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    Rhibecka's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    [January 12, 2008 10:05:34 PM]
    GAMEPLAY

    Upon playing the game a second time I have gained a better understanding of the game and have found it much more enjoyable.

    First of all, one of my friends informed me that the choppy language of the King is due to unusual translations of the game into English. I'm not sure if this is true, but this would definitely make sense given his strange wording which makes he seem off his rocker. I have also found the game much more enjoyable by not focusing on details of the game I found bothersome before. I realized that I was taking the game too seriously. It is really just a fun game about rolling a ball. What the king says in between your adventures and the cut scenes are not as important as dialogs are in most other games. Not understanding every sentence the King says (something I found bothersome the first time) will not hinder my game play.

    I also found this game more enjoyable once I reached larger levels with a bigger Katamari. Since I always had trouble maneuvering, I appreciated having many large areas to roam through and larger items to find (plus it is more exciting to roll over people and cows now than thumb tacs!). As the levels increase, I feel each object's designs can be more appreciated as well as the overall creativity and uniqueness of this game. This time I played around friends, and even they found the game's creativity extremely entertaining (for example, the realistic cries of terrified people as you roll them over).

    I still think the story is lacking, even though I know it has little to do with the overall point of the game. I have come to find the King's twisted sense of humor amusing (even though it is extremely depressing when he demoralizes you after failing a level).

    After this game play experience, I would have to declare Katamari a very good game. Despite its flaws, it's overwhelming creativity in turning the rolling of a ball into an exciting and intriguing game make it a game worth playing and recommending.


    DESIGN

    This game is unlike any game I have played. Most games fit into specific categories, but what I admire about this game is that it doesn't. The designers took a simple concept (the growing Katamari) which does not sounds fun or intriguing and turned it into a surprisingly engaging experience. I believe much of this game's charm is due to the interesting environments you are put it. Discovering where you can go with the Katamari and all the sorts of things you can pick up keeps the element of surprise fresh throughout the game. Watching the objects you roll over as you race the clock makes this game both competitive and intriguing (which keeps the player wanting to come back for more).

    The design is good in that each level presents new and unique surprises (such as discovering you can pick up fish in the lake). Each place provides a new level of interaction and discovery within the environment you are given, which keeps the game fun and each place unique. Although some levels had frustrating missions, their design creativity can not be ignored. For example, there is a level where I had to pick up bird eggs in hopes of finding a swan. This mission did not interest me, but the level itself was full of interesting places to explore and things to discover (I found out the hard way that a mouse trap will propel me through the air if I'm small enough). The innovativeness of each level (combination of good layouts, peppy music, and interesting objects) truly added to the game's overall fun tone and credit as a well designed game.

    I also felt that the game's irony and sarcasm added to the game's fun mood. It was amusing having cheerful music play as you made your path of terror and destruction across towns. The King's sense of humor also added to the game's likability factor.

    Although the game excelled in creating a great interactive environment and fun tone, I feel it lacked a solid story line. I found the cut scenes involving the "box people" pointless, and it seemed that what the King said never mattered. I felt the game should have either cut down his speeches and take out the cut scene sub-plot, or developed a more dynamic storyline. (Note:I have not finished the game yet, so I am aware that there could be an amazing ending which ties it all together perfectly and completely negates my criticism.)

    At first I felt the idea of the Katamari was not intriguing enough to allow for a dynamic experience. However, once I got past the introductory levels I found it more easy to find the game play experience fulfilling. I feel that a stronger storyline may have helped me get into the game earlier. Despite this game's downfalls, I found Katamari Damacy a fun and rewarding game which succeeds in taking the player through a unique gaming experience by offering them a game design different from many of the more popular games of today.


    read comments (1) read comments - add a comment Add comment
    [January 12, 2008 08:39:25 PM]
    SUMMARY

    In the game Katamari Damacy you play as the prince of the cosmos. After your father (the King) foolishly destroys all the stars, he gives you the responsibility of rebuilding them with the aid of a "Katamari". Your goal is to roll the Katamari over objects smaller than it (which stick to the Katamari allowing it to grow). The objects your Katamari collects are then used to form new stars.

    GAMEPLAY

    My first impression of this game is mixed. As someone not used to game consoles, I found it somewhat frustrating to maneuver a lopsided Katamari around bigger objects. I often found myself stuck or violently slamming into objects I thought (were small enough to pick up. However I feel that this is my do to my inexperience in gaming, not a true game design flaw. Another frustration involved understanding the King. His sentences seem jumbled, and I found it difficult to decipher the plot of the story in between his nonsense. I also feel that the cut scenes do not contribute much to the overall plot. I am curious to what will happen with them when I get further into the game.

    I felt my emotional state yo-yoed from relaxed to extremely frustrated. I appreciated that the early levels were easily beatable. It game me confidence and made it easy to view the whole experience as relaxing. However when I reached a more challenging level, I was overwhelmed with frustration at my inability to beat the level (rather than feel challenged I felt defeated). Whenever I beat a level, I merely felt content (no big sense of accomplishment as seen with other games). I feel the game did not provide an accurate amount of challenge. I believe the concept of collecting items with the Katamari is not stimulating enough to provide the player with an adequate sense of accomplishment after the competition of even a difficult level.

    On a more positive note, I really enjoyed the "feel" of the game. I feel the designers did a great job at creating an appropriate atmosphere for such an innovative game. The colors used in the game, as well as the music, create a relaxing, fun mood which contributes to this game's overwhelming "cuteness" (which makes me see how this game can easily be lovable).I also enjoyed the character designs. For example, the King's entire form conveys both a sense of cosmic wonder and terrific fear simultaneously (giving the player a good main character design can really contribute to the overall experience.)

    My first glance at the game was definitely a critical one. But I am excited to play more to better understand the cut scenes, listen to good music, and of course, greatly increase the size of my next Katamari.

    Till next time!

    -Rhibecka
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    Status

    Rhibecka's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 12 January, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Friday 8 February, 2008

    Opinion
    Rhibecka's opinion and rating for this game

    I really like this game so far and I'm excited to play more and develop a more solid opinion.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See Rhibecka's page

    See info on Katamari Damacy

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