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

Practically no one is playing Netflix’s games, report says

Despite being free to play

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Recently, Netflix gambled big on the future of its platform. Besides cutting a plethora of titles in production, the platform introduced a gallery of mobile games for all of its subscribers. As the gaming library grew, it acquired impressive titles from the best of the mobile gaming world. However, despite Netflix’s efforts, only less than one percent of the platform’s subscribers are playing the games.

In a new app study (via CNBC), Netflix’s games average only 1.7 million users daily. Overall, the games have been downloaded 23.3 million times.

Though not an insignificant number, the figure is a tiny, tiny portion of Netflix’s main user base. For reference, Netflix currently has around 221 million subscribers. That’s less than one percent of Netflix subscribers playing their games.

Netflix’s gaming strategy is an ongoing experiment. While the company has eyed the industry for a while now, Netflix is facing deeper gravitas with making sure every endeavor succeeds. As of late, the platform has bled for subscribers, new and old.

For the first time in a while, Netflix has lost subscribers, marking the rise in popularity of other streaming platforms. It isn’t the only shark in the lake. Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max are creating compelling cases for a switch.

That said, if you still pay for a Netflix subscribers, the gaming library comes with the price of admission. Besides inspired titles from its properties like Stranger Things, the library also comes with heavy hitters like Spiritfarer.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

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Accessories

Razer releases giant-sized gaming mouse mats in the Philippines

The Strider Chroma and Goliathus 3XL

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Strider Chroma

What’s better than a regular-sized gaming mouse pad? Giant-sized gaming mouse mats! In fact, two new ultra-sized gaming mouse mats from Razer, the Strider Chroma and Goliathus Chroma 3XL, are now both available in the Philippines.

The warp-and-water resistant Strider Chroma measures 900mm by 370mm and is 4mm thick. It is the world’s first hybrid soft/hard gaming mouse which come with 19 customizable lighting zones.

For an even larger mat that can cover an entire desk, the Goliathus Chroma 3XL measures a massive 1200mm by 550mm and is 3.5mm thick.

This soft mat is ideal for gamers who use lower DPI, or need to cover more ground while moving their mouse.

The two new accessories come with non-slip bases and are powered by Razer Chroma RGB to provide dynamic lighting effects while in-game.

The Strider Chroma is priced at PhP 8,490 while the Goliathus Chroma 3XL is available for PhP 6,990 via the Razer official website, Shopee, Lazada, and their authorized sellers nationwide.

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Gaming

Steam will support Joy-Cons soon

Plus other Nintendo controllers

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For how much they cost, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons could certainly see more use outside of console exclusivity. Thankfully, developers are finding new ways to use controllers for other applications. If you want to get more use out of your Joy-Cons, Steam is working on compatibility for the Switch controllers.

In a new Steam beta test, Valve released support for Joy-Cons and other Nintendo controllers. As you can do with a Switch, players will soon be able to use either just one Joy-Con or both as a pair. However, since it’s in beta, individual games have not announced support specifically for the Joy-Con.

If anything, connecting the Joy-Con through Steam should be relatively easy. The gaming hub already offers plug-and-play support for most controllers available in the market. Of course, better support means that developers (and fans) can tailor settings depending on controller.

With the number of third-party games on the Switch, it’s believable that there are Switch players who are making first-time transitions to PC gaming. In that case, allowing Joy-Cons into PC gaming — albeit not the best controller for such — will prove a necessary jumping point.

Besides Steam, Apple is also working on support for the Switch controllers, adding new life to the tiny pair. As for Steam, however, Joy-Con support should officially come soon after the beta test.

SEE ALSO: iOS 16 will support Nintendo Joy-Cons

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