|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 18, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Every few levels, cutscenes will be unlocked. These foolish hand-drawn cartoons introduce players to the JumboMen, goofballs in colored tights that resemble typical Japanese rescue teams such as the Power Rangers and BioMan. Cutscenes during King levels (rather than RoboKing levels) show how the poor guy won't wake up no matter what hits his noggin'. All these videos become part of your Katamari Collection, along with the pictures you take and the music tracks you unlock, which can then be played during any of the levels.
The fun J-Pop soundtrack in Katamari Forever couldn't be better. There's everything from the classic Katamari tune to exciting Japanese chiptunes by CMYK and other playful sounds by Buffalo Daughter, Leah Dizon, and Atom. I don't know a whole lot about these groups, but I do know this varied collection of music fits the game just right, and it's even fun to listen to when you're not playing.
On another note, one of the game-changing additions to Katamari Forever is the hearts. Both the King's Heart and the King's Broken Heart are present in the King levels, and when you roll up the first one, a vacuum effect will suck up any proper-sized objects around you for a limited time. The Broken Heart, on the other hand, only works as you roll it up. These also exist in the RoboKing's levels, simply named RoboKing's Heart and Broken Heart. These special items are very useful and should definitely be part of your strategy to beat a level, unless you want to challenge yourself further.
If you're into keeping score, not only does the game grant you points for the stars you build and show you the objects you collected, but it also lets you compare your results with other players by checking out the Network Stats. This is certainly no substitute of a real online play mode, but at least it somewhat lets you get in touch with the outside world. It's not clear why online multiplayer wasn't added to the game, but considering the glitches of Beautiful Katamari when playing on Xbox LIVE and the server trouble of other PS3 games such as LittleBigPlanet, maybe it was a smart decision after all.
Fortunately, Katamari Forever includes two local modes: two-player co-op and battles. The more cousins you collect, the more stages you'll be able to access. In co-op, players share a single Katamari and roll objects until they clear the stage. In Battle mode, players will fight to reach the goal, whatever it may be. "Lock On" and "Charge'n Roll" let you attack your opponent to immobilize them and make them waste their time. Though nothing compares to the fun of non-stop rolling in the single-player modes, it's good to take a break once in a while and really share the game with someone else.
There's really nothing left to say about this eccentric title, except that it's absolutely great for fans. Just like previous Katamari offerings, it keeps bringing you back for more, and I don't blame you! If you like to have fun and disconnect from real-life stuff, what better way than to play this groovy, off-the-wall video game that lets you sweep away whatever's in your path? Needless to say, if you've never been able to understand this series or simply get bored with it (sorry!), I can't give you a single reason why you should even come close to the game, as it retains the same gameplay style we've come to love.
CCC Site Director