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Pato Box review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Switch
Publisher: Bromio
Developer: Bromio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

There are so many things worth talking about when it comes to Pato Box that it’s hard to know where to begin.

There’s the fact it’s a hard-boiled noir about a boxer done wrong by an evil corporation. The game follows the titular Patobox as he gets his revenge on his former employer, as he explores — and lays waste to — the headquarters of said evil corporation in order to get to the heart of what happened to him. The whole story is set in a stark, black and white world, which definitely adds to the dramatic tension the developers were trying to create, and gives the game a sense of style all its own.

There’s the fact that, apropos of seemingly nothing, Patobox is a man with a duck’s head.

And there’s the fact that Pato Box is also a boxing game, reminiscent in some ways of Punch Out. I say this not only because of the layout of the boxing scenes, which feature the title character at the bottom of the screen as he faces oncoming enemy fighters, but also because of the range of characters Patobox faces. He faces not just other boxers, but also crime lords, chefs, and other miscreants who work at the not-so-subtly-named Deathflock.

It’s this last point on which Pato Box falls a little short. The controls feel a little stiff, while Patobox isn’t the most agile boxer in the world, being both very slow to defend and to throw a punch. Consequently, you spend much of the game back on your heels defending yourself, often against seemingly unblockable attacks. Admittedly, that was also one of the core aspects of Punch Out, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much, but it does mean that Pato Box tends to drag as you plod your way through another interminable bout, rather than having the matches be fun ways to end off each section.

Which is kind of a shame, because the game is loads of fun otherwise. Between the noir aesthetic, the sense of humour, and the plot, Pato Box has a lot going for it. If it had nailed that one last little bit of the boxing being fun, it would’ve been perfect. As it stands, it’ll have to settle for being an enjoyable but flawed bit of weirdness.

Bromio provided us with a Pato Box PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-