Warm up those thumbs and prepare to pat-a-pat-a-pat-a-pon all over again.
Patapon is one of the PSP's most original games because it fuses role-playing with action and music, as you guide tribal warriors across a dangerous landscape and kill monsters by tapping the face buttons in rhythm. Repeatedly pressing pat-a-pat-a-pat-a-pon got old after a while, but we still appreciate the art style and ability to level up. Thankfully, Sony will give the formula another go with the promising Patapon 2, which aims to 1-up its prequel with a wireless multiplayer.
For the most part, the core mechanics remain the same. You still follow a band of violent creatures through the wilderness in the hopes of slaughtering enormous beasts, upgrading equipment and of course, learning new button combinations that you input to direct your tiny tribesman. However, this time you can team up with three other players via Ad Hoc. Now you can work together to create combos that enable you to rip through your adversaries and complete goals.
Based on what we've seen, the multiplayer mode challenges you and your friends to carry an egg from point A to B, all the while defending it from enemies. Succeed, and you'll eventually reach an altar. Then you'll engage in a hatching ceremony in which all four players press buttons to break the egg and pick up whatever goodies it contains. There's a time limit, so you'll need to move your butts if you lag behind.
Patapon 2 retains the original game's 2-D graphics, with black enemies walking across multicolored backgrounds. As you input commands, the warriors will let fly spears and other weapons to injure their foes, and the entire presentation looks great on the PSP's screen.
Sony has yet to announce a U.S. release, but we expect Patapon 2 to arrive mid 2009. Expect more button-tapping coverage in the near future.