I don’t think anyone will blame me when I write that Katamari Damacy is a particularly strange game. How else would you describe a game that asks you to create stars from stuff you roll on Earth. This remastered version Katamari Damacy Reroll remains visually strange, the gameplay is strange, the concept is strange but throwing all those strange things together makes it a fun puzzle-experience to play.
We played Katamari Damacy Reroll on Xbox Series X for four hours.
What we liked!
- One of a kind gameplay: It is actually surprisingly easy to explain this game, your character moves a sticky ball and it can contain everything that’s smaller. As you grow bigger and bigger you can eventually even roll up elephants, apartment buildings and more. explaining this was easy but I can’t imagine how difficult this was to make when it first released in 2004. As you start levels it is your task to get big enough within a set time limit, there are some bonus levels, for example, one that asks to gather many crabs but the idea always remains the same. For me the most fun comes from stages without a time limit, getting stupidly large that it eventually breaks the game with a forced game over. (this takes a while though)
- Level design: Part of the magic here is that when you get bigger the level opens up more. As you start in a small house and end up consuming the planet when you get larger and larger is just fantastic design from the developers. The game hardly ever blocks your path either, new locations come into view because your ball can roll over formerly too high walls.
- Legendary soundtrack: Catchy songs that never become annoying, despite being repetitive. Katamari Damacy’s OST is one of the best in gaming. It covers so many genres too while being from 2004 it still manages to stand out between past and recent releases.
- Controls could have been done easier: Part of the frustration here comes from the arbitrary hiccups that decide when an object is large enough to glue on your ball. Resulting in quite a few abrupt forced stops as an object seems small enough but the game thinks differently. Controls is a fight as your ball changes physics depending on the items, in other words your ball doesn’t remain round and easy to roll around. Both analog sticks are used to turn and move the ball forward. They have remained faithful to the classic, I am sure that modern controls could make this a much smoother experience.
What we disliked
- Visuals aren’t that good but keep a memorable impression: You’ve seen the screenshots by now, visually Katamari Damacy Reroll is godawful. This Playstation 2 remake only got a resolution upgrade and that’s a bit disappointing. The charm of the visual style makes up a lot and scaling up your ball with hundreds of objects and living things remains impressive. I still remember this game because of this concept when I was a teenager and even with today’s standards it comes over as an impressive feature.
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