WE LOVE KATAMARI - Mania.com



Video Game Review

Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Platform: PlayStation 2
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Genre: Action
  • Players: 1-2
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Namco
  • Publisher: Namco
  • Suggested Retail: $29.99
  • Graphics: B
  • Sound: B+
  • Gameplay: B+
  • Replay: A-
  • Fun Factor: A+
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: A

WE LOVE KATAMARI

It's weird and definitely wonderful

By Patrick Sauriol     October 21, 2005


WE LOVE KATAMARI.
© Namco
The King of All Cosmos needs your help. As one of the King's Princes, it's your job to help him refill outer space by rolling up everyday objects like paperclips, food, children's toys and even larger items into katamaris, which the King will then judge and then toss up into space where they transform into stars and planets. As strange as it may sound, you do not have to be on drugs to understand or enjoy playing this highly addictive game.

A sequel to the Japanese game KATAMARI DAMACY which was released a year ago, Namco's WE LOVE KATAMARI continues on the strange story of the Prince and his cold capsule-for-a-head-shaped King.

Look at all those fish stuck to your katamari. Hey, is that Nemo?

As was the case with the first KATAMARI, you have to roll up things with an object that's like a stickyball. As you "grow" your katamari in size, you will be able to pick up even larger items, some of them even being alive. Levels are set just about everywhere: inside a young child's cluttered bedroom, in a backyard garden, under the sea. Accompanying each level is a surprisingly catchy Japanese pop tune, something that I truly thought I would never live to experience again after hearing the theme music from TEEN TITANS. After you reach a time limit imposed by the King, he will then judge your katamari by its size, likely find it wanting and toss it up into the sky to become a new world with some trippy name like "Pencil Neptune". And then you start all over again except you're making bigger and stranger katamaris the next time.

The bottom line is that this game is a lot of fun, and I think I know why that is (besides being able to roll up just about all of nature): it's like building your own snowman when you were a kid. Remember what that was like, looking out at a perfectly undisturbed field of snow, knowing that you're about to start rolling it into a progressively larger ball? That's the genius of KATAMARI, coded into a video game and fused with the imaginative notion of being able to make giant balls of people, houses, skyscrapers, boats, cars, you name it. This kind of weird and wonderful experience is precisely the reason why video game consoles were made in the first place.

Unlike the first KATAMARI, the sequel allows two players to go at it or work together, which is just as much fun as rolling your own katamaris by yourself. The game is perfect for every age of gamer, from little kids to jaded adults that think every ounce of creativity has been wrung from gaming. If you're looking for a break from the next FPS, RTS or RPG, here it is.

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