Sunday, August 18, 2013

Touch My Katamari is Pretty Good

Tonight was not my first exposure to Katamari since that honor was given to the demo for Touch My Katamari around when the Vita launched.  It was a really fun demo because the core mechanics of the game are pretty solid and the demo level had some really interesting layout and music that made it rather memorable.  It was because of the demo that I went "Yeah, I'm going to buy this game at -some- point", yet that point never came until today.  Thanks to the fantastic Japanese Game Sale going on, I grabbed the game for $3.75 and I do not regret it even a little bit.  (I also bought Atelier Totori Plus as I said I would, but I don't have 3 Gigs free and I need space for the Killzone Mercenary Beta anyway)  I thought about it and realized that even though I played the demo like fifty times, I didn't really say a -lot- about it.  Yeah, I mean, I said two paragraphs about it all that time ago, but now I have the game proper and it's fresh and new (to me) so I should go a little deeper.

If you're not quite sure what a Katamari is, I have to assume that you're not really up on the niche stuff which is sort of an assumption one can make because of the whole definition of that and whatnot.  Regardless, it was a series that I knew of for a while even if I didn't play a single iteration of it until this one on the Vita.  Basically what the game is about is rolling a ball that captures things on it to make it bigger so you can roll up bigger things.  Like a snowball effect, except you're eventually rolling up cars and people and being a general menace to society by making a gigantic ball of chaos.  Some missions there's a time limit to make as big of a ball as you can, some missions there's an amount of things that you have to collect, and some missions, it's just about getting to a particular size.  Eventually, I think there's a mode where you can just roll up everything and that will be amazing if it's true and I want it, but I'm good with what I've got for now.

It is very....quirky.  Quirky isn't the right word, of course, but it's the only one I can think of without saying "Japanese" and getting all sorts of negative connotations leveled at me.  Even though you all know what I mean, you bastards.  You're the Prince under the King of All Cosmos who is in a guy in too tight tights asking you to make giant balls of things that he can eat and turn into stars.  Please, go into your own minds and think of an appropriate word for that scenario as it lays out.  Try to blame me, I dare you.  Aside from that, there's all sorts of weird animated cutscenes that go on betwixt the missions, which are presented to you by talking to people who are standing on the hat of the King of All Cosmos while also ignoring gravity.  All the missions seem to involve bettering the King in some fashion, either by making a Katamari that has a lot of sports equipment to make him get out more, or a lot of rich things to make him look better off than he is, but really, it's all about rolling a ball around and making it bigger and bigger and bigger.

That works.  It's simple and it's far more enjoyable and engrossing than you might think.  All you're doing is rolling around the Katamari and picking up things so you can pick up bigger things as stated, but there's just something -to- it.  You roll by a King Chess Piece and say "No, too big for now", yet keep it in mind as you roll up about twenty toothpicks, six coins and some batteries that have been progressively larger.  By the time you see the Chess Piece again, you barrel right on through to pick it up because you're big enough now, and thanks to that, you're big enough for something else and so on and so on.  It's that sort of driving force that doesn't make it quite strategic, but distinctly gives the game structure that allows you to play around within those admittedly expansive confines.  Structure that you will eventually roll over to bring into your latest Katamari that will be as large as the day is long, and make a rather impressive star that burns twice as bright.

As stated, there's a demo of the game on the Playstation Store and while the game is $3.75 (only until the store updates on Tuesday) you should give it a shot.  Worst that will happen is the charm, the music (which is fantastic) and the game itself will fail to grab you and you won't spent less than four bucks on something.  Or, depending on your outlook, you'll love it and have to spend less than four bucks on it which is not that big of an issue either.  Basically I'm just saying that there's very little to be lost and potentially a lot to be gained here.  It's not a particularly big game, but it offers a lot of replayability once new modes open up and give you new incentive to try out the previous stages again.  And again, it's less than four bucks for a few more days.  I feel I have to stress that, while also reminding you that there are other games in the Japanese Game Sale that you should also buy like Soul Sacrifice which you should buy because I'm telling you to buy Soul Sacrifice.  Subtly.  Subliminal messaging.

roll up allll of the things!

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