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Thread: Katamari Damacy [review]

  1. #1
    Patra AtmaWeapon's Avatar
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    Katamari Damacy [review]

    I went to EB a day early looking for Donkey Konga, and I stumbled across an odd sight. There was a game for PS2 with cute cartoon graphics. The name? Katamari Damacy. The box art made me curious, and the price ($19.99) made me give it a shot.

    I sat down to play at about 7:00. I turned it off and went to bed at 2:30, regretting that the night was not longer to spend time with my new favorite game. I will now review why I like Katamari Damacy so much.

    Story
    The King of All Cosmos apparently got drunk and destroyed all the stars in the sky. He tried to play it off, but people noticed and complained. Since he's a jerk, it's up to his son to fix it. This is accomplished by rolling a Katamari (looks like a ball) around Earth. Things stick to a Katamari, and as it grows larger things stick to it. Once the Katamari is large enough, the King of All Cosmos creates a star out of it.

    It's a very simplistic story, but since this is a pretty arcade-style game it fits perfectly.

    Play Control
    You control the Katamari with the analog sticks of the PS2 controller. I expected a "tank tread" style of control, but this is a slight variation that uses the left-right motions of the sticks for minor course changes. It took about 3 or 4 hours to get good with it, but after that I was able to pull off some pretty fancy tricks. The controls are intuitive enough that eventually you don't see the ball's movements as connected to two sticks, now I operate the sticks subconciously.

    Graphics
    The game is intended to be cute and cartoonish, so cel-shading fits it well. I don't know exactly how to describe the style of people and animals, but it's kind of like Lego men. It adds to the kookiness of the game and probably helps keep the polygon counts low. I have yet to encounter graphical slowdown or a serious clipping issue.

    Sound
    The sound is superb. The soundtrack is cheery, cute Japanese songs with a pretty wide variety of styles. All day long, I've been humming tunes and randomly bursting into "KATAMARI DO YOUR BEST!" and various other catchphrasey lines from the songs. My one complaint is that on the final level I encountered a lot of sound glitches as my Katamari grew to a very large size. This probably has to do with the amount of objects in my Katamari at the time (1100, I thing), but it is rather noticeable.

    Fun
    So far, I'm sure the review has made this game sound boring. I mean, it's got a simple concept, no story, simple graphics, and simple play control. How could this be fun? Let's name some other games that meet the same criteria: Pac-Man, Tetris, Tetris Attack, Arkanoid, Galaga, Defender, Joust, Marble Madness, Nibbles, and Mr. Driller. Truth is, arcade-style games do best when you can get all of the backstory in the time it takes to find a quarter, and figure out the controls within the first few seconds of the game. Don't let the game's simplicity fool you. I've played and replayed some of the levels for a total of 3 hours, and I still find something new each time. I'm still finding ways to get my Katamari faster quicker.

    Difficulty
    The difficulty ramps quite well the first time you play through. As I charged through the game, I found that I was getting finished in the nick of time. However, now that I have the hang of the controls, I complete my goal with plenty of time to spare for collecting extra bulk. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, because on all but two of the levels I've only collected about 75% of the items and I still make plenty of mistakes, so there's lots of room for experimenting with different routes and behaviors. Beating the game is simple. Owning the game requires dedication.

    Overall Comments
    There's something primal that Katamari Damacy touches. A few games are able to sound like the stupidest idea ever, but the infinite complexity and the numerous choices you have to make always guarantee each play is like the first time you played. There's definitely a path the designers want you to follow, but they only make it evident in the first few levels, and even then it's only apparent for about the first 10 seconds.

    Of course, there's a catalog of items so if you are collection-oriented you can try to roll up at least one of every item in the game.

    The depth to the game is so difficult to explain in a way that does it justice. I strongly suggest you pick this one up . At $20, you're foolish for NOT trying it.

  2. #2
    Lynel
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    Some of the best fun I've had all year. :) Had to buy yesterday. Good stuff.

  3. #3
    Patra Blonde799's Avatar
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    You will never enjoy it to the fullest unless you consume many mind altering drugs.:p

    I really liked the game. Too bad I didn't buy it for myself though.


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    Wizrobe fatcatfan's Avatar
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    Was reading about it at Penny Arcade. Interesting concept. I'm not sure the fun would last though *shrug* Worth a try though.

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    On top of the world ShadowTiger's Avatar
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    Hm. And what kind of 'objects' do you pick up, anyway? It sounds like a great game. Thanks, Atma. :) Is it also for the GCN? Otherwise I'm stranded.
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  6. #6
    Lynel
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    I beat it already. You only make 10 stars and a handfull of constellations. Still a great game, and worth the $20 imho

    Quote Originally Posted by Britannianhero4
    Hm. And what kind of 'objects' do you pick up, anyway? It sounds like a great game. Thanks, Atma. :) Is it also for the GCN? Otherwise I'm stranded.
    Its just for PS2.

    But as for the objects, its anything and everything. Small objects such as push pins and erasers, to flowers and eggs, even graffiti or rain. Eventually, you can pick up small animals, then people, then larger animals, tall sky scrappers or huge ocean liners, and if your ball is big enough, it will roll up clouds and tornados too. And the islands that once was populated with lots of junk....they are all objects that can be picked up as well. So yep, I think that consitutes as anything and everything.

  7. #7
    On top of the world ShadowTiger's Avatar
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    And therefore I take it that there is a time limit or something. You're just rolling in a ball, picking up everything. What is the objective? To pick up as many things as you can in a set time? To pick up as many things as you can in the most efficient manner? ... Eh?
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  8. #8
    Lynel
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    Re: Katamari Damacy [review]

    To create a katamari of a certain size in the given time.

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