Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Aug 15, 2005
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Gleeful Insanity.

The Good

It's been a long time since a new twitch game so simple, yet maddeningly addicting has come along. Then this title quietly pops out of nowhere, and it's utterly brilliant.

The opening cinematic of this game only leaves you scratching your head in confused wonderment at the flying animals, flashing colors and rainbows that seemingly have nothing to do with anything. The story leaves you just as puzzled as your snotty father berates you for his own mistake. And then....

And then the game begins.

It starts out so simple. Pick up a few household items. As levels progress, you pick up larger things. Then animals. Then people, cars, buildings, stadiums, rainbows, octopus, mountains.... all to make stars. And the controls are so simple, it just becomes more fun to roll up anything you can fit onto your katamari. The game is delightfully addictive, and using both analog sticks is definitely intuitive.

The graphics and music are catchy and fun. Hearing people scream as you roll them into your ball becomes a sadistic delight. The game is never really violent. It treats the chaos with a very playful and light-hearted attitude.

At $20, there is no reason for a hard-core gamer not to add this to their collection.

The Bad

Multi-player is something I hope they build upon more in the sequel. I can fault the gameplay. It's spot-on, but there's nothing worse than running out of time when you're just SO close to building that star.

And hopefully, the next game will be longer in terms of overall playability.

The Bottom Line

There's nothing sane about Katamari Damacy. It's silly and random, and often times, makes no sense whatsoever. This is one of the few exceptions that a player will care less.

There aren't a lot of unique and original games like this that come out. As a gamer, I would like to see more innovative games like this come out than the same trends that publishers pound into our heads that we need to have every year. Namco definitely deserves a lot of credit for bringing this unusual title out.

Again, for its low price, it would be a shame to miss something this special to play. Highly recommended.