Gaming

Patapon 2 Remastered review: Held back by a beat

Staying true to the original, except for a few things

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When I first got a PlayStation Portable, Patapon 2 was not in my list of games to purchase upon receiving it. I gravitated towards games that mostly included combat or exploration — the two things Patapon, as a whole, wasn’t. Even when the first game got remastered for the PlayStation 4, I still didn’t bother trying it out.

So I’ve decided to finally give Patapon 2 Remastered a shot, with knowledge of the first game from some of my friends. I wanted a change of pace from all the shooter and racing games that I needed to just settle down for a bit. Maybe a game about rhythm and matching button mashing to drum beats can be a good change of pace.

Faithful to the original?

Patapon 2 Remastered brings back the core gameplay of the 2009 original, which is pretty simple. It’s a game of matching the beat of the Patapons’ drums using every button on the right of the controller. In order to progress through the game, you will learn button combinations to move, attack, and defend against enemies. Also, to add more power to attacks, you have to sustain the combos without going off-sync.

If this is your first time ever playing any Patapon game, it’s a game mechanic that requires some patience. Timing the button presses to the beat alone is actually stress-inducing enough, but it’s not a steep learning curve. After some practice, you will get used to it; even if you mess up, there’s no penalty.

For those who have played the original game before, it’s nothing groundbreaking. The overall experience of the original is preserved in many ways, from the beat-matching to the combat style. If anything, gameplay feels a lot stricter in terms of syncing your button presses. But there is one flaw that the remaster has, which I’ll get to later.

Beautified original

I felt like the only real change this remaster has is in its visuals. I get it, the technology at the time of its release fails in comparison to today so that had to be expected. But, this wasn’t just slapping in crisper lines and darkening the fill on the Patapon army.

Overall, Patapon 2 Remastered gained the HD facelift that improved depth in background and character outlines. Colors in the background are more vibrant, and they hardly ever looked washed compared to the original. Animations were also snappier by comparison, proving that timing is of great importance for a game like this.

Differences and flaws from the original

Although, like any remaster done in the last few years, some things had to change. For one, the multiplayer option for certain features was removed. Patapon 2 for the PS4 is now just a single player adventure game, which isn’t much of a dealbreaker anyway. In its place, though, the game gives you all friendship-based equipment to use. Older players may have mixed feelings over this, but it really depends on how much you value nostalgia.

And another thing that’s changed, or at least is now a problem, is some level of input lag. The original game on the PSP didn’t have that much input lag — last time I checked. The game somehow thrived on smaller screens, so button mashing seemed like a total breeze at the time.

When you transition that to much larger screens, plus more enhanced visuals and controls, the problem starts to settle in. Several times, I literally kept saying, “I swear I pushed the button on the beat” whenever I input the right combinations. I know I should keep trying harder to match the drum beat, but even if I do match the beat it just won’t work. It’s wasting precious combos for stronger attacks.

Should you give it a try?

Listen, Patapon 2 Remastered is one good game when you need to pass some time. It’s all rhythm-based, and with enough patience and mastery you’ll finish the game in no time. If you’re one of the more nostalgic fans out there, it remains true to most of the original game.

I still fairly enjoyed the game even with the amount of input lag I experienced. I even found myself jamming to the beat just to keep the combo streak going. Also, I didn’t mind that it was now just a single player game, which I think most people would enjoy.

Overall, it’s one of those classic games that’s worth giving a try. It’s not as action-packed, and not as visually breathtaking, but it is fun to play on your own.

Gaming

Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event amidst US protests

Letting more important voices be heard

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Last week, we finally heard some news about the upcoming but strangely silent PlayStation 5. Since the pandemic, the next generation of gaming kept out of the limelight, allowing the current generation to flourish amongst the locked-in gamers. Breaking the silence, Sony was scheduled to hold a showcase of PlayStation 5 launch titles this week for the upcoming console. Unfortunately, because of current events, the company has decidedly shelved the digital event.

Through their official Twitter account, PlayStation announced the postponement, allowing other issues to resolve in the meantime. “We have the decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4,” the company said.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” the post continues.

Naturally, the announcement is timed perfectly for the currently ongoing protests happening across America. Recently, George Floyd, an African American man, was murdered under the custody of a white police officer. The incident, followed by the subsequent lack of justice, sparked a wave of outrage throughout the country.

Since then, other companies and personalities have shown their support towards the cause. Notably, Google postponed Android 11’s launch previously, starting a wave of similar postponements. Though none of the postponing companies have named the George Floyd case specifically, one can easily assume the announcement’s relevance to the current political climate in America.

In any case, it looks like gamers will have to wait a little bit longer before more details about the PlayStation 5 will inevitably surface.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

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Features

Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

Study also reveals which consoles were the most searched as lockdowns continue in SEA

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Photos by Alvaro Reyes and Mélanie THESE on Unsplash

It’s been roughly two and a half months since Southeast Asian countries have gone on lockdown due to COVID-19. As people were kept off the streets, video game companies found a way to reach these audiences through their consoles and game libraries. We watched as people spent most of their days learning new skills, staying healthy, and playing video games.

Little did we know, video game companies maximized this opportunity to sell more consoles, as well. A study by the iPrice Group revealed interesting data about the mini-console war that’s currently happening in Southeast Asia (SEA). In most countries, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4 are leading the charge towards greater heights.

It made perfect sense that Nintendo’s handheld console is seeing its staggering sales increase during this period. Searches on online shopping platforms related to the Nintendo Switch skyrocketed by 245% within SEA alone, thanks in part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March.

Image source: Livedoor

Apart from that, the Nintendo Switch dominates 5 out of 7 markets in SEA in terms of search volume. This, of course takes into account searches and purchases from people between mid-March to mid-April.

For most markets, the big 3 of gaming consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One) dominated the charts. Apart from the Switch, the PlayStation 4 saw significant increase in interest between mid-March and mid-April by 135%.

The releases of the remastered versions of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII contributed heavily to that increase. Surprisingly, in three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the PlayStation 3 makes an appearances as a widely-searched console.

Looks like people really love their video games! If you want to know more about this trend, you can find the full report here.

SEE ALSO:
#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing
Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates
Just Dance 2020 helps with your workout-from-home

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Gaming

Razer announces inaugural SEA Invitational 2020

Brought about by esports’ successful stint in the 2019 SEA Games

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Esports is seeing a steady rise in viewership as the COVID-19 pandemic kept everyone indoors. Gaming companies started rolling out their own versions of esports tournaments open to all players, whether amateur or professional. And after its successful stint in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Razer wants to take esports to even greater heights.

As such, the company announced its inaugural Southeast Asia Invitational 2020, an esports tournament for the best of the best. The tournament organizers hope to gather the best esports athletes across Southeast Asia to prepare them for the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam. It will feature a unique tournament format, and will kick festivities off on June 22, 2020.

The invitational will feature three popular esports titles, two of which were in the 2019 SEA Games lineup. Expect intense and hotly contested action as players take the field in games like PUBG Mobile, DOTA 2, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. All of these will be available for streaming on Team Razer’s social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

This tournament is also in partnership with Tier One Entertainment, supported by esports federations across the region. Those who wish to participate in the invitational should talk to their respective federations.

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