Friday 25 January, 2008
Once I started playing Katamari Damacy, I got hooked. It was always interesting and refreshing to play since the design and gameplay are so different than any other game I have played. What appeals to me the most is its simplicity. The story line is, your dad, the King of All Cosmos, destroys the universe in a drunken frenzy, and you the prince have to fix his mistake by creating the stars and planets. To do it, you simply roll around collecting bigger and bigger items. The level progression, however, does not really change. In each level you still roll up bigger and bigger items. Though at first it may not seem like fun, it is still engaging due to the different challenges the game presents. For example, setting a time limit or only being allowed to roll certain items makes the game fun and exciting until the end.
Even though the multiplayer mode is not that well developed, it still was fun to play with other people. In multiplayer mode, the players would go around collecting items in a certain level, and whoever got the biggest katamari won. However, the other player could either run into you, causing items to fall off, or roll you up if your katamari was too small. Having that aspect in the gameplay always made multiplayer a challenging and fun interaction.
The design elements that Katamari Damacy has makes it a great game to play. First, the whole look of the game sets it apart from anything I have played. All the bright colors and quirky characters makes the game have a more happy tone. This makes the game fun to play, as you are having a good time playing around in an odd world. Furthermore, the way the levels are designed make the game feel extremely open. The only boundaries are large objects you might not be able to roll up. But once you roll up more items, you are eventually able to collect the bigger objects. This allows the game to have a sense of freedom to do anything in the sense of rolling a katamari. Furthermore, it keeps the player interested. The game is similar to a snowball effect. You start and roll a few items, and start to get a bigger katamari. But it is always fun to learn what new things the player can start to roll up. Once you get to start picking up actual buildings, it is fun to plow through the giant city that your playing in.
Furthermore, the reward system allows for the players to keep being interested. Throughout the levels, you are able to roll up the main character's cousins, and random presents that The King of All Cosmos has left for you. When you achieve one of these items, you can switch between a cousin and the prince, and play as a new character. This does not change the gameplay, it just simply gives the player a new avatar. The presents that you get also let you deck out the prince or your cousin with whatever you have, like a pair of headphones or a scarf.
What I would say is most frustrating is how the game creates conflict. The time limit and the limitation to rolling up certain objects are fine, but if an object is too large and you accidently run into it, items will start falling off of your katamari. At first this seems like a fair objective to put into the game. However, I found myself extremely annoyed when I couldnt pick up an object that my katamari was clearly bigger than.