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Katamari Damacy (PlayStation 2) artwork

Katamari Damacy (PlayStation 2) review

"Rolling a ball of junk has never been so fun. In Katamari Damacy, youíre a pint-sized prince who is picking up after your father The King of all Cosmos. One night the King was bored and he decided to run into all the stars in space. Why? I guess just playing the game will help you understand. It was all fun and games for the King, but all of us people on earth werenít too happy the next day. Well since he is the King I guess it means he can be lazy. He makes you, the prince,..."

Rolling a ball of junk has never been so fun. In Katamari Damacy, youíre a pint-sized prince who is picking up after your father The King of all Cosmos. One night the King was bored and he decided to run into all the stars in space. Why? I guess just playing the game will help you understand. It was all fun and games for the King, but all of us people on earth werenít too happy the next day. Well since he is the King I guess it means he can be lazy. He makes you, the prince, take a small sticky ball to earth and gather junk. Rolling over anything and everything you will make a giant ball for the King to project into space to act as a star.

Take a group of Japanese and give them some acid. Put them in a room for ideas for a game and this is what you get. Every level of weird has been met in this game; not only during the game play, but also in the music. Music in my mind sets the mood for this game. And if youíre sober playing this game then the music may seem a little awkward. Each level has its own song, so that way at least you have a variety of weird. Not only do we have music, but the items you pick up make noises too. We all know that when you run over a thumb tack it goes ďPOPĒ. Each item has its own individual noise and there are a lot of items to be found.

When I say a lot I mean A LOT. As you grab more items your Katamari has no option but to increase in size. And when you see anything you thought you couldnít run over just wait till the ball gets a little bigger. Watch out for bigger items though. If your Katamari isnít big enough to pick something up you will run into it and things will come flying off your Katamari making it smaller. Obviously when the level starts out you will start out with picking up some nails and small erasers, such things to only help you get a bigger Katamari so you can pick up crabs or dogs. But getting crabs on your ball isnít a good thing or is it..? Thankfully they donít scatter the items all over the level. As you go through the level you will notice itís almost like a pattern. If you pick up all the smaller items then you can make your way to the bigger items. See Namco wanted everything to fall together.

Picking up these items is all fun and games. As you get farther through the game the time limit for each level increases. Thatís right I said time limit. Did you honestly think Namco would be that nice to let you have unlimited time to make your Katamari. When you start out the game you will have about 5 minutes to gather enough junk to make a 10 cm ball. Around level 7 you will realize that the time limit may be 20+ minutes, but your Katamari needs to be roughly around 50 meters in size. Some levels may take you a couple tries but in the end you will be triumphant.

Long levels obviously can lead to a bigger Katamari. Aside from the main 10 levels you have a couple side levels. These should be noticeable to most people since they are actually a group of stars that have been named. Such as Taurus or Virgo, thatís right the King ran over those as well. He is one evil bastard.

Grasping these levels will require some patience. The controls for this game have to be the weirdest EVAR!! It may seem complicating at first, but after a level or two you will find out it isnít that bad. If you have ever played any tank games then you are in luck, the controls are very similar. Each button has its own simplicity to make your quest easier to finish. While you are controlling the Katamari with one analog stick youíre using the other stick to control the camera. You can even jump over the Katamari if you press in both analogs. So rolling over things isnít the only challenge. You need to fully control the Katamari so you donít drop anything.

Controlling is all importance to this game, along with the camera. As the ball gets bigger everything around you starts to shrink. The Katamari can only go through certain parts of the level. Say youíre going through a town and your ball is rather large. If youíre too big then you might not be able to make it in between the houses and such. But if you can make the present larger then you can see everything around you. Watch out for odd shaped items. You may run over a pencil that is big enough for the Katamari, but it will make the ball roll around in and awkward fashion. But then when you get large enough you can just run over everything and then you have no worries. But when you are small in the beginning of the game it can be quite frustrating. Especially if you get stuck in a spot and you canít see anything but the Katamari. So stay away from walls and just roll over items that are big enough for you to grab. Remember you can only reach items that are smaller than the Katamari.

Hidden in most levels is a present from the King. He usually has some weird story of how the item got to Earth, but it is up to the Prince to find it. Most of the presents are hidden and can only be reached during certain parts in the level. But after you find the presents you will be happy to see that you can dress the Prince in different appeal. Such items could be a Wrestling Belt, or a Champion Scarf. This is just a little detail to keep us players busy.

While you roll over the whole planet you will notice the detail they have. Each town has its buildings or people or even animals. The people are kind of funky looking, but it gets the job done. The whole game its self looks kind of cartoon shaded. The people look kind of like blocks or cubes, but it only adds to the weirdness of KD. Then there are some space monsters, giant crabs, huge elephants and even sea turtles to run over. Namco really made sure that if you can run over everything, the wanted EVERYTHING to be there for you.

This game probably seemed like a golden sunshine up till now. But the major downfall of the game is the length. Maybe Namco was afraid that this game wouldnít sell good, but the game may only keep you busy for a couple hours, eight at max. If you can get past the fact of the game being short, then you will realize the greatness of Katamari Damacy.

alucard517's avatar
Community review by alucard517 (May 09, 2005)

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