SHOULD YOU BUY THIS GAME?
If you're into RPG, strategy, or rhythm games, this game is for you. If you don't know what the fuss is about, and are wondering if you should buy this game, I strongly recommend you download the demo. This game can be challenging to the rhythmically-challenged (RC), such as myself. However, playing the demo got me hooked, so i bought the game and haven't put it down in two days. If you are RC, this game may frustrate you, BUT Patapon 2 has implemented two major improvements over the first Patapon that makes P2 more enjoyable for those who can't keep rhythmn. Before i tell you about the improvements, here's some basic info about the game.
BASICS: You control an army of cute one-eyed tribesmen and on each level you try to move them from the left side of the screen to the right in typical 2D side scrolling action. You will be faced with obstacles and enemies. You can attack, defend, and continue moving forward. This is where the rhythm part of the game takes place. To move your army, to attack, or to defend, you have to hit a 4-button sequence to the beat of a drum. The sequences are different for each command, but it isn't difficult to remember. The toughest part is staying on beat, because if you lose beat, a command isn't issued, and your army becomes vulnerable.
WHY PATAPON 2 IS BETTER: This is where Patapon 2 separates itself from the first Patapon. It has an EASY level, so it is more forgiving if you are slightly off in your 4-button sequence. The other features which make P2 better (there are more than just a couple) is you don't have to nail the 4-button sequence 9 times in a row to get to "fever." Fever turns your soldiers into super soldiers (stronger, faster, more resistant to damage). In Patapon 1, if you were slightly off beat, you lose your fever, but in Patapon 2, it gives you a warning (a skull!) to let you know you are off, so you have another chance to straighten yourself out.
WHY 4 STARS? I can't mention all the great things about this game, but i'll address why i couldn't give it a 5. The game is very repetitive. You have to repeat a lot of levels you've already cleared in order to collect "food" "weapons" "materials, etc (the RPG element). There is a lot of trial and error because you don't really know where to get the materials you need to upgrade your soldiers (every soldier is customizable). The evolution tree is nice, but it took a while for me to figure it out. You have to really grind out some levels, having to return over and over to get more materials, plus you have to keep track of the weather(!) because you may get a slightly different level if the weather is sunny, rainy, foggy, or snowy. Some monsters only come out during the "fog" or "snow" and these monsters carry rare items you need.
OVERALL: It's a GREAT game, give the demo a try, it's quite long, and it'll give you a taste of what to expect. PLUS, you get to carry over all your work from the demo to the game so you don't have to repeat those levels! How great is that?