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    ItsaMystery's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    [January 26, 2008 12:59:20 AM]
    (Gameplay Session 2)

    That's it--I'm addicted. It was extremely difficult to put the controller down, and the theme song of the game is stuck in my head (naaaa na na na na na na na, na na na na na-na-naaaaa...). Watching the game unfold and seeing your katamari progressively get bigger (and thus, able to roll up larger, more obscure objects) quickly became something that kept my hands wrapped around my controller and eyes fixed on the screen. I think at one point, someone came into my room while I was playing and said 'hello', and I merely gave them a light grunt in return and as recognition of their existence (okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but you get the idea of how much I've come to love this game).

    The music is one element of the game that definitely has spawned a fan base. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the title theme song has a tune that is almost instantly recognizable by anyone else that's played the game. One of my other friends came in the room, realized I was playing Katamari, and promptly started humming the theme song.

    Throughout the game, I constantly felt like I was progressing through the levels and accomplishing things. Occasionally, I wouldn't meet my goal of having the katamari a certain size (the King of All Cosmos tells you how big he wants the katamari to be by xx:xx amount of time), but I would replay the level and complete the goal the second time around. The level select screen is represented by different points floating above locations on Earth, so seeing more and more completed points show up made me feel proud that I was successfully progressing through the game.

    The most blatant innovative gameplay aspect of this game is the idea of collecting things by essentially rolling them up. In other games, you collect objects typically by walking over them; however, in Katamari Damacy, the idea of collection is a main aspect of this game. Using only the two analog joysticks on the controller to move your katamari around, you must roam around the levels and collect various random objects to increase the size of your katamari.

    There are limitations on your Katamari at various points however. For example, if you are only 50cm big, you won't be able to roll up a pet cat, but will be able to pick up something like a paperclip or thumbtack. By accruing lots of smaller objects, you are able to "expand" your Katamari, eventually being able to pick up larger objects or characters so you can meet your goal.

    The levels reflect the initial size of your katamari. For example, the first few levels of the game are based in one or two rooms inside a house, and thus your katamari is small. As you progress through the game, you are placed in much larger levels, such as an entire city; as such, your katamari starts at a much larger size. Seeing your katamari grow bigger as you move through the levels and similarly seeing the levels you play in get bigger really supports the feeling of progressing through the game.

    Not all levels are just "roll up as much stuff as you can in x amount of time to make a big star". Some levels are "roll up as much of one kind of thing in order to make a cool constellation". Certain levels have specific goals in which you have to focus on making your katamari big at the same time that you collect as many of one kind of thing as you can. For example, one level requires you to collect as many crabs as you can in order to create the constellation for Cancer. These constellation levels interspersed within the regular gameplay allow for the player to not feel like they're just doing a repetitive task over and over.
    read comments (1) read comments - add a comment Add comment
    [January 26, 2008 12:21:48 AM]
    Jacob Pernell
    CMPS20 - Whitehead

    (Gameplay Session 1)

    Katamari Damacy is a action/puzzle game in which you assume the role of the son of the King of All Cosmos, otherwise known as the "Prince". The King accidentally knocked all the stars out of the sky, so he sends you on a mission. You must collect (or roll-up) objects on Earth using a sticky balled, called a katamari. The objects you collect get turned into stars, so the more your katamari rolls up each level, the bigger and better your star will be!

    The first aspect of Katamari that caught my attention was the abstract, almost garish art style. The title cinematic scene features lots of brightly colored animals, rainbows, and the King of All Cosmos character flying around; it is quite random indeed. Once I started playing, I noticed how simplistic the art in the game actually is. All the objects and characters in-game are very blocky and polygonal, almost to N64 graphics quality (no offense to the N64, of course). However, I wasn't bothered by the art style, and as I got into the game more, quickly came to accept it as something that is natural to the style and feeling of the game.

    The story I found was fairly simple, but has enough basis to keep you progressing through the game. The intro game cinematic shows a giant man wearing a cape, spandex-like blue clothes, and a horizontally cylindrical head flying around space. This man is the King of All Cosmos, and while flying around he accidentally knocks out all the stars in the sky. Since he is the King of All Cosmos and can do whatever he wants, he decides to send you, the Prince, down to Earth on a mission. Your mission is to roll a sticky ball (called a katamari) around different places on Earth to pick up different objects, which in turn can be turned into new stars and constellations. The more you roll up given the time limit set per level, the bigger/better your star is, and the more impressed the King is (although, since he's the King, it's very hard to truly impress him).

    While playing through each of the levels, I sometimes got caught up in the gameplay and forgot that my goal for the level is to make my katamari big enough to become a star. I found myself being sucked into the quirky-ness of each level, and just enjoyed rolling up the every-day objects found in the level. However, when the time limit ran out and I had reached my katamari's size goal for that level, it was satisfying seeing the King take my katamari and turn it into a star in the sky; this completion of one level made me want to keep playing and complete the remaining levels.
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    ItsaMystery's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 25 January, 2008

    ItsaMystery's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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