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Old 02-23-2010, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Katamari Damacy

The King of all the Cosmos has accidentally extinguised all of the stars in the sky.

Luckily he has you, the Prince, to help him replace all the stars and constellations.

You are in possession of a special ball which has gravitational pull, which you use to collect objects by rolling the ball over them to pick them up.
After you have picked up a certain amount of objects of a given size, the ball increases its gravitational pull and you are then able to pick up slightly larger objects.


For example, at the beginning of the game, you are rolling around the ball picking up ants, pushpins, candies, board game pieces, and things of that general size.
After a while you are then able to pick up things like batteries, kid's building blocks, erasers, mice, and things of that general size until you collect enough objects to increase the ball's gravitational pull once more.
Your character's size increases when the ball's size does so he can keep it under control.

The King decrees that you shall make a ball of a given size within a given time limit, which varies from stage to stage.
Failure to do so not only incurs his wrath, but also ends that particular game and you must reload your saved game to try again.
It is challenging trying to pick up the objects, since there are some 'enemies' in the game that attack the ball and cause some of the objects you already collected to fly off, decreasing the size of the ball and delaying your progress.

If you do make the ball to the designated size within the time limit, you are allowed to continue collecting objects for any time that remains as a kind of bonus stage.
As I have said, it's not easy creating the ball in time and so this bonus usually isn't very long.

Occasionally the King will mention a 'special' object which may be hidden, or to collect as many of that which he asks for, whichever the case may be.
For example, in one of the stages the King asks for crowns, in another crabs, and in another, twins.
This is usually when you are making the constellations.

You must be careful not to pick up objects which will stick out too much since this will cause the ball to roll unevenly and make it more difficult to pick up more objects.
This problem can be corrected by collecting smaller objects to make the ball more round again but it uses up precious time.
Best to avoid the longer objects until your ball is large enough to absorb them and keep rolling smoothly.

If your ball bumps into an object larger than itself while moving too fast, some objects may go flying off of the ball, which delays your progress - and believe me - you will need every single second given you by the King to make him the size of ball he asked for.
ANY delay can spell the premature end of a round, so practice is not only advised but probably inevitable when first playing the game.
{I was getting frustrated in the first couple of levels - that DARNED TIMER}

The enemies in the game seem to be characters relative to your size; in the beginning, a mouse is a terrifying monster, for example.
Later stages' enemies are people walking around who have a disliking for balls of rolling debris being pushed around by a yellow and green alien Prince, and attack you.
There's just no understanding some people.

In between levels of the game are some still shot 'cartoons' of a girl and her brother and their mom on Earth, who have squared heads and bodies for some reason.

During these cartoons the girl is convinced that she 'feels the power of the Cosmos', and she and her brother try to tell their mom about the strange goings on in the sky.
{the missing stars}
Their mom consistently ignores them as they go about their daily life, but the kids still try to get her to listen...


Graphics:
The graphics for this game are crisp and clear - one of the better games for graphics on the PS2 - and the colors are vivid and pleasant to the eye.
Having said that, I must point out that the rendering of the objects in the game is not realistic; they cut down the polygons and detail in order to allow for the sheer number of objects in the game: MASSIVE.

While I can't say that I was totally impressed by things like rectangular mice at first, I noticed the vast number of things you pick up during a round retain their shape and detail within the ball and are clearly distinguishable from one another, so that makes up for it.

Sound:
I am not personally fond of the type of music on the soundtrack, but its quality is good and it does have an unusual style.
'Vocal accapella' is what I think it's called.
It reminds me of the song 'Don't worry, be happy'

Sound effects for game events are great - this is a Namco game, after all.
Classic game sound effects you may recognize from their arcade classics are remixed and recycled for this game.

Replay value:
HUGE. This is one of those games that's different every time you play it.
You never know how things will turn out in a given round.
It is a new classic game, in my opinion.

Controls:
Similar to a racing game, the controls depend a great deal on the condition of the ball of objects; if there's a lot of pointy objects sticking out of it that are causing the ball to roll unevenly then it is very difficult to navigate and to avoid enemies.
When the ball's surface is smooth response is much better.
Moving sideways and backing up are slow, but forward you can get going quite fast - which can cause you to bump into things if you're not careful.


The gameplay is fun, challenging, and addictive.
I recommend Everyone play Katamari Damacy.

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Old 02-23-2010, 10:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

Do not play this game. You will have cow nightmares.

But other than that I've heard that this game is delightful.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

Cow nightmares?
That sounds really scary, but nice review.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

I downloaded a katamari demo on my PS3 (don't know which one)... took me forever to get a hang of the controls, couldn't find the use of adding stuff in a school room to a ball to make it bigger, decided never to figure it out... honestly, though the review is pretty good, I will not be playing this game
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

NG2012:
Quote:
I downloaded a katamari demo on my PS3 (don't know which one)... took me forever to get a hang of the controls, couldn't find the use of adding stuff in a school room to a ball to make it bigger, decided never to figure it out... honestly, though the review is pretty good, I will not be playing this game
I'm sorry to hear that you shut the door on this great game so soon - maybe try it again some other day, because it's worth it.

THE controls of the game I should have gone into greater detail about.
They are configured as for a vehicle with tracks instead of wheels, like on a large excavator:

or a tank, and if you ever played Battle Zone in the arcade, I mean on the original dedicated arcade cabinet, there were two joysticks side by side which you used to control the tank.

I should have mentioned this in my review since the difference in controls takes some getting used to compared to a typical game.
Players of Battle Zone will have no troubles with KD.
Battle Zone Coin Op
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

I was expecting this to have at least 4 pages of pics Joe. you disappoint me.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

Looks like a fun game, I'll put it on my list of games to acquire.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

It's a fun, but more of a nick-nack than a game.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

SC13:
Quote:
It's a fun, but more of a nick-nack than a game.
Yes.
In the same way that Gran Turismo 4 is a driving simulator rather than a racing game.
Good point.
KD is still a hoot, though.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

I like little oddities of games anyway.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

I hated Katamari Damacy, if I wanted to roll around and collect stuff, I'd strap myself in velcro and roll around on my carpet collecting dust bunnies and carpet and clothing fibers. Solid review though!
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

Dude, I think it's weird. Not my type of game.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Katamari Damacy

Motion sickness warning:

I recently finished the game by playing marathon until I won, and I noticed something I think I should share with you guys about Katamari Damacy:

I became very dizzy and almost began feeling sick by the end of the extended session required {for me} to beat the game.
I've never experienced this to such a degree with any other game, and can only attribute it to the turning of the ball so much during gameplay.

Something about the graphics in the background while turning had to do with it as well; the way they look and the feeling of depth, perhaps.

I thought that I should add this information since there are some people who are more sensitive to this than others and certainly this game would be one that is likely to agitate such sensitivities.

Having said that, this game is still fun and unique but perhaps frequent breaks while playing would be advisable.
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