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    Lagaes Rex's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    [January 19, 2007 01:14:41 AM]
    Now that I’ve gotten a second chance to play Katamari Damacy, and have already talked about the basic mechanics of the game, I’d like to dive into more of the minutia, including issues that I have with the game. I know my last entry made it seem that Katamari Damacy is my favorite game of all time. While it certainly is an excellent game that I enjoy playing, it is not without its faults.

    My first complaint is with the camera. Most of the time it works just fine. However, if your katamari is near a wall and you turn so that the wall would be behind you, the camera gets obstructed by the wall. What this means is that for a few seconds you’re fumbling around until you can get far enough away from the wall that the camera works again. Considering that most of your missions are timed, and that collision results in losing items from your katamari, this can turn into a very frustrating experience.

    While we’re talking about frustration, I might as well talk about going up steps. In theory your katamari can go up steps provided that they aren’t too steep. I say in theory because quite often when I try to go up steps, it treats it like a wall collision and stuff flies off my katamari. Perhaps there’s some secret stair-climbing technique that I’m not aware of, but until I discover said technique I’m going to continue to be annoyed by that.

    I complimented the style of the game along with the gameplay in my last entry, but I also have some issues with the style of the game. In particular, there are a couple of things about the items themselves that bother me. I feel like I’m rolling through LEGOLAND than the real world. It’s not the look that bothers me; it’s the fact that every item you pick up feels like it’s made out of hard plastic, regardless of the item. Items made of paper and clothing especially annoy me, since they stay rigid and cause your katamari to become lopsided. I could understand a stick or a pen causing that, but paper and clothing should crumple and fold once it’s been rolled up. However, that would make the game more complicated to create, so I can understand why it was kept the way it is now.

    My final complaint I’m not even sure is applicable since I haven’t played through the game in its entirety. The complaint is the absent of a sandbox mode. So far all the stages that I’ve been played have been limited by a goal or a time limit. I want a mode where I can play at my own pace, from the very smallest size to the very largest size. I just think that it would be fun to see just how big you can get if you’re allowed all the time you need.

    Now that I’ve listed some criticisms, I would like to say something that I do like about the game. It’s not a big deal, but I want this to end on a happy note, since I do like this game very much. It involves the King of All Cosmos, as most good things about this game do. When he speaks, words of a faux importance are shown in a different color. This is clearly a friendly nod to role playing and adventure games, most notably the 3D Zelda games, which do a similar thing. Again, not a big deal, but I think it makes a good icing on the cake.
    read comments (6) read comments - add a comment Add comment
    [January 18, 2007 10:58:22 PM]
    Although I own the sequel, We Love Katamari, this was my first time playing the original Katamari Damacy. Although there is an overlapping story, and there were some minor changes made to the sequel, from a gameplay view the games are almost interchangeable.

    The are two aspects of Katamari Damacy that makes it a great game: Its original gameplay and its quirky personality. Let’s talk about the gameplay first. The concept is almost painfully simple. If you’ve ever rolled up a snowball, you’ve unwittingly played Katamari Damacy. You’re given a ball (the katamari), which you use to roll up anything that’s smaller than it. As you roll stuff up, you’re katamari becomes bigger, which allows you to roll up larger items (which makes the katamari larger still). It’s simple, it’s easy to learn, but most importantly, it’s fun. There’s a sense of accomplishment that is felt as your katamari gets bigger and bigger. It’s particularly satisfying when you’re finally able to roll up an item that’s been an obstacle for the first few minutes.

    Now let’s talk about the game’s personality. It has a very Japanese feel to it. By this I mean that I could not imagine an American game studio making a game like this. As it result, the game has a quirky feel to it that, in my opinion, adds flavor to the game.

    Of particular note when talking about the personality of the game is the King of all Cosmos. He is arguably the funniest Supreme Being I have ever encountered in a video game. We are introduced to him as we watch him destroy the cosmos while blind drunk. Once he sobers up, he sends his son, the Prince (your character) to clean up his mess. Combine that with oblivious, happy-go-lucky attitude, his incessant use of the Royal We, and his constant put-downs towards the Prince, and you have some hilarious moments. It always pains me when people skip through all of his lines, as I find them to be quite enjoyable.

    If this game just had the innovative gameplay, it would still be a good game. It’s how it blends its quirkiness with innovative gameplay to make this game a modern classic.
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    Status

    Lagaes Rex's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 18 January, 2007

    Opinion
    Lagaes Rex's opinion and rating for this game

    A truly original game that is both fun and funny.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Katamari Damacy

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