Review by YOUR BASE

Reviewed: 10/11/04

Bizarre, odd, wacky, and strange are each said two times in this review.

Katamari Damacy is one of those bizarre games that usually doesn't leave Japan because it is feared something so bizarre would sell miserably in places outside of Japan. This is not the case for Katamari Damacy, Namco decided they should bring this game to North America for some reason and it seems to be selling at a nice rate, not millions, but it seems to be doing just fine. Stores have under-estimated Katamari Damacy sales and only ordered enough to fill preorders or a small amount, such as two, making this game a bit difficult to track down at the moment. But don't let that stop you from playing Katamari Damacy, it's worth the effort to track down and for $20 you can't go wrong, plus there's sure to be more copies on the way. Describing this game to you will not do any justice, the first time I was told about it I didn't give the game a second thought, but once I got to play it I was forced to buy it. In the game you play as the Prince of all Cosmos (well, it never calls him that, but his father is the King of all Cosmos) and you push a katamari around (a sticky ball thing). You roll over objects that are smaller than your katamari and the katamari grows in size. Most levels require your katamari to reach a certain size within a time limit, others require you to do such tasks as pick up as many twins as you can find. See, that description did no justice to the game... Well, with the description out of the way it's time to........rate!!! Okay, here we go!!!

Story: 8/10
The story is weak, so you may be asking why I gave the story such a high score, you'll see later. Now what happens is that the King of all Cosmos gets drunk (with alcohol, not power) one night and crashes himself into all the stars and the moon making them disappear. Now this story was taken out of the NA release and all you see is the King of all Cosmos crashing into the stars. Now that's the story, but here's the good part, after every level you complete you will be treated to a video about this strangely drawn Japanese family and how the disappearance of the stars alters their life. That may not sound like anything great, but the sheer strangeness of these movies is hilarious. There's one more thing I must get to and that is the intro, it's hilarious! It shows the King of all Cosmos flying, playing the guitar, and driving a car, ducks singing, pandas dancing, rainbows, mushrooms sprouting out of the ground, it's a must see.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics in Katamari Damacy are nothing impressive, but they're not supposed to be. There are usually no curves on objects, everything is squares. Like a person's head is a square shape as well as their body, legs and feet. This effect has to be done intentionally because it adds to the overall wackiness of this game. Not everything is a square, there are sphere objects and such. I like the graphics, they add another odd theme to the game.

Sound 9/10
Katamari Damacy has a soundtrack that fits it perfectly, the soundtrack consist of odd yet catchy Japanese songs, some of the songs even have parts in English. The sounds for this game are also great, children laugh or scream when you pick them up, cars blow their horns, cats meow, the list goes on. This adds another crazy effect to the game.

Controls 7/10
The controls in this game may take some time to get used to, but once you figure out how they work you shouldn't face any problems. To control the game you use both Analog sticks. It's a bit difficult to get used to at first, but nothing too difficult. I would say the hardest thing to do would be to change the direction of the katamari when you're stopped and that isn't even that hard.

Gameplay 9/10
Gameplay is where Katamari Damacy really shines. The game is very fun, you start off small in levels picking up small stuff like dice and getting attacked by mice. After a while you will find yourself rolling up children, in some of the later levels you will even be rolling up houses, cars, islands, and more. The only bad thing about it is the small length of the game which is easily made up for in replay value, so that's why it gets a 9.

Replay: 10/10
Another place where this game shines is replay value. Since this game is so fun you will find yourself going back and playing it several times, you might want to finish your collection of things rolled up, set a new record for a level, or just roll things up, this game should never get old.

Final Thought
Katamari Damacy is a wacky game that should be at least tried by everyone with a PS2. I would suggest picking up this game because it is so fun and unique. At the low price of $20 you should buy it, since renting it would be about 25% of the cost and you would probably like it anyway. Oh yes, one last thing, if you see a small katamari roll past you one day you must run for your life, that is all.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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