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.
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.
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...
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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About BluDesignone of us since 11:49 AM on 11.10.2006
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: