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randombullseye avatar 9:41 AM on 02.16.2010  (server time)
OSG: We Love Katamari

OSG posts are ongoing articles highlighting video games from past years, from the view of Joshua Hayes.

I somehow passed on Katamari Damacy. I didn't have my PS2 at the time, thanks Disc Read Errors, and I was neck deep in a old school love I dare no speak about. Not owning any of the three major consoles for a few years really gives you some perspective. I eventually got back into the swing with the old xbox in 2004, moving on from it to all the other systems. Then finally in 2009, I got a new PS2 and started buying games. One of which, is We (LOVE) Katamari, the second of the Katamari Damacy games.

My first exposure to the games was the xbox 350 demo of Beautiful Katamari. The game was so bizarre I had to keep trying it out over and over. Until eventually I had rolled my Katamari so big, I could crush buildings. Rather than rush out and buy that game, I researched and asked around which one I should pick up. Several years later when I'm buying PS2 games, I pick up the recommended second game.

Why did I pick this one over the first to start with? I was told this one had more content and easier control. As well as featuring some levels from the first game and a two player mode! So that was enough for me. I wish now I had picked up the first game first, as I always try to do that. I thought I would try something different here and go with the recommendation. I still need to pick it up and try it out, as well as all the sequels.

I'll never be able to describe Katamari Damacy gameplay to anyone. It is just such a visual thing. I'll try and explain. In Katamari you control the prince of the cosmos as he rolls a ball around which collects anything laying around. Some minor variations exist, such as a sumo wrestler level where you feed him by rolling on edible items, but other than those levels, the main objective is usually as big a ball as you can make as fast as you can. The game uses the analog sticks, both at once, to manuver your Katamari. Instantly making the game innovative and different from almost anything you'll ever play. And trust me, I've played a lot of games. The game has an excellent tutorial that explains everything to you. How well does it explain? I gave the game to my mother to play and she got it. So I'm sure anyone out there can "get it." It was fairly cheap to buy as well. I got my copy for less than twenty dollars!

I'll really never be able to describe Katamari Damacy storyline to anyone. It's just all over the place. So many rainbows and colorful characters show up. The things they do don't make sense. Like that family riding a rocket ship together, what does that mean? I don't get it. But I do get the jist of it. The King of Cosmos has tasked you, The Prince, to build up Katamari. The squiggly balls that pick up objects. He needs to refill the solar system for some reason and the only way to do this, is with building Katamari.

The point of the game itself seems to be to simply have fun. I'm sure there is a way to achieve 100% but that seems to be the complete opposite of the game. Levels unlock seemingly at random, I've tried looking it up in guides but it says to finish a level to unlock another one. As well as a few trickier things to unlock levels, which I'm trying to decipher now. It's probably the most fun I can just pick up at any time and play. Having played it for a bit, I've unlocked tons of levels to try out. At least ten to fifteen stages or more are there. It's hard to tell because of how their presented. You have an over world you can walk around in and accept levels. Every level is a person you talk to and help solve a problem of, by rolling Katamari. When you first start, its pretty barren but as you play it becomes a lively placed filled with your playable cousins and lots of levels. I've barely played the game and wish to spend nothing but time with it. Every time I just want to play something and not worry about grinding levels or a huge challenge, I'll put this in. It's so much fun to see what you can pick up. Just getting the balls as big as possible and picking up people and watching them wiggle in terror, that is fun for me. It is a genuinely funny video game.

And the music! I hate video game music and I've put this on my ipod. That's how much I enjoy this game's music. Sure I can pick out a few games like Ducktales that have great music, but very rarely does something make me hum along with it the way this game does. Even as I see it in the case, I start to hum the song. I'm humming it while I write this now. That's how catchy a tune this thing is. It's the sort of thing that makes you take notice of a game before you've even played it. It just hits you and you feel that atmosphere of the game when it loads up.

As far as the series goes, there's the first game which I must pick up at some point, Katamari Damacy (PS2), then there's the PSP game Me and my Katamari, Beautiful Katamari on xbox 360, Katamari Forever on PS3, and that's it for now. Research indicates a canceled DS game and several others in development for mobile and PC system.





How about you guys, ever played We Love Katamri?

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