pata-pon…pon-pon-pata-pon…chaka-chaka-pata-pon.” It’s safe to say that Patapon has wormed its way into my skull, and I’m not too sure I’ll ever get it out.

It’s the beats, you see. A tribe of walking eyeballs known as the Patapons have taken me – through the magic of the PSP – as their Almighty. The poor chaps have had a rough time of it recently, what with life in a hostile wilderness, lack of good food and regular assaults from their heartless oppressors, the Zatagons, and they’re hoping I can get them out of it. To do so, I merely need to lead them through the power of rhythm. I kick off with two drums – Pata and Pon – activated by tapping the square and circle buttons on the PSP. “Pata-pata-pata-pon” has my little charges marching proudly forwards, while “pon-pon-pata-pon” tells them to attack. If I keep the beat steady and fit in perfectly between the Patapon’s shouted responses, I can build up combos. Build up enough, and my Patapons go into a fever, raining death down on anything in their path. Miss a beat, and I’m back to square one – and the Patapons start making narky comments behind my so-called almighty back.

Things start fairly easy. First we have to get the Patapons some food, so it’s out on a hunting trip where we can topple might mammoth-like critters and give the tribe some meat to fill their bellies. While we’re at it we can start gathering other resources and ‘ker-ching’ – the currency of the Patapon universe. Next, we’re going to take the fight back to the Zatagons, and while we’re at that we can find a few legendary heroes along the way. Find a new hero, and we can enlist new units to our cause, paying for them with meat, wood, rock and ker-ching at the local sacred tree. Before you know it I have spearmen, archers and axe-wielders all fighting on my team. The bad news is that I need them. Suddenly the Patapons are up against boss creatures much larger than themselves, with vicious special attacks to match. Luckily, the Patapons and I have got two new drums – Chaka and Don – and learnt a few new moves ourselves. What’s more, we’re beginning to get our numbers up and rising. Of course, I still have to be careful with my perambulating eyeball charges – when they die they turn into caps, and if I fail to collect these caps I can’t resurrect my beloved Patapons for their next mission. Plus, I don’t really like to see them die anyway.

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