Another launch title catch up.
I 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.
Within 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.