October 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless
[Our own Brandon Sheffield speaks with Patapon 3 director Hiroyuki Kotani to discuss how the team tried to avoid overly complex design, the game's visual evolution, and how music can help attract a worldwide audience.]
The next entry in the eccentric Patapon franchise for the PlayStation Portable hopes to retain the franchise's casual appeal while adding new features to expand on its simple mechanics.
The Sony published Patapon series allows players to control a squad of creatures using rhythm based commands. Well-timed inputs reward the player with bonuses, while incorrect ones confuse the player's troops and throw battles into disarray.
Patapon 3 -- due out in early 2011 in the West -- will introduce new Superhero Patapon units, which build off of the Hero units from the previous title, which posses special abilities and level up to gain more power. While these units add depth to the game's simple mechanics, Patapon 3 director Hiroyuki Kotani aims to retain the franchise's accessibility for players of all types.
We spoke with Kotani to discuss how the team tried to avoid overly complex design, the game's visual evolution, and how music can help attract a worldwide audience.
Since the first Patapon came out, there have been a lot more games that take that kind of simple visual style. Do you have any opinion on why this might have gotten more popular recently?
Hiroyuki Kotani: You think it has changed?
I do. It's not that Patapon itself is a different game; it just seems like consumers have taken to this more simple look, compared to previously. And so other games have taken up that simple style. Or maybe you disagree?
HK: Well, I'm very glad to hear people say such things about the game, first off. When we first started development work on Patapon, we figured it'd appeal to a very refined, high-sense kind of market. However, between the release of Patapon 1 and Patapon 2, I later realized that I was inherently limiting the potential audience for the game before.