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Community Discussion: Blog by BluDesign | A More Positive Katamari Forever Review...Destructoid
A More Positive Katamari Forever Review... - Destructoid

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I own a FamPuter, which is a 100% fake Famicom. And I do own Super Mario Bros. and Rockman 2 for it, which you don't. :P



I'm a 34 year old gamer. I cannot hang out with most of you, and you should not contact me to buy you cheap wine or cigarettes. I do not like jail. Seriously, I own all three consoles and I don't discriminate. Gaming is for fun, not for sissy slapfights. If you consider yourself partial to a particular console, I don't care why you don't own other consoles, I don't want to hear about it. If you're going to bitch about something, you'd better bring some hard evidence of why you're complaining if you want to cry on my shoulder.

Enjoy this wonderful picture of 2 generations coming together at last...



PS - I eat trolls.

PPS - I've been to Japan. Maybe you've heard about it? If not, read up here:

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Yamagata's Hanagasa Festival
Part 3: Harajuku Girls and the lack thereof
Part 4: You're not in Kansas anymore, Niero (TGS07)
Part 5: Fresh from the farm to your mouth
Part 6: Going to Japan is hard
Part 7: 30 days takes forever
Part 8: Rape, Rocks, and Alliteration
Part 9: Small Town Nightlife
Part 10: Bling Bling, Hundred Thousand Yen Bill Ya'll
Part 10 Part 2: Mount Yamadera
Part 11: The Japanese Wal-Mart
Part 12: Goin' Down to Tokyo Town
Part 13: Ghiblit Gravy
Part 14: Air Sex
Part 15: Ganguros of New Tokyo
Part 16: The Contest Announcement
Part 17: The Contest
Part 18: The Trip Itinerary
Part 19: Tokyo Day 2
Part 20: Tokyo Day 2 Part 2 (of 2)
Part 21 is no longer there, but it wasn't all that great anyway, so you're not missing out.
Part 22: Happy Picture Montage Time!
Part 23: I have arrived.
Part 24: I have returned.
Part 25: The Case for the American Cheeseburger
Part 26: Random pictures are random
Part 27: A Free Gift for Those Who've Been Paying Attention
Part 28: Nintendo, no seriously, NINTENDO
Part 29: Racists in Japan, Discriminating against the handicapped
Special Report from Cheapy D at CAG
Part 30: The Secret Truth About Japan
Part 31: Oz-Matsuri
Part 32: The Japanese Don't Have Antiperspirant Deodorant

Part 33: There's this Disney character named Stitch in Japan...
Part 34: Trainspotting: Live From Kyoto
Part 35: Kyoto for Beginners
Part 36: Kyoto Smash: Advance Lesson in Fun Time
Part 37: Some Japanese people are alcoholics
Part 38: Hardcore Otaku know where the real action is
Part 40: My attempt at getting the Oscar for Best Japanese Picture
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 42: I sneak into a movie studio to pitch my movie
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 43: My film idea is shot down in favor of yet another Power Rangers TV show
Part 44: Excessive Male Nudity in Japan
Part 45: The Japanese grocery store has no deli counter
Part 46: How the Japanese language is worked into Japan's society
Part 47: Izukayas and you: How the Japanese drink in public
Part 48: All you really need to know about the Tokyo Auto Show
Part 49: Gyudon Rocks.
Part 50: Tendo is the coolest place in all of Japan
Part 51: I really did poop immediately after that shot
Part 52: A Beginner's Guide to Tokyo Disney Sea
Part 53: There is no comparison. Cheeseburgers win.
Part 55: You've never had Tonkatsu, so you wouldn't understand
Part 56: Japanese iTunes for the Mac addict
Part 57: The other kind of Curry
Part 58: Popular Pop and "Lock" music in Japan
Part 59: I sing like how cats have sex
Part 60: The Iron Penis Festival
Part 61: A sad bit about racism in Japan
Part 9001: Electro Lemon's whirlwind visit to Tokyo
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NightV was kind enough to review the Japanese import copy (which I'm also covering here...)

I think the game warrants a second look when I can call to question some of the points that NightV brings up in his article.

1. Story



King, stars, memory loss, knocked out.
Robo King, stars, blows 'em out of the sky, wants to make good while the real King is out cold.

That's the story in a nutshell. To try and delve deeper than that is to question the entire purpose of the game. This game defies all story telling logic and carves out it's own nonsensical niche (as it has for the entire series).

The larger focus of the story has you going between missions trying to help the King regain conciousness by revisiting his lost memories of old Katamari Damacy missions he's sent the Prince on in previous games. These levels tend to have more objective based missions (help out a Sumo, collect Fireflies, help the king remember what a 2m Katamari looks like...). Robo King's over zealous star destroying has you (as the Prince) replaying several levels from the other games focused more on actual star making.

Robo Kings levels generally fall into "Build a katamari of ## size in ## minutes."

2. Gameplay


Yep, there's levels from Beatiful Katamari in here...

The gameplay is identical to what you've played in the past with We <3 Katamari and the original Katamari Damacy. Nothings changed. What has changed is the addition of a few new features, additional gameplay modes, and because the game revisits 3 different Katamari titles from the past, less linear gameplay.

