Just when you thought this year can’t get any weirder than the spread of a global pandemic, a massive star that is 2.5 million times brighter than the Sun just suddenly went up and vanished. The star in question is part of the Kinman Dwarf galaxy that sits in the constellation of Aquarius. Now while this might just be a prank of the King of All Cosmos himself in the HD remaster of Katamari Damacy, Astronomers think otherwise and believed it could either be an instance of being covered with dust or just ultimately got swallowed by a black hole. But considering the nature of the game and its characters, it’s a coincidence that is too hard to pass up. So grab your katamari and start rolling up everything to get that replacement star ready.
Katamari Damacy Reroll as previously mentioned is an HD remaster of the old Namco game back on the Playstation 2. This game involves a ball called a katamari that is used to roll up stuffs from simple everyday objects like erasers and pencils to larger and unusual things you want to stick your balls into such as pets or actual people. And if you think that sentence was weird then you’re not as crazy as the people behind the game’s development team. So what the hell are you even doing here?
For some context, the King of All Cosmos “accidentally” broke all the stars that dimmed the entirety of the night sky. Now it’s your job as the Prince to populate the sky with new stars by rolling up objects to your katamari until it grows big enough to pass as a star but failure to meet said objective within the time limit and you’re immediately disowned by the king. This is the major and only premise of the game that holds the entire core gameplay intact.
There’s a lack of rhyme and reason on why and how the Earth’s inhabitants are the major candidates for creating the new budding stars but think of it this way, now we know why every other planet is uninhabited and where the previous stars came from. It’s a premise that as crazy as it sounds, makes sense in an absurd and twisted way. Your best bet here is to shut your brain off and stop trying to understand the things that are best left unanswered.
Its core gameplay is fun in an absurd and twisted way. Although it threads a fine line between being overly repetitive and unusually addictive, the great thing about this is it doesn’t need to make sense to be fun. Roll a ball, get big enough and spread the mayhem. The gameplay loop is amusing enough for a six to seven hour run time that involves time-based main missions or themed constellation levels making you collect and hatch as many eggs as you can or collect twins other than its two-player katamari battles. There’s not a lot of variety here but sometimes you don’t need it with an already addictive gameplay loop.
Controls are pretty simple too despite being unwieldy and awkward at first. Both thumbsticks are required to control the katamari just like how a normal person would roll an oversized ball. So with that in mind, everything else follows common sense such as turning the camera left or right by letting go of the stick you want to turn to. However in gaming terms, it’s a bit unconventional when most games offer a left stick for movement and the right for moving the camera. Although the game does come with two control schemes however the game simply doesn’t want you to control the camera however you please, instead you’ll be tilting your right stick forward or backward to turn the camera which is still not ideal considering it would make more sense to tilt in either left or right. This is my major complaint with the game as it forces you to learn new things just like how kids are first taught how to ride their bicycles. Which in my case is to not slide under a moving vehicle as rule #1. True story by the way.
Visually it still feels like an old game because, in fact, it is. From the blocky proportions of Earth’s inhabitants to the lack of vivid textures and realistic shading that most games have nowadays, one way or another. This is easily one of the worst looking games in 2020 I’ve ever played but there’s a sort of charm with its cartoony art direction that simply oozes off in its weirdness on every corner of their blocky selves. But in every shape or form, the arcade-y gameplay is where it really draws its audience from aside from its sushi roll-faced royal figures. Just keep this a secret from the king as I wouldn’t want to be one of the next people to replace PHL 293B.
In conclusion, Katamari Damacy Reroll offers a faithful recreation without having to make any major game-changing features. There’s an underwhelming scent that lingers in this particular remake but as a fun-filled and arcade-y classic, this is one game that stands out for its humour and addictive gameplay loop that is best left experienced firsthand even once before you start figuring out if you’d like it or not.
The game is available today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This Review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game and can be purchased right here for £24.99
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