New details on Katamari Damacy sequel

Namco updates its Web site with choice info on the upcoming sequel to the surprise hit.

TOKYO--Namco is rolling out some new details on the sequel to its hit PlayStation 2 game Katamari Damacy. As we reported earlier, the second installment will be titled Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy, which roughly translates into English as "Everyone's Favorite Katamari Damacy."

Slated for release in spring 2005, the game will feature the same basic rules and controls as the previous installment. Gamers once again assume the role of the diminutive Prince of All Cosmos, and will roll around a giant ball of debris (katamari), sticking various objects that are scattered throughout the stages onto it, snowball style, making it bigger and bigger. Almost anything can be stuck to the sticky ball as long as the object is small enough. However, gamers need to be careful not to bump into walls or objects bigger than the ball, or it will break apart and become smaller.

Namco's official Web site for the game introduces four of the new stages that will be featured in Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy: Snacks, Race, Classroom, and Zoo. The Snacks stage will feature a house made out of confectionery, and players can make a huge ball out of cookies, biscuits, candies, and other sweets. It doesn't stop there, as the ball can entangle the house as well.

The Racing stage looks like a racecourse, and there are a lot of vehicles that will most likely stick to your ball. One screenshot shows a picture of the ball with a motorcycle stuck to it.

The Classroom stage will take place in, as you'd guess, a classroom. While the dinky Prince is small enough that he can walk around on top of a student's desk, he'll eventually create a huge ball that engulfs the desk, as well as buckets, chairs, and other objects one would normally expect to see in a classroom. There are also students in the Classroom stage, and it will be interesting to see if they can be rolled into the ball as well.

The Zoo stage obviously features animals, and while Namco hasn't released any pictures of them getting entangled, it's likely that they'll become a part of the Prince's ball, since there's really nothing else to roll over in the stage.

While brief, the storyline behind Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy is even odder than that of the original Katamari Damacy. One day, the Prince of All Cosmos receives a request from a fan. The objective of the game is to have the Prince of All Cosmos answer the fan's request, which will make more fans (stages) appear until the whole game is mobbed with fans. In Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy's single-player mode, each of the stages has different objectives, such as making the ball as large as possible with a limited number of objects, making the ball larger than a given size, or picking up certain objects on the field.

Just like the original game, Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy lets players collect royal presents that can be worn by the Prince. The presents include odd objects, such as a rainbow that can be snapped on the Prince's head, a long Pinocchio-like nose, and a bikini that almost looks like a bra. While you could have the Prince wear only one present at a time in the original Katamari Damacy, you can have him wear two of them in Minna the sequel, as long as they're meant for different locations on his body.

Readers unfamiliar with the bizarre phenomenon that is Katamari Damacy can learn more about it by reading our full review of the original game.

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