Katamari Damacy – Second Opinion

I found Katamari Damacy brilliant thanks to its sheer simplicity of purpose. This madcap star building experience is addictive to the point of genius. Only sheer exhaustion and cramped thumbs made me stop for any period of time.

One of my favorite things overlooked in the main review are the statistic screens that keep track of everything my katamari collected, from common thumbtacks up to special gifts the King hid on Earth for the Prince. As a player who enjoys collecting in game items, I found the one-line descriptions of each item endearing, especially since they are reported through the alien eyes of the King. For example, one reads "A dog wearing a sweater. It's ok, he doesn't care." And they just get stranger.

And given the wide scope of what can be gathered, I easily forgave the simplistic 3D environments. I loved recognizing areas that I had found tough when I was tiny and finally was able to consume as my katamari grew!

I wish I had been warned about the music, though. I found myself humming many of the catchy songs long after (not necessarily a bad thing). The styles of music are of a wide variety, from fugues to electronica to a chorus of screaming children. There is even a song in English about the joy of rolling. All of them burned permanently into my brain.

I had two problems with the game, however. First, the game felt a little short. I built the core set of stars relatively quickly, but in its defense, there was much fun to be had in replay. It's also great for gatherings if only to share the psychedelic weirdness and contagious fun.

My second complaint was with the multiplayer mode that was not covered in the main review. The biggest flaw here is the side-by-side split screen that severely limited what I could see as I raced to get large enough to consume the other katamari. Had the multiplayer been a horizontal top and bottom split it would have allowed for a better line of sight for competition.

These small issues aside, Katamari Damacy was a welcome and refreshingly odd addition to my gaming pile. Rating: 9.5 out of 10.