Me & My Katamari
The King of all Cosmos, that incredibly charismatic and completely flipping character is back! After his adventures with Katamari Damacy on the PS2, it’s the PSP’s turn to start rolling and pressing that crazy acting in handheld form so that you can also Katamari on the train.
At the start of the game it seems our King has had enough of his busy life and wants to relax a bit on a tropical island somewhere in the ocean. In all his relaxing however, he causes a less lethal but not less regrettable tsunami that drowns all surrounding islands. To make up, our friend immediately sends his son, the Prince, who needs to return everything as it was with the help of the very known means. Already those first moments bring you in a very good atmosphere, thanks to the fun movies and way of presentation. Unique for the PSP and perfectly fitting to what we know from the PS2! Only too bad that there are a lot less crazy movies present.
For those that don’t know the series yet: your assignment consists of rolling up all kinds of affairs with you katamari, some sort of rolling sticky ball. In the beginning you need to limit yourself to small things like shelves of blocks, but as more starts sticking in your ball, you can also roll along bigger and even immense objects. With this as basic mechanism there are of course a lot of objectives possible: realise a certain size of katamari, within a certain time period, roll up a certain number of items, etc. That way you can also gather extra points and please the inhabitants of the many islands.
Veterans of the series of course wonder how the controls will work, seeing the two sticks of the PS2 controller aren’t present. Themakers have used the D-pad and the symbol keys as well as the shoulder buttons. This needs some practise at start and will be a bit frustrating at first but don’t despair as after a while you’ll get the hang of it and nothing will be able to stop your rolling ball!
Graphically the game is beautifully finished. Bright colors combined with softer tints for surroundings, a very original and inspired design, sharp textures and very well done details make for a very enjoyable experience. This even isn’t only in-game but also the menus, the manual and the box dwell in this same style. Cool!
It’s clear that some concessions were done on the technical side which result in longer and more loading times, but not of that order that the PSP-user – who’s gotten used to that by now – gets too frustrated.
The sound is also well-done with a varied soundtrack and crazy sounds when you roll up certain people or animals.
The biggest criticism you can give the game is the fact that it’s too short. Once you’re used to the controls, it’s very easy to accomplish everything and also the amount of different environments is smaller in numbers than I had hoped. For those fans of collecting stuff there’s a reason to return in the form of all kinds of hidden things and nephews with which you can also play. Multiplayer is also present but due to lack of colleagues with the same game I couldn’t test that. Seeing the features however, you don’t need to expect much from that part.
As said, the limited playing time is the biggest miss that the makers have done. For the rest they’ve done an excellent job to port the crazy and funny experiences from Katamari Damacy to the PSP, both on artistic as well as technical side. Those looking for a fun, original, but not all too large game, will find what they’re looking for with this title