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    jp's Me & My Katamari (PSP)

    [September 24, 2008 05:00:47 PM]
    I don't think I've ever been in a position where the end credits of a game cause me to have a significant altered impression of a game I've just finished playing.

    This just happened to me with Me & My Katamari. My jaw literally dropped. Then I panicked, and then all was well. I was blown away. I'm actually debating whether or not to describe what happened and possibly spoil what was, for me, a delightful surprise.

    You see, when the game ends a funny thing happens. The king of all the cosmos appears and for no apparant reason suddenly turns into an 8-bit graphics version of himself. And then, the brilliance starts.

    While the end credits roll, and a final song is sung, you get to play an 8-bit self-tribute version of Katamari Damacy in 2D. It's essentially a sidescrolling roll-em-up. Then only "difference" is that you can now make the katamari jump.

    Many people assume that Katamari's gameplay REQUIRES 3D. The creators of the game prove otherwise. The "extra" game is just as fun and delightful as in 3D (though a lot harder!). The game is entirely self-contained and "complete" (you have 3 lives, you can retry, it has it's own start menu, and it even has 3 stages, unlocked when you complete earlier ones and of increasing difficulty).

    Why didn't I know about this before!

    Needless to say, I was a tad disappointed by this game UNTIL that very last moment when I realized that here, at the very end, was something novel, creative, ingenious, and once again, fresh. Fresh as in the original Katamari.

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    [September 17, 2008 11:11:50 PM]
    I've played this about 4 hours already and I found that I had to stop. My left thumb was starting to get quite a bit sore and I wanted to avoid a blister!

    My initial impressions were a bit of disappointment. The music was the same as the PS2 original and the areas felt less lively and less fun to play. After a few hours I came to realize that playing a Katamari game on PSP does have its charms. (I also realized that there is a variety of songs and that not all of them come from the original game).

    So, what's the good news?

    (1) It's still funny. In fact, I laughed out loud on the train (embarrasing) when I realized that you can actually start playing a level even while the King of the cosmos is waffling on. I laughed when he noticed I had started and basically huffed and said something like "Oh, go on ahead, see if I care".

    (2) The music is still fun and catchy. In fact, I find myself "skipping" a lot of the text in time to the beat of the music. Weird.

    What's not so exciting?

    (1) I really miss the dual-analog sticks. Like I mentioned, my left thumb is really sore. The reason for that is that I tend to overpress the buttons (because, clearly, I will thus exert more force over the Katamari and roll it faster...or something like that).

    (2) Certain areas just seem incredibly slow. It takes away a lot of the fun when you feel like your pushing a Katamari through molasses.

    (3) I've been surprised by how the "loading" that happens in-game when you "level" your Katamari up to the next size feels a lot more disjointed than in the original game. In fact, the leveling up is sometimes actually used to hide in-game loading. It breaks the flow of the game up a lot because it takes longer (than I remember on the PS2) and because the architecture/layout of the area changes more significantly than I remember on the PS2. I've found on more than one occasion that more than half of the things I wanted (and was planning) to roll over have disappeared when the world scales out. I assume it's a technical problem (memory constraints?) but it undeniably affects the continuity of the experience that was so wonderful in the original.

    I have no idea how many challenges I'll have to complete (I mean, how many islands I will have to build), but I think I shouldn't have too much trouble. Assuming my thumb doesn't fall off or something.
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    jp's Me & My Katamari (PSP)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 17 September, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 24 September, 2008

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Not quite the same as on the PS2, but definitely close enough in spirit. You HAVE to play it until the end. Must.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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