We Love Katamari PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

The Japanese are officially crazy and come up with some of the most madcap games imaginable. It’s also a well known fact that these people are some of the gaming industries most talented, and are capable of dreaming up craziness that can equal as brilliance. We Love Katamari is certainly a weird one, and if you are yearning for the latest curio from the Far East then you’ve found it right here!

Katamari Damacy may not necessarily be a title that you are familiar with as the original Katamari game unfortunately was denied from these shores. We Love Katamari is apparently much like the game that came before it and has you pushing a ball like object (the Katamari of the title) around to roll up contents of all shapes and sizes found on the games wild and colourful levels.

The peculiar plot is linked to events of the original game, as apparently the games king of Cosmos accidentally destroyed all the stars in the sky (whilst drunk on the Japanese version apparently), and sent his son on a mission to rebuild the broken galaxy, which was achieved by rolling things up with the Katamari of course! This sequel nicely ties into the original game, as now the King isn‘t short of worshippers after his previous triumph, and each one obviously has a request to be fulfilled. The plot is beyond bizarre, but we have got to say that the king is a fairly memorable character thanks to his unspoken lines of brilliant gibberish.

Almost as soon as you dive into the game you’ll notice some differences from the norm as the game doesn’t feature the usual menu screens. Following the title screen comes a large meadow instead, which is basically a menu screen in disguise that can be walked around to alter options and attempt tasks set by Katamari Damacy fans.

When rolling the Katamari around for the first time, the controls feel rather stilted and unnatural, although it shouldn’t be too long before you have some sort of rhythm to your movement. The usage of both analog sticks to control the Katamari will be the first stumbling block for many, but it’s a control scheme that does make perfect sense given the passage of time. You’ll soon also learn that quick turns and dashes are indispensable to your cause.

Rolling the Katamari around stages and over items (generally against the clock) results in making it bigger, and this is where the game triumphs in its own invention. In the earlier stages you may be tasked with constructing a rather small Katamari, but later on you’ll find your environment shrinking as your Katamari impressively swells in size, and with this mighty stature comes the capability of rolling up everything from cars to buildings. It’s really quite a satisfying sight to witness your Katamari becoming a constantly expanding bundle of numerous objects, and realising that some of the bigger items cannot be rolled up until the Katamari reaches a necessary size.

The game also has some fun multiplayer options in cooperative and vs. modes. The standout mode is definitely the vs, which tasks you with making a bigger Katamari than your opponent and so on. Meanwhile the cooperative is best for duos who are both team players and in verbal communication with one another, as without any of these important attributes you may struggle to travel in the direction you desire as your team-mate may have a different idea on his mind.

The genius design is unfortunately at odds with the overall repetitiveness we were feeling after subjecting ourselves to the game for a good few hours. Lets face it, rolling up fireflies so a student can study in the dark, and pushing around a sumo wrestler in order to eat as much grub as possible are both achieved in exactly the same way, and it’s an idea which is recycled throughout the games entirety. In this way we feel the game is overrated, but we have managed to fall in love with everything else (even the rather simple visuals!), and commend Namco for dreaming up such an out of the ordinary game.

7/10

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