The new features are the addition of a jump maneuver (shaking the Dual Shock or pressing R2), which can help you nab presents and cousins who might be JUST out of your reach. Additionally, the game has added in a special collectible in each level in the shape of a heart/broken heart. Some levels have both. Picking up the broken heart gets you a one-shot 2 second collection of every thing that's near your Katamari of similar size. If your Katamari is big enough to roll up cars, you'll suck up all nearby and passing cars of similar size. The full heart enables a 15 second Cousin mode, which fills the screen up with a cutesy cousin animation, where all your cousins help you suck up a lot of stuff that's the same size as you or smaller. This adds a lot of extra flavor to some of the larger levels as holding off on picking up the full heart until your Katamari is of a decent size can move you through some of the larger sizes much faster. Seeing the Katamari suck up everything around you is quite gratifying and is a most enjoyable feature. I managed to take a 30m Katamari to 320 in the span of 15 seconds using the full heart cousin power up. If you're someone who likes to get as large of a katamari as possible in each level's time limit, you will start to use the hearts in your gameplay strategy.

The Dual Shock controls finally feel right. The gameplay is totally dependent on the precise movements that the dual shock controllers have given us the entire series on the Sony consoles. It's a welcome return for the game as the Xbox 360 version was a total and abject failure. I've been playing the game for 4 straight days and never noticed any weird control issues that weren't the same as any other Katamari PS2 game.

3. Extras


ADORABLE!

The downloadable content that plagued Beautiful Katamari has been done away with entirely. It's all here and it's all on the disc. After completing the game for a first time (there's 33 missions to choose from), the game allows you to replay levels for completion or try your hand at the revisited levels with new gameplay handicaps. Katamari Drive is available on all levels after defeating it the first time. Katamari Drive takes the Indy 500 level and puts a fast moving katamari in your hands. The caveat is that your time is cut down severely. A 5 minute level is now 2 minutes, 7 minutes is now 4. After getting high enough level scores, you have the ability to unlock Classic and Eternal modes, which give you an endless way to play or to be able to play the game without the ability to jump.

All the cousins are here in full force with an equal amount of new presents and accessories to choose from. The camera is added as well. I find that the camera add on isn't really all that great, but does make for some interesting screenshots when you randomly snap some pics of the weird and wacky level designs.

There are additional minigames to be found to add to the games life. If there were ever a game that had replay, it's the Katamari series. Trophy whoring aside, it's just plain fun to spend 20 minutes rolling around trying to see if you can beat your old score.

4. Graphics and Music



Really? Anyone here expecting HD super awesomeness? Move on. It's Katamari. The textures have never been so clean and clear. What was once a design choice to allow the game to scale in the manner it does has now become an art style that is the essence of the game. There's blocky textures on large objects, people are square (I feel the cosmos!) and everything still looks as it should. The addition of some filter options (all the King's memories are in black and white initially)... and you've got some interesting takes on the visuals of the game. The camera is still as broken as ever, and you will get stuck behind something you can't see around. The camera opens a hole about 60% of the time so you can see through stuff you get stuck under, but i don't think there's a way to really fix this as it's been in every game in the series. You'll get stuck, you'll experience the mediocre camera. It's part of the game experience with Katamari.

When the game scales, you'll see everything scale down appropriately. The graphic capabilities may be improved, but shit will still disappear if you get too big.


Awesome

The music? It's remixed. All of it. The main "Na...nanananana...." theme is the only thing that's untouched. What songs are here? Uh... I dunno. Crimson Rose and a Gin Tonic remixed as a chiptune is a highlight. There's three remixes of Katamari on the Rocks (on the Swing, on the Funk, on the Wings). Everlasting Love, The Moon and the Prince, and You are Smart.

Most of the songs are identifiable, though somewhat forgettable. It felt like they hired studio musicians to do these remixes so they only got mediocre work out of the effort. Don't get me wrong, these are workable songs and true to their source, they just don't always work for the tune. I was kinda let down we didn't get more songs as I've been a fan of Kuru Kuru Rock since it first appeared in the second game and would've enjoyed to hear that remixed more than You Are Smart.

Considering how this game has a dedicated cult following, I would've thought they would've done something like source the music to real fans...

Summary:

The game is basically repackaging the best bits of the three console games. It's all in HD now, and it manages to weave a new story in the process. Given that the original games were so strong and the Xbox 360 so poorly received, the game should be worse for the wear, but most of the issues with the Beautiful Katamari game lied in the poor controls and the locked on the disc "DLC" bonus content people were duped into having to buy to get the whole game experience.

Is it worth it? If you're a fan of the series, you'll appreciate the visual upgrade, the new levels are a nice touch, but their dissimilar gameplay makes them stand out more than the original levels from the previous titles. The three original levels are kinda shoehorned in gameplay types compared to the other levels, but they don't really detract from the game overall.

I can easily give the game a 9 to a newcomer to the series, an 8 if you've been playing this game since the beginning.

It's all just a matter on if you're still a fan of the series or not. Clearly, as evidenced by the insane people who bought Noby Noby Boy looking for more of the same (myself included) were searching for something better than Beautiful Katamari. This is that better game.
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