“The stop-at-nothing pushing prince is back and ready to reroll! When the King of All Cosmos accidentally destroys all the stars in the sky, he orders you, his pint-sized princely son, to put the twinkle back in the heavens above. Join the King and Prince of Cosmos on their wacky adventure to restore the stars at home or on the go – now in full HD!”
- Release Date: December 7, 2018
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
- Developer: MONKEYCRAFT Co. Ltd.
- Publisher: Bandai Namco, BNE Entertainment
- Genre: Action, Puzzle
- Rating: E
I had always been pretty curious about the Katamari series as it’s one that a small group of people speak of fondly, but I never really took the time to find out what the heck it was. In actuality, there isn’t much to the Katamari series and I didn’t end up learning more than I already knew, which was: you push a ball around (the katamari) to pick up objects. It’s a simple concept and I admit at first I couldn’t really see the appeal so I guess I never went out of my way growing up to try the games out.
Recently Nintendo Online has started trying out their Game Trial series, where they’ll have certain games available to play for free for one week. One reason is to play the game a bit and redeem Platinum Points as part of a mission subscribers can partake in, and the second reason is just to play and try out a game for free! And so far the games they’ve had on these trials have been shorter games so it’s totally possible to beat the entire thing in the week’s time. That is, if you have the time. Which in Katamari’s case I did not but I happily bought the game while it was on sale because to my surprise, I ended up loving the game.
Katamari Damacy REROLL is a remaster of the original Katamari Damacy game that was released on the PS2 back in 2004. Just like it says in the synopsis, the King of Cosmos accidentally destroys all of the stars and even the moon in the sky and orders his poor son to use a katamari on Earth to pick up random objects and recreate the stars. This katamari is like an adhesive ball that starts off as different sizes in each level, where you start off rolling over and picking up objects around the same size as your katamari to make it grow. The more the katamari grows, the bigger the objects you can run over and collect. You do this for every level to recreate the stars as well as some constellations. You get a certain time limit in each level and a target size for your katamari to complete, and in certain missions you’ll have a particular goal to do as well. You start off in different locations as well, such as inside someone’s house, the park, or the beach. Eventually once the katamari is large enough, you can traverse and open up new areas. The premise of the game really is so straightforward. Just roll roll roll! Again, I was worried how repetitive and maybe too simple the concept was but I was so surprised with how addicting it is.
Katamari Damacy is pure chaos and hilarity. The King of Cosmos is a terrible father that calls his son puny, and forces him to roll around and collect things on Earth while he goes on vacations. He even greets you in a different language of the country he vacationed in recently every time you start the next level just to remind you. He buys gifts for the prince but accidentally drops them on Earth for you to find, and he’s just a very critical person to his son. He’s trash but in a funny way. Other than the funny plot and dialogue, the gameplay itself got some laughs out of me. It starts off innocent enough as you go around collecting small things like cookies, erasers, thumbtacks, etc. But eventually you can collect larger things like cows, trees, humans, and even cars. Hearing the chaos and causing the chaos is so fun in a maniacal way and just from playing the first couple levels I could totally see the appeal of the game. The game is also strangely calming as well. Even though you’re ruining people’s lives by crashing into them and rolling them up, there’s this very weird satisfaction in seeing your katamari grow into a giant ball and having the ability to grab bigger objects. You feel like there’s a limit to the size of objects you can collect but then you’re shocked to see that you can collect even bigger things. Some flowers, a pizza, chickens, a store sign, the police officer, an elephant! I also think the sound effect it makes when you collect objects is so satisfying to the ears, along with the great soundtrack. I mean, the game’s premise is pretty novel and I’ve already said it: You just roll around and collect stuff in a funny way. And I think the simplicity makes for a very fun but also a very relaxing time. Just vibe to the music and collect.
I don’t really have that many gripes about the game, but there are a couple things. There is replayability in the game as you can go back to the levels and collect the Prince’s gifts from each level. In the end I only found three of them so I have the rest to find. For certain constellation missions you can go back and beat your previous record for fun. The game itself is very short, you can easily beat the whole thing in a single day. Personal life got in the way for me but in the end it was a less than five hour game. Which for the full price I wouldn’t pay for, so I was glad I got the game when it had a fantastic sale in the single digits. I guess this is a testament to how great the game is, but I wish there were more levels! I understand that this was a remaster of the very first katamari game so I hope the later titles got to be a little longer. And while I don’t mind it, I can understand people saying it’s a little too repetitive since you essentially do the same thing in every level. I personally never got tired of it but I can understand if people do.
But I think the one true gripe I have with the game are the controls. You do have a little tutorial in the beginning but I have to admit that the controls are really weird. You basically have to use both joysticks on the controller to make it move but you move it in a way that…doesn’t feel quite right to me. It kinda makes it uncomfortable and a little frustrating too as you can only move the camera and the Prince with the control stick, so it can be hard to see where you’re going sometimes. I know there was an option on Switch to use gyro controls to play but there was no way in hell I was ever going to try it. I had a feeling I was going to have a much harder time and to be honest, motion controls are very hit or miss and I felt with this game it was going to make it a lot less fun. I hope for the sequels that the controls are different and easier so it’d make the gameplay much more smoother. Though on the other hand, the annoying controls can kinda make the experience even more chaotic which I guess can be a good thing. But for me, it was an annoyance. The one compliment I can give it is that it’s at least unique.
While very short, I enjoyed my time with Katamari Damacy REROLL and now I can finally say…I understand. I understand the hype for it and I’d love to try out more games in the franchise. I know the remaster of We Love Katamari came out very recently on Switch so I’ll keep an eye out for a sale in the future so I can try that one out as well. I love that they added a new mode in that too so I’m excited to get to it one day! I’d definitely recommend Katamari Damacy REROLL to everyone, but I would not recommend getting it at full price. Personally I find it too expensive for how short a game it is so I would wait for a sale. But the game is very fun, hilarious, and you’re bound to have a great time with it. Definitely was a huge surprise for me, a very pleasant one.