Review by Rabid Mammal Wax

Reviewed: 09/29/04

"OOOOHHHH YEEEAAAH" says Koolaid Man

This game is fantastic, fan-friggin-tastic, awesomely fantastic, what more can be said? Well I'll split this review into the usual categories we've all come to expect, so you too can understand how awesome this game is.

Presentation: 9.8

These menus are great, I especially love the screen where you load your game. The home-world is a blast to explore, as is Earth, and, eventually, the moon. Everything here is well done, and there is no stalling between menus.

Graphics: 8.8

The graphics are the weakest part of the game. Its true that the graphics do fit the style, but there is very little attempt at curves and round objects, and seeing a great deal of blocky people and animals is a testiment to that--though they fit, which is why I feel kind of strange complaining. The game is colorful, very colorful, in fact, its so rich in color and intensity that the atmosphere it establishes is perfect.

Sound: 9.9

The music is fantastic. I had no idea there were so many songs with ball-rolling themes, many of which are catchy. Hell, the main theme is the catchiest song I've heard in months, and I can't get it out of my head. There's a large variation of tracks (I believe there are around fifteen to twenty tracks in the game) so they rarely get repetitive. Sound-effects are also well done, as you can hear your ball bounce on the ground, bounce on water, hit objects, people screaming, dogs barking, cats meowing, and a bunch of others that are difficult to explain. The sound practically makes the game, as it is not only integral, but thematic! Wow.

Gameplay: 9.8

The gameplay is fun, and easy to get used to, and hella addictive. Once you beat a level once, it becomes easier to beat it again, and faster. Though sometimes objects don't initially register with the ball (you might have to roll over it twice), I found charging up the ball a bit difficult, and rolling up a wall and running into it were problematic, these things appeared rarely. There was practically nothing negative to hinder the fun of the gameplay.

Fun-Factor: 9.9 (I don't give 10's, because nothing is ever completely perfect)

This game is fun, period.

Replayability: 9.5

The game isn't long, which is a down-side, but there are always high-scores to get, items to collect, gifts to find, pictures to take, and names to discover. So even when you beat the game, you'll find yourself coming back to it in your free time. More levels would have made this game a ton better, but there's always hope for that in the sequel.

Final Score: 9 (not an average)

This game is fantastic, one of the best the PS2 has to offer. Its pure fun, shrunk down to a single centimeter. And the fact thats its only $20 is astounding, seeing as I would've paid $50. Bravo Namco for having the guts to publish this game, and bravo all those who support it, I, and I know many others, can't wait for the sequel to reach US shores.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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