Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gorgeous Katamari

A few years back one of my friends introduced me to a life-changing game: Katamari Damacy. It's fucking brilliant. Yesterday, while I was surfing around Xbox Marketplace desperately searching for something new to entertain me, I found myself torn between spending €30,00 on either Beautiful Katamari or Army of Two. I already had a history (a good one) with Katamari soooooo...

In case you've never heard of it, Katamari games are all about rolling shit up in a big ball. Granted, it doesn't sound very interesting, especially when you start the size of a golf ball and set about rolling up pennies and candy and the odd small rodent. But pretty soon you start engulfing household pets and babies and, before you know it, you're gobbling up small children and motorcycles. The game really comes to life when you cross the threshold into buildings and blimps.

Yes, you can start off rolling up pens scattered across the bedroom floor and end up amalgamating the Big Wall of China and Mount Rushmore. I think that at the end of a game I once rolled up the entire Milky Way. Which was nothing short of awesome and filled my heart with a sense of achievement few games ever did. All the while you go about your business cheered on by intensely joyful japanese anime-style songs which can be incredibly addictive. Katamari is a very happy-go-lucky game. Unless you fail at making a big enough ball of crap. Then the King gets angry. You won't like him when he's angry. Well, actually you probably will.

The setting of the game, however meaningless it might be, is... novel. You're the son of a narcisistic God that has the power to create and destroy everything and always refers to himself as a plural entity. Possibly because he made everything and can be thus considered to be everything. Or something. His favorite past time is belittling your attempts at creating big enough Katamaris for him to turn into planets. He knows you'll fail and he makes it a point to tell you just how bad you suck. I love him.

Don't be fooled by all the different Katamari games out there. They're always the same. Nothing ever changes in Katamari because nothing ever has to. You have a ball and you have to roll shit up with it until you're big/hot/pretty enough to make the King satisfied. That's it. The controls are a bit counter-intuitive but you get used to them after a bit of failing. Learning to dash is a big step forward towards rolling up the world.

There's only one down-side to Katamari, for me. I get physically ill whenever I play it. The constant rolling about and shifting views make me nauseous and I need a break after a while lest I vomit all over myself.

But it's totally worth it.

1 comment:

  1. My wife was disdainful of me when I asked for the first game in the series after seeing a blip about it on G4. Oh, the poor girl, how little she respected the hooks of addiction. This last February for her birthday, I bought HER Katamary Forever for our PS3. Such an awesome series.