Saturday, June 03, 2006

Review: Katamari Damacy

Platform: Playstation 2
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Release: September 2004

Katamari is definitely unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. However, after playing it, maybe that’s for a good reason.

In an industry cluttered with countless boring sequels, generic shooters and uninspired urban games, once in awhile have something that truly stands out from the pack. Katamari Damacy is definitely one of those rare titles that do this. A ‘roll objects up into a sticky ball’ simulator, Katamari is definitely unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. However, after playing it, maybe that’s for a good reason.

I admire that the creators of Katamari went off the beaten path when designing this title. Games don’t get much quirkier than this. The object of the game is incredibly straightforward and unsophisticated. You simply roll objects up into a sticky ball through colorful levels. Coated around all this is an unusual world and irregular Japanese music.

Unfortunately, while the creators definitely crafted something unique, it’s far from entertaining. Rolling up random objects into a ball to reach a certain goal within a time limit is all you really do, and its way too simple to be entertaining. While a non-gamer might be able to get into it with ease, there’s no real substance to the whole thing, and in the end you’re left with a boring piece of fluff.

Graphically, Katamari has an interesting “feel”. However, that’s not quite a “good” interesting, and the visuals are blocky, colorful, and unpleasant for the most part. The game doesn’t fare much better in the sound department, either. The kooky Japanese-flavored tunes are complete love it or hate affair. Either you’re going to find yourself humming along to the songs found in the game or you’ll be aggravated by how annoying they are. Blech.

Since the game is so repetitive and lackluster there is virtually no replay value to be found after your first day of playing. So even though the game was released at a bargain price ($19.99), it’s not worth the cost of admission, even for a mere twenty bones. Katamari is one of those games destined to end up on the back of your dusty game shelf rather than spinning inside of your Playstation 2.

Katamari is a fresh concept coupled with an offbeat world and unique game play. However, the game is way too simplistic to remain fun for a long session, and it fails to succeed in virtually any department whether it be graphically, sound-wise or mostly importantly, game play-wise. Katamari is not an uninspired effort, it’s just a merely poor one. Avoid at all costs.

Rating: 3.6 (out of 10)


At 2:26 PM, Blogger gnome said...

You seem quite sure... On the other hand the game does sound (a tad) interesting. Guess I'll have to try it for myself and let you (my people that is, not only you Ross) know.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Ender said...

I liked the game quite a bit, despite my intense loathing for all things Japanese.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

I love this game. Especially the second one. Me and my friends are actually planning on forming some kind of Katamari Religion. Y'know with the King of Cosmos as our soviergn Diety.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a great game. People who haven't played it are hopelessly behind.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

Who said i had a hopeless behind?

At 7:45 PM, Blogger DEITRIX said...

Unless I have a friend that has one, I probably wont be playing it..
Maybe if they make one for next-gen consoles will be my only hope!
I've always wondered what all the fuss was about, and everyone says the games are fun and addicting...

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Tomleecee said...

This game has been lauded for it's originality and apparent all-round greatness by many gaming channels...this is the first unfavourable thing I've read about Katamari. But, we live in a democracy of sorts, so everyone is entitled to their opinion!

At 11:14 AM, Blogger DEITRIX said...

True, true... I guess one of these days I will have to pick one of the versions up...


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