Namco’s 2005 Katamari Damacy was such a hit they made a sequel We Love Katamari that is bound to keep players hooked. We Love Katamari was created for PlayStation 2. This whole Katamari gameplay is categorized under the puzzle’s genre, which doesn’t properly quantify the gameplay.
If this series continues it may possibly warrant its own classification but even though this sequel is great, it doesn’t evolve the concept making it doubtful that a third installment would be successful if it continued along with the same gameplay formula. So, in other words, don’t hold your breath for a new genre classification. If you loved the original Katamari you’ll love this one too, as it retains most of what made the original such a fantastic game.
Keep Coming Back for More
Sequels are given a little bit of leeway and are judged less on originality since they are basically just expanding on the popularity of a previous product that have the masses clamoring for more. In We Love Katamari, that’s exactly what the masses are doing. The in-game characters were so impressed with the King of the Cosmos original katamari that they want his excellence to show them more. By stroking the King’s ego he’s only too willing to oblige and so begins an encore performance.
We Love Katamari Gameplay
A katamari is an enchanted ball that is rolled through various environments. Items become attached to the ball as it grows in size like a snowball rolling down a hill. Using the two analog sticks you control the direction of the katamari as you continue to roll over and pick up these strange objects that include toys, trees, students, pedestrians, fish and even entire countries.
Using the same graphic palette as before the objects and characters have a decidedly Star Wars Lego look to them with simple geometric shapes and primary colors. The collection of tunes is as eccentric as the gameplay with experimental J-Rock, techno and other zany aural offerings. It all combines to produce a surreal experience.
In the original game the King of the Cosmos got reeling drunk and lost all of the stars in the universe. It was the Prince of the Cosmos that had to come to the rescue and restore all of the stars using the katamari. In this sequel, the King’s subjects begin to see more of the katamari’s powers.
The story is just as wacky as ever. Cutscenes give us insight into the King’s history but as usual he doesn’t say anything brilliant. Everything out of his mouth is pure lunacy. The game’s sense of humor is just as bizarre as the gameplay which is a perfect marriage of insanity and functionality. Nothing really makes sense, and it really doesn’t have to. The gameplay can’t be taken seriously. Different characters and different situations could have been used but they would still have to be funny and bizarre to foreshadow the gameplay. There’s no reason to take this seriously, it’s just pure, strange fun.
Missions for Players to Chew On
Different missions require players to make bigger and better katamaris. Players will have to meet size and time requirements on some levels. Failure to do so will result in a chastising by the King as he verbally assaults players while staring you down with laser eyes. In one level the katamari is a sumo wrestler that players must feed in order to grow in size. In another mission characters will have to collect all the countries on the planet to save it from an asteroid. The missions aren’t very difficult and the overall game is short but the replay value manifests itself as players replay the levels multiple times for a better score to appease the King.
A more improved Verses mode is included which features a split screen so that the gamer and a friend can race against each other to be the first to complete the mission challenge. A two-player co-op mode lets each control one of the dual sticks.
We Love Katamari has an easy learning curve with the controls. Players can literally pick up and play with the two PS2 analog sticks showing off some awesome responsiveness. We Love Katamari seems to have the same graphics as its predecessor, Katamari Damacy. In fact, the only true difference between the original and We Love Katamari is the locales. The game’s designers over at Namco felt that reinventing the game was not important, but rather building upon the already solid foundation. Those expecting a completely different title might be put off with the fact that it feels more like a really big expansion pack.
Katamari Damacy’ was the break-out hit of 2004 garnering tremendous accolades while delivering an innovative yet intuitive style of play to gamers. This is one of the strangest and most unique concepts for a console game, and it all works beautifully. In all, We Love Katamari is a game worth putting some time in.