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Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » Katamari Damacy » User review

This is your PS2... this is your PS2 on drugs...

  • Feb 28, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+3
I've never done acid, or any other drugs. In fact, I get annoyed when people look at something beyond the standard range of creative and their first thought is "I wonder what drugs they were on?" However, after playing this game I think I think I may have to revise my opinions on the matter. Describing this game as "weird" is to do an injustice to the word. When a game contains scenes with a Japanese schoolgirl saying things like, "I feel it! I feel the cosmos!" you know has to be inspired by far too many mushrooms (which, oddly, feature throughout the game in sizes from very small to larger than a building).

The plot, such as it is, is fairly simple: you play the Prince. Your father is the (somewhat dim), King of the Cosmos. One night during a drunken binge he managed to break all the stars in the sky. Now it's your duty to rebuild them!

This rather insane goal of rebuilding stars is accomplished by going down to Earth with what's called a Katamari. You use this to roll over objects that then stick to the Katamari. You might at first only be able to snag paperclips, but before you know it, you'll be rolling up chickens, books, houses, people, mountains, major land masses, entire weather systems and Hindu gods.

Controlling the Katamari is a fairly simple affiar. Those of you who are of a Certain Age will remember playing "Battlezone" in the arcades. Aside from being notable for being one of, if not the, first game to use vector graphics, it's also notable for using two joysticks to control the tank you drive. Driving your Katamari is much the same.

No review of this game would be complete without mention of the award winning soundtrack, which, indeed, gets mentioned in every review I've read so far. It's an odd combonation of J-pop, jazz, swing and other things I can't even begin to describe. Trust me, you'll be humming... or singing... or whatever the heck it is you'd do... the theme music for weeks afterwords.

The game has fairly high replay value and as the controls are so simple, the basics are easily mastered after only a few minutes. A lack of any sort of violence (aside from rolling up chickens, people, houses, etc), and the bright, colorful graphics makes it acceptable to people of pretty much any age. It's attractive price point, only $20 brand new and available used for about $15, make it even more worthwhile.

All in all, it's a fine example of the same sort of Japanese whimsy that leads to games like Mister Mosquito, Super Monkey Ball and Frolf (all you need to know is that it combines frogs... and golf...). A fine addition to any PS2 collection. Indeed, your collection is bare without it.

Interesting note: the game was never really a hit in Japan, but it, and it's two sequels ("We (Heart) Katamri" for the PS2 and "Me and My Katamari" for the PSP), have been very popular in the USA. What exactly does this say about us as a nation?

Oh, well, it matters not. The sky needs me!

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More Katamari Damacy reviews
review by . August 18, 2008
I'd long heard the praises of this game from various sources (like BoingBoing) and when I finally got a PS2 (yes, I live in the dark ages), this was the first game I had to try on it. The concept is wacky, which I'm not sure is because the game is wacky or if there's some kind of cultural disconnect between Japan and the U.S., but I have to give the game points for uniqueness. Seems that the King of the Universe did a little too much partying and has scattered things to multiple corners of the universe …
review by . November 16, 2005
When out shopping, I kept seeing a game called "We Love Katamari". I looked on the back of the package and I'm thinking "Rolling up stuff with a ball? Now how is THIS fun?"    So I was in a gaming store last week and saw the original version of the Katamari series, Katamari Damacy. It was priced affordably and I asked the clerks what they knew about it. I also read Lisa Shea's review here on Amazon for the We Love Katamari game and I thought "Heck, I'm going to give it a try."   & …
review by . February 12, 2005
Pros: Taking on Godzilla head-to-head..... And winning!     Cons: Will someone PLEASE turn that damn beeper off?!     The Bottom Line: Round and round I go! Where I stop, no one knows!     God bless those designers from the Land of the Rising Sun. Somehow, only a Japanese designer could come up with a concept so simple, so stupid, and so foolishly and outrageously absurd that it becomes the latest sleeper - and one of the most addictive …
review by . February 09, 2005
Pros: Addictive, great soundtrack, easy to pick up and play, inexpensive     Cons: Multiplayer was disappointing     The Bottom Line: I liked it so much that I've given it as a gift, and I'm sure you will too!     I should be almost embarassed to say this, but I work at a video game store and I own less than 20 games total, something made more embarassing by the fact that I own five systems. I drool over everything but rarely buy. A lack …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this video game

Wiki

When the King of All Cosmos accidentally destroys all the stars in the sky, he orders you, his pint-sized princely son, to put the twinkle back in the heavens above. The only way you can do that is by rolling everything on Earth into clumps so that he can replace what's missing in space. "Everything" includes cookies, lawn mowers, lamp posts, sumo wrestlers, bulldozers, brontosauruses , cruise ships, and more. Katamari Damacy also includes a two-player battle mode where you and a friend can see who can grow the biggest ball of stuff. For one to two players.

Features:

  • Play is controlled with the analog sticks only. No buttons to press. No combos to cause distress. Featuring ball-rolling and object-collecting gameplay mechanics of mesmerizing fluidity, reduced to Pac-Man simplicity, through pure absurdity.
  • Dimensions change drastically as your clump grows from a fraction of an inch to a monstrous freak of nature. Go from rolling along a tabletop to ravaging through city streets, picking up momentum, and skyscrapers along the way.
  • Two-player battle mode lets you compete in a race to grow the biggest ball of stuff. Even the competition can be picked up, if your opponent is unfortunate enough to get in your way.
Enjoy quirky, infectious humor throughout--from the insanely cosmic animations, to the wacky and wonderful musical stylings, to the royally contagious storyline that's undoubtedly like no other.
view wiki

Details

ESRB: E - (Everyone)
Number of Players: 2
Publisher: Namco
Console: PlayStation 2
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 18 March, 2004
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