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A spiritual successor to PlayStation’s classic rhythm action game Patapon was unveiled at BitSummit in Kyoto, Japan on Saturday.
‘Ratatan’ is being developed for unspecified platforms by Patapon creator Hiroyuki Kotani, with audio by original Patapon musician Kemmei Adachi. The game will be crowdfunded via Kickstarter with the campaign due to start on July 31.
Originally released for the PSP handheld in 2007, Patapon is a rhythm-based 2D platform / action game in which players command an army of cute anthropomorphic eyeballs known as “Patapons” that can be commanded to move forward, attack, defend and retreat by using a sequence of drum beats.
The game received two sequels on PSP, and the first two games were remastered with 4K visuals on PlayStation 4.
Few details on Ratatan were revealed during its BitSummit panel, but the game’s developers told VGC in a private meeting ahead of the reveal that the game would include roguelike elements and multiplayer for up to four players.
“The three main game concepts are over 100 cute characters fighting it out on screen, four-player simultaneous battles, and more adventure and roguelike elements than Patapon had,” explained producer Kazuto Sakajiri in an interview with VGC.
Hiroyuki Kotani, who designed the original Patapon games, said he wanted to make a Patapon-like experience but with new elements. He also didn’t rule out working with Sony on a traditional sequel in the future.
“Patapon was a really unique experience at the time of its release and reflected the development environment of that era. We wanted to make another game like that for the modern age,” he said.
“There’s a possibility of maybe doing a Patapon sequel in the future, but for this we really wanted to make our own game, in our own style, with specific types of gameplay that reflect what we want. After that, if there’s a chance to speak to Sony about doing a Patapon sequel then we’ll go from there.”
Sony Japan Studio, the Tokyo-based PlayStation studio who lead development on the Patapon games, was closed in 2021. However, Kotani said he had no ill feelings towards his former employer.
“Even if Japan Studio itself doesn’t exist anymore, there’s still a lot of creative energy at Sony and I’m looking forward to the types of projects that are going to come from them,” he said.
“There’s still a lot of support coming from PlayStation for developers in Japan. There are so many Sony games being released with a worldwide focus, but there are also developers like Capcom with a Japanese focus. I’m happy to see both approaches coming out.”