Another launch title catch up.

TMK1I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this title when it turned up. After doing a bit of research I learned that this is the tenth title in the series, and the fifth on a PlayStation platform. The basic premise of all of the games is to use an object called a Katamari – a spherical object which absorbs all it runs over – and make it grow to a certain size before you can then exit your level. So it’s a puzzle game presented in the third person, but I really wasn’t expecting how loud it would be.

Brighter than the sun in the middle of the Sahara Desert and more colourful than an evening with Frankie Boyle – and mixed with a campness that a field of tents would struggle to compare with – the basics of the plot are that the extremely outrageous king is sad and you need to cheer him up. He has the ability to convert your completed Katamari into stars, and thus over a variety of 13 levels you have to make your ball arrive at the size required, usually within a time limit and then present it to the king. Your efforts are then graded and you are awarded “candies” which serve as the currency of the game and are used to purchase a variety of clothes and musical tracks to entertain his highness.

TMK2Within the game you can affect the basic shape of the ball by using the touch screen to stretch the ball either horizontally or vertically which will aid you as you strive to collect the various everyday materials in your path. The snag here is that some things cannot be collected on your first roll – you will need to grow to a certain size before it will then stick – so repeated rolling into different areas may be needed if you want to succeed. Follow up plays on levels are also going to be needed if you want to earn all of the trophies, as some objects in the levels will only appear on multiple playthroughs, and in each level are ten “curio” objects, often in very difficult to reach places. The amount of replayability in the title is huge, but so if the repetition factor.

Visually the game environments are very easy to indentify with and there is great variety in the levels, once your eyes adjust to the loudness of it all. There is no doubt that this is a very strange title, but I found myself keep coming back to it for a little more each time. It’s extremely crazy but it’s very fun and can be picked up for a very reasonable price these days.

  • The overall style may be off putting for some, but was it off putting for you, and why (not)?

    • Not really, because I don’t mind a bit of camp colourfulness. 😛

  • Am I the only that hoped that the opening line would’ve been a reference to MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’?

    The Katamari series got rave reviews when it first appeared on the PS2. When I eventually played it for myself, I was severely let down. Not to say that the game was bad, Just a very mediocre experience. I didn’t find it as addictive as other puzzle games, and the levels don’t really change other than the items you absorb get bigger, but this is more of an aesthetic thing than something that dramatically affects gameplay.

    • Missed opportunity. 😛 I’m normally quite quick with puns. 😛

  • Buckybuckster

    I have both games that were released here for PS2 in the States and I love them both. However I’ve yet to pick up the Vita version. It’s my understanding that the Vita game was cobbled together from previous levels from games in the franchise. And at the time it released, I wanted something new. I’ll eventually snatch it up.

    Excellent review Murphy!

  • I love the Katamari series but was disappointed to see a full release not having a platibum trophy. Especially when the previous PS3 game had one.

    • It barely has ANY lol and the ones it has are very demanding.