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Katamari Forever (PlayStation 3) artwork

Katamari Forever (PlayStation 3) review

"One day, the King of the Universe is out in the Nebulae playing with his son, the Prince. The Prince can jump pretty far, but he's no match for the King just yet. In fact, the King can jump as high as he likes, and he does, just to show the Prince how it's done - but disaster strikes! He's hit in the head by a meteor. "

One day, the King of the Universe is out in the Nebulae playing with his son, the Prince. The Prince can jump pretty far, but he's no match for the King just yet. In fact, the King can jump as high as he likes, and he does, just to show the Prince how it's done - but disaster strikes! He's hit in the head by a meteor.

The King falls over, severely, into a hammock. And the Prince can't wake him up, no matter how hard he tries.

Crisis! The King of the Universe is indisposed! All the King's family scurry around looking for a solution to this terrible problem.

After some deliberation a solution is found: one will create a new King, a Robot King - and who will know the difference, anyway.

So now the game starts - you're given the task of inserting the core into the Robo King, with all the things you find essential, to awaken him to rule in the King's stead.

If you are new to the Katamari games, this serves as a quick and effective tutorial level: there's the Katamari. You roll objects up with it. And as the Katamari grows bigger, it will roll up bigger objects. And so on.

New to this particular version is the sixaxis jump - but you can still use the triggers to get across obstacles. Smaller stops, compared to the size of the Katamari, can be traversed by pushing steadily against them.

A few words about the control-scheme at this point. You use both thumbsticks at the same time, instead of using one for the direction, and the other for movement. Essentially, it's an extension of the Prince's arms. And you roll more with one arm than the other to cut the corners, for example. Or reverse the direction on one side to turn faster when standing still.

So now the core katamari is done, and the Robot King can be raised. But in the haste to create a new king, there seems to have been something missing - or maybe too much was put in, I suppose - and the Robot King accidentally wipes out all the stars in the universe.

"A bug, a feature? Who knows - and where would the story be otherwise", as the narrator reminds you.

The game from this point consists of reconstructing your universe, one star at a time. At first, you will do particular tasks for the Robot King, who has now recovered somewhat from that nasty slip earlier. Until you make a good start on the reconstruction, and can begin to spark some of the real King's memories - hopefully waking him eventually. By rolling the Katamari in the various mission based modes.

Each of the missions are fairly short, and can be completed (along with receiving a considerable amount of satisfaction) within 5-10 minutes. They are also varied and different enough to keep from becoming stale, which is a huge achievement in a game like this. You will also be ranked in the different scenarios (at first by the despondent Robot King, and later by the King himself), so it's in some ways easy to keep replaying the levels and increasing your rank.

The progression in the difficulty is also extremely well measured out - by the time you play to a level, you will be able to complete it. Or, if you can't, you can always skip a few levels and choose a different scenario. It's all very friendly and likeable, without being simply too easy. Rebuilding the universe is a momentous, if not a terribly urgent task, after all.

Perhaps you would also want to try it together with a friend, and if so, the game supports a same-screen co-op roll, as well as a versus mode, with various selectable hats and gear you collect during the single player.

Katamari Forever will very likely be the last Katamari title spawned from Keita Takahashi's legendary Katamari Damacy, and is a fitting tribute, as well as a well made title of it's own. From the stellar translation that truly captures the emotions of the Robot King, as they are, and the character that is the King of the Universe. To the sparse, but effective, story-telling during the game as well as the occasional cutscene. To the 1080p hd resolution option and the hand-drawn overlay filter. Along with the trademark level-scaling from small beginnings, to a massive Katamari finish.

Played through the story-mode and tested the co-op modes. A playthrough will take you the better part of a week. But going for high-scores and the S-ranks that will baffle the Robot and real Kings suitably extends the replayability if not forever, then at least for quite a while.


fleinn's avatar
Community review by fleinn (October 02, 2010)

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