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Patapon’s got rhythm

<p>All hail you! You are the mighty rhythm god worshipped by the adorable, yet fierce, Patapon tribe and it is up to you to lead them to glorious victory over their oppressors, the Zigotons, by keeping the beat on your magic drums (or PSP buttons, to be more precise).</p>







Patapon

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PSP

Rated: E — Everyone

Game type: Music/action

Rating: **** (out of five)





What’s the premise?


All hail you! You are the mighty rhythm god worshipped by the adorable, yet fierce, Patapon tribe and it is up to you to lead them to glorious victory over their oppressors, the Zigotons, by keeping the beat on your magic drums (or PSP buttons, to be more precise).





This game is most similar to…?


It’s got a hint of Pa Rappa The Rapper and a lot of the quirky fun of Loco Roco, but Patapon is really one of a kind.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Like with more music games, as long as your young friend can drum along to the rhythm, they’ll have lots of fun.





One player or more?


You’re God — do you really need anyone else’s help?





What’s missing?


A good explanation for when you notice your classmates or co-workers looking at you like the Dolby dog as you realize you’re singing “Pata, pata, pata, pon” over and over again at your desk.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


This is war, son. Don’t forget that even though the focus for you, almighty one, is to keep the beat once you’ve started one of the 30 levels in Patapon, that before you start you’ll need to arm and armour up your loyal followers with items you pick up as you go to help ensure their victory.





And in the end?


It may sound a little bizarre (and, frankly, it is), but Patapon is a highly engrossing and enjoyable game.








FIFA Street 3

Publisher: EA Sports BIG

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS

Rated: E — Everyone

Game type: Sports

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Get ready for some fast-paced footie action as you take control of foursomes made up of the world’s best players and hit the pavement running, tricking and blasting balls in every direction (mostly at the opposing net) for street soccer supremacy.





This game is most similar to…?


FIFA Street 2, FIFA 08.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Kids will love the tricked out ball juggling and off the wall moves that are fairly simple to execute, however they may find it challenging to score a lot of goals (Get over it children, that what real soccer’s like, too!).





One player or more?


Like all the other Street games, this one is better with a friend. Or seven.





What’s missing?


I gotta be me! It seems absurd that this fan-friendly type of game doesn’t have a create-a-player mode.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Tricky is sometimes just a great Run DMC song. While you are rewarded with a game-breaker bar that fills up as you get all Ronaldinho on the ball and can then cash that in when full for a few seconds of ultra-hard shots, when it all comes down to it, you’re just as well off trying to spring your strikers (that’s guys who try to score for you laypeople) and have them rip shots at the keeper.





And in the end?


FIFA Street 3 is, by far, the best game in this franchise so far and with a few more tweaks could be truly great.








The Club

Publisher: Sega

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Rated: M — Mature

Game type: Third-person shooter

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


If you’re bored with your job as a mob killer, gang leader, swat team member, psychopath, or whatever else it is people do to make ends meet, there’s a new way for you to get your kicks: You can join The Club. Use all your murderous skills to survive the ultimate bloodsport as you battle your way through tournament set in wild locales like the streets of Venice, a steel mill, a mansion and a warzone.





This game is most similar to…?


Team Fortress 2 from The Orange Box.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Mommy! Daddy! The psychotic Russian hunter with the bazooka is after me again! Aaaaaaghhh! Does this sound like a good idea to you?





One player or more?


Up to four players can battle through the 48 different tournaments at home and up to eight can face off online.





What’s missing?


Variety is the spice of death. While there are four dozen varied competitions (that’s six different events — beat the clock, defend the position, sprint to the finish, etc. — in eight environments), they all start to feel very alike before long.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


It’s all about the score. Each tournament is judged by score that is determined by things like how many enemies were you able to kill in a certain time span, where you shot them (i.e. the head or from a long distance) and how fast you were able to finish. So try to mix all those skills for the best results.





And in the end?


While it may lack a long-lasting appeal, The Club is still a bloody good time.


jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
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