Written by  :  Trixter (9126)
Written on  :  Nov 05, 2004
Platform  :  PlayStation 2

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful

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Every gamer who owns a PS2 simply must buy this game. It's that simple.

The Good

The gameplay premise is so preposterous that you'd think I was on LSD if I told you that the object of the game is to wad stuff up into a giant ball. That's it! Wad everything you can find in the gameworld up into a giant freakin' ball! It sounds goofy, and it is, but it is simultaneously one of the most addictive and fun games that I have ever played in my 25+ years of electronic gaming.

The gameplay is whack: You use both PS2 dual-shock analog sticks to control your katamari across one of several game worlds, rolling over things to pick them up and add them to your wad. And I do mean picking up anything and everything you can find: gum, nails, ants, etc. As the wad gets larger, you can pick up larger things such as cats, dogs, people, bicycles, chairs, etc. Finally you can get so big that you're wadding up entire buildings, tankers, giant sea monsters... It's freakin' nuts!

If that alone were it, Katamari Damacy (pronounced kah-tah-mar-ee dah-mah-she, loosely translated as "clump of souls") would be a great game. But it transcends greatness into an instant classic because of the soundtrack. The soundtrack... each and every song (with exactly one lounge-singing exception) is sweet, perfect, appropriate, and uniquely Japanese cool. Each track is so good that I find myself listening to them outside of the game all the time.

And after it's all said and done and you've had the time of your life, the more technical programmers out there will realize how clever the game engine is, as it convincingly portrays a game world that lets you pick up tens of thousands of objects while hiding the background processes that make it possible.

The Bad

The multiplayer mode doesn't have options to expand the time limit or choose different arenas. The multiplayer mode is fun, don't get me wrong, but without those kinds of options, it gets stale after 3 or 4 matches.

The Bottom Line

At a price of $20, every single PS2 owner should be ashamed to not own this game. Please support wacky Japanese technology. Seriously. It is so rare that an original gameplay concept is brought to market -- moreso, that is actually FUN -- that we all owe it to ourselves to buy this game and support the concept.