Thursday, August 29, 2013

Well, That Was Short-Lived

I would like to start off by saying that I'm sorry.  Kind of.  I'm sorry if, after my faint praise of the game and its low, low sale price were enticing enough for you to have bought the game, then I apologize.  Not because Touch My Katamari eventually turns into a game that lives and breathes on punching you in the dick and laughing at your torment or anything, no.  In fact, it's very fair and when you unlock the Eternal Modes for the levels, it's quite enjoyable indeed.  Fundamentally, there's not a whole lot wrong with the game part of the game if you don't count the fact that it's kind of short.  There is something, however, that is one of those naturally terrible things that just grate on me because it screams of design that you should never ever ever incorporate into a game.  Ever.

The currency of the game world in Touch My Katamari is Candy.  You get candies for finishing requests (based on your performance), for buying things for the King (never as many as you spent) and for playing every day.  That last one is the key - playing a few days in a row will only get you a couple to a handful of candies, whereas a full ten days in a row and thereafter will get you 256 candies simply for loading up the game.  That seems like a lot, right?  It does.  Until you learn that everything costs thousands of candies.  Some of it is the low thousands so it's not -bad-, since you're earning a couple hundred easy from requests anyway (so long as you're not getting really low scores, which you -won't- in Eternal because you'll be rolling all of the things), but it's still a bit of a slog to buy everything.  Even utilizing Candy Tickets, which multiply your candies earned in a request by 2, then 4, then 8 (if you use three at a time) won't get you a -lot-, but it'll get you a good amount towards buying things.

And if you want all the dozen trophies that Touch My Katamari has to offer, then you're going to have to buy all the things.  Specifically all of the music (you'll want to anyway, the music is more or less pretty good) and all the King's clothes, which is where the issue is.  You see, the upper echelon of outfits for the King's wardrobe will cost in the high thousands per piece meaning you're kind of stuck playing the levels over and over and over and over again...which is fine in theory.  Either that or, if you're going for the mega secret ultimate hidden item, which is literally a golden poop soft-serve that costs a grand 76,500 Candies which is...far more than the rest of the items in the game combined.  By quite a wide margin.  Given that your biggest get for a single level using three candy tickets if you finish off all the bonus things in the same level (which are one-time-only affairs) is probably somewhere around 1,000-1,400 candies.  Maybe.  For about 15-20 minutes playtime.  You....can see how this will end up being a sort of a problem.

This is where that bit about the 256 candies per day comes into play.  See, the silly thing about Touch My Katamari is that, even though there's something that clearly checks an external source for the date and time (the rank/title vendor, basically - you title will upgrade as you continue to play the game which eventually gives you candy multiplier bonuses that do not stack with tickets) you can go into a menu (guides suggest the curio menu) switch to settings, advance the day by one, go back into the game, exit the menu and get handed 256 candies.  You can repeat this process over and over and over again and it will take you a long time, but it will be far, far faster than getting the candies legitimately.  And by far, far faster, I mean it will take hours of your life and cause you to advance the clock manually, day-by-day, to June 22nd, 2014 if you started today with a no-streak (meaning the first ten days were building up to the 256).  Like I did.  Today.  Right before I bought the golden poop soft-serve and got the trophy for getting the golden poop soft-serve, uploaded my save data to online storage and deleted that shit.

That is really my main issue with the game other than it being short, but it's a pretty damn serious issue if you have terrible not-actually-OCD-but-let's-call-it-that-anyway like I do, and as a design philosophy, it's abhorrent.  You might think, with Namco and the way they treat Katamari games, that it was a trick to get you to -buy- candy with real money, but no, that's not even an option.  You can by Fan Damacies (that are otherwise completely random spawns) which you trade for Candy Tickets (and also unlock the free DLC missions with) and that's basically the gist of the whole....real-money aspect to it.  Aside from maybe buying more music or something, I didn't really look into it.  And it's not that I was going to buy candy, it's just that I was assured that that's what Namco wanted me to do.  But it was not.  Which makes the decision even more baffling.  Still, for $3.75 and Eternal Modes, it was a rather fun, enjoyable game that would've been easily "alright" if it wasn't for that whole glaring issue.  As it stands, I just can't continue to recommend it unless you just...don't care about trophies at all.  Which is probably the healthy move.

it burns usssss, needs the trophies precious

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