Posted by Female Gamers on Jan 19, 2010
We Love Katamari – Review

We Love Katamari – Review

Post Rating

We Love Katamari is one of those rare sequels that you await with great anticipation. The original game was entitled Katamari Damacy and it was a quirky Japanese mega-hit that had millions of players addicted to rolling sticky balls around the screen to make them bigger. We Love Katamari takes up where the first game left off, but don’t worry if you haven’t played the original, this game is so easy to pick up and play that you’ll be fine jumping straight into the gameplay.

The most striking aspect of We Love Katamari is the simplicity of its storyline. Basically, the overall purpose of the game is to roll your ‘Katamari’ around the game world and make it big enough to create new stars in the cosmos. Your character is ‘The Prince’ and your father ‘The King’ has sent you out on this task to replace the stars he has lost. In-game, there are fans of the Katamari who will ask you to perform certain tasks, and the King—ever eager to stroke his own ego—will assign you these tasks and bask in your resulting glory.

This particular outing for Katamari allows you to go ball rolling in more varied and interesting environments than the previous title. You can roll your Katamari underwater, through enchanted forests, in schools, and even in outer space. This variety keeps the game fresh and interesting and some of the backgrounds are hilarious. You’ll realize at times that you’re sticking people, animals, toilets, TVs, fences and every other thing you can imagine to your Katamari in your quest to make it as big as you can in such a short time.

Some of the levels in We Love Katamari are extremely difficult so don’t expect this game to be finished easily. Just because it appears cute doesn’t mean it’s made for babies. In one particular level—where you have to ‘roll up the sun’—the task is so difficult it can be frustrating at times. Things are made much easier if you’ve already played the first Katamari game as you can load your existing cosmos and stars directly into this title and use those. If you don’t have that option then be prepared for a fairly taxing time getting past the ‘roll up the sun’ level. The controls are the same as the first game, where you use both analogue sticks to roll the Katamari. It can take some time to get used to this movement mechanic, but it’s a very inventive way of controlling the movement on screen and it works really well. There are also plenty of extras in this outing, with an unlimited supply of cousins showing up, clothes to be collected to personalize your character, and various other presents.

The graphics in We Love Katamari are excellent, and not because they are necessarily groundbreaking in any way, but more because they’re so bright and sharp and truly highlight the fun and bizarre feeling within the game. There’s a lot more variation in the graphics than was seen in the first title and their simplicity really pays off; while they don’t seem to push the PS2 to its limits, the gameplay is so original that it doesn’t really matter.

One of the best and more fascinating aspects in We Love Katamari is the game sound. This title has some addictive quirky songs playing throughout—and I challenge anyone who’s played the game not to go off humming them afterwards. The songs are completely insane. They are filled with Jap-pop that bounces along nicely with the gameplay. There’s not much in the way of actual sound effects really, however it’s not that important to the overall package. What is there works fine for the tasks and you’ll be enjoying listening to the music so much you probably won’t care about the sound effects at all. Deaf gamers can happily and easily play We Love Katamari and, although it’s unfortunate that they won’t hear the excellent songs, they can still have plenty of fun with the game.

With regards to the female gaming aspect, in this title you play The Prince, there’s no choice when it comes to playing as a Princess but, again, it’s really not an issue. There are females in the game who play their parts, mainly as the fans who want more Katamari. It really doesn’t matter that much, though, in terms of gameplay gender, but perhaps the next incarnation of Katamari will offer up the chance to play as a girl? That would be cool, but, as things stand, the lack of a playable female character isn’t something that in any way ruins the overall game.

The multiplayer aspect of We Love Katamari has some excellent new additions. You can still play against your friends in VS. mode, where you’re both competing to get the best Katamari within an allotted time. The cool new feature is that you and a partner can play cooperatively. This is where you work together to control the Katamari with you taking control of one analogue stick while your friend controls the other. This can be excellent fun, but can also prove frustrating if you don’t work together the entire time.

Overall, We Love Katamari is yet another excellent outing for a game that certainly deserved its success first time around. The concept is so sickeningly simple yet so utterly compelling and addictive, it effortlessly shows that modern videogames don’t have to boast superlative graphics and exceedingly deep narratives to be brilliant fun to play.

Review by Tracy

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