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    Eegriega's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    [January 19, 2007 02:13:44 PM]
    The second half of the gameplay proceeded similarly to the first; Katamari Damacy is a very easy game to learn how to play, and much of the challenge is strategizing so as to be able to complete the various levels by building an appropriately-sized katamari within the time limit. Both my classmate and I agreed that, for whatever reason, Star 4 was especially hard in this respect; we both had to try to complete the level several times, and in the end she had to play three times straight through to beat it by a narrow margin. As the levels progress, different challenges are presented in building one's katamari; the constellation-building levels are especially interesting in that they may ask you to collect as many as you can of one particular item (such as crabs or swans or twins) or the biggest and best single thing you can find of a particular item (such as a bear or a cow). These challenges keep the gameplay fresh and allow one to choose a different type of difficulty to try if one is getting frustrated with a particular level. The variety of play, along with the strange entertainment of the cutscenes, was enough to keep us engaged for a full three hours (with small breaks), at any rate.
    One thing I have to agree with that all my friends who had played previously had told me: the music is absolutely great. Each level has a different but equally catchy song playing in the background that it takes a while to tire of; even the music of Star 4, which we tried to beat at least five times, had yet to start annoying me when my classmate finally beat it. Along with the music, too, the sound effects are really amusing--when one's katamari is built up enough that one can start picking up people, some of their screams are extraordinarily funny. It's these small things, along with the sheer weirdness of being able to pick up leaflets, hardhats, and cakes all along the same street, that culminate in a game with a lot of staying power that doesn't fade and get boring after a few hours of play. More than that, the game makes you start to see everything differently; I was walking to class earlier today when I saw a small cluster of sparrows pecking at the ground, and my first thought was to wish that I had a katamari big enough to roll them all up.
    All in all, the unique gameplay and the absolute bizarrity of it all make playing Katamari Damacy a very memorable experience, and I look forward to playing it frequently in the future. (You know a game is effective when you want to go out and buy the console it runs on just so you can play the game yourself...)
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    [January 19, 2007 01:57:18 PM]
    So a classmate brought over Katamari Damacy with the intent that we could both play since it's on the classics list. I had only heard a little bit about it before that point--everybody I know who'd played it seemed to love it without giving any specific reasons why, and I had been curious about what was so wonderful about it. As we started playing, though, I quickly learned what the reason for all the hype was.
    As a first-time player, I went through the little tutorial that showed what the controls were and allowed one to test them out. Move forward, stop, roll sideways, jump to change position: all fairly easy to remember and get the hang of (other than the weird charge/dash action that requires one to work the analog joysticks back and forth alternately in a way that I haven't managed to master yet). The idea of the game is simple enough, but the enjoyment is far increased by the sheer bizarrity of everything that goes on. The cutscenes are brightly colored and incredibly surreal (especially the opening one), and while some players may find this alienating, I found it quite entertaining. The weird speeches made by the King of All Cosmos and the strange bits of cutscene plot in between the gameplay are intriguing in their oddness ("Oh! I feel it! I feel the cosmos!" echoes through my head even as I type this) and motivated me and my classmate to play straight through for several hours just to see what would happen as a result of making a new star.
    We would have played two-player mode to compare it with one-player mode in terms of entertainment (we'd both heard that it was inferior in several ways), but unfortunately with only one controller between us we had to be content with alternating the one-player mode in attempts to make new stars and constellations. In any case, the game is very visually appealing with its bright colors and uniquely stylized graphics, and was almost as fun to watch as to actually play. Both players and watcher get involved in the game very quickly, and as we played we found ourselves cheering the other on or yelling animatedly at the screen when something went wrong (like being attacked by the cat and having the katamari break up). This, I think, is one of the marks of a really good game, when it involves one so completely in the play.
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    Status

    Eegriega's Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 18 January, 2007

    Opinion
    Eegriega's opinion and rating for this game

    Ye gods, what a cracked-out game. I love it.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See Eegriega's page

    See info on Katamari Damacy

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