The Beat of the Mighty Drum
You play the mighty Kami who is essentially the god of these creatures called patapons.
All abilities are used by way of rhythm and taking turns with your Patapons (pons). You start out only being able to move and attack.Because of the back and forth nature of the game, you essentially have four beats to decide what ability you're using next based on what is happening in the level.
In the first level you learn how to use the attack and move abilities. As you make it further into the campaign, you'll unlock more abilities. Each ability only happens during the four beats that your pons are singing, so you may not always get the full effect.
- Attack - moves your pons into position to attack and attacks
- Move - moves your pons forward
- Defend - moves your pons back some and brings up shields of pons that have them, other pons still attack just much less than with an attack command
- Retreat - run away (this particular ability comes pretty late in the game which feels bad with how many bosses it would be useful on)
- Power Up - makes your next attack, if immediately after the power up command, stronger
Fever mode strengthens all of your pons. It is activated by playing songs well. More specifically by being above a 2 combo and executing every not perfectly, or by reaching a 10 combo.
Miracles are difficult to get and not very well explained but needed for very specific missions. Outside of those missions they don't feel very useful. In order to use a miracle, you have to equip it prior to a mission (you can only equip one), get into fever mode, and then hit the correct combo in rhythm. After doing this you gain whatever the miracle buff is, and lose fever.
Throughout the game you get the ability to create different types of pons. Each type of pon has different abilities, equipment, and strengths/weaknesses.
Rare Pons are pons that are created using more hard to find resources. These pons are stronger in their own ways but sometimes have drawbacks such as being slower than their normal counterparts.
Each of the different types of pons requires a different type of weapon. They also sometimes require a helm but other times will not be able to equip them. The only way to acquire better equipment than the base equipment is completing levels and farming the bosses. Bosses seem to be more likely to drop equipment than most levels, however the difficult goes up with each successful kill. This makes gaining equipment really difficult and feel almost punishing for a game that has a lot of really enjoyable mechanics.
Throughout the game you will sometimes gather a pon hat. These are for villagers that will unlock different minigames. Most of the minigames give you materials that you can either use for making rare pons, or for use in the next minigame. These all have certain rhythms that you play for the entire minigame and it's the same every time. This makes it extremely frustrating if you haven't been doing them at all throughout the game as doing it multiple times in a row gets boring extremely fast.
This game has a lot going well for it. There's a lot of different customization options for your team as you make your way through the game. It does have some faults in that it feels like you're still learning how to do things in the late game instead of working to perfect your strategies. Overall I'd say it's worth giving a play if you enjoy rhythm games, but don't go out of your way if they're not your thing.