Katamari Damacy rolled into my life in 2004 when it originally released for the PlayStation 2. I was terrible at it, but it was so unique, so charming, and had an amazing soundtrack that I couldn’t let it go. I somehow spaced out on it when it released for the Nintendo Switch, but now that it’s back home on a PlayStation console, it’s time to roll up some stars.
If you’ve never played a Katamari game before, there really isn’t much of a story. The King of the Cosmos got drunk one night and bounced around the galaxy, destroying stars. For some reason, this is now his son’s problem, and the Prince has to create objects for the King to put in the sky as stars. He even gives his son size requirements for the future star and, if that wasn’t enough, there’s a time limit too. He’s being rather unfair about a problem he created.
Each level, the little Prince has a katamari ball he uses to roll over objects to add them to the ball. As the ball increases in size, the Prince can roll over even larger objects. It may take awhile for a 5cm katamari ball to reach 10cm, but once the ball is able to roll over larger objects—usually around 45cm—it doesn’t take long to grow the ball to over 1.5m.
This is one of those games where it is deceptively simple to play. Sure, you’re just rolling a ball around objects, but with that time limit, you have to employ strategy to what you roll up first. Not to mention, moving objects, like animals or people, or too-large-to-roll-up objects can knock objects off of the ball. All it takes is one ill-timed hit to knock 2cm off the katamari. That may not seem like much, but it can make or break your success.
I’m much better this time around, as 16 years gaming experience will do a lot for someone, which only makes the game far more enjoyable. Sure, there’s nothing overly complicated about it, but that’s what made it great back in 2004. Playing it again now in 2020, it’s still just as great.
It doesn’t look any differently visually, because the art design was simple back then. I do wish the developers had remastered the humans in the cutscenes, because they’re as creepy now as they were then. However, I’m glad the rest of the visuals stayed true to the original. There is just something charming about rolling over people who are about five steps above Minecraft villagers. Especially when they try to run away from the giant ball of impending doom. Yes, run and scream little ones. You’ll be part of my ball soon.
There’s plenty of replay value as well. You can always replay levels to try to create larger stars or find the Royal Presents the King can’t seem to hold onto to give his son. There’s also the constellation levels, where you need to roll up as many of one particular object as possible. To make the constellation Cancer, you’ll need to roll up as many crabs as possible, for example. It doesn’t matter how many you roll up, because the King will make it a constellation regardless. However, upon completion, you’ll see what percentage of those objects you rolled up. If you want to make the perfect constellation with all the things, replay as much as you’d like. There’s always room for more stars in the sky.
Probably the best part about Katamari Damacy Reroll is the fact it doesn’t matter if you played the game before or not. It’s just as entertaining now as it was in 2004 with its charming gameplay and its still amazing soundtrack. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard these tracks. They still bring a smile on my face as big as the King of the Cosmos’ ego.
Katamari Damacy Reroll is now available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.