TGS 2005: Boku no Watashi no Katamari Damacy Hands-On

Now you can create stars with a device that fits in your back pocket. Katamari Damacy is coming to the PSP.

TOKYO-Katamari Damacy, Namco's quirky cult hit on the PlayStation 2 that recently spawned its first sequel, We Love Katamari, is coming to the PSP in what appears to be an all-new adventure. Are you ready, willing, and able to give the Prince and the King of All Cosmos a hand by rolling up everything that gets in your way?

A big part of what made Katamari Damacy so big was its specialized control scheme. You rolled your katamari ball around much like you would pilot a tank--by using both of the PS2's analog control sticks. With only one analog stick on the PSP bringing the party down, Namco has instead mapped the game's control sticks to the D pad face buttons on the front of the PSP. While there's a certain level of refinement that only true analog control can deliver, the PSP's all-digital controls do feel like they give you more than enough control over your katamari to succeed. However, this move to digital control might mean the end--or at least a reconfiguration--of the speed boosts and other moves found in the PS2 games.

The premise is still the same and just as simple as it was back when the series was first introduced. You start out in control of a small ball that can pick up things that are smaller than it is. By picking up objects, your ball grows and grows, and as it gets bigger, you can pick up larger and larger things with it. Your goal, usually, is to make sure your katamari reaches a certain size before time expires. As your ball grows, it becomes tougher to control, especially if you've attached large, misshapen, and unwieldy objects to it.

The graphics in the series have always been uniquely styled, and that same sort of look is present here. In fact, save for a couple of barely noticeable and potentially fixable frame rate drops, we'd say that it's just about as good looking and stylish as the PS2 installments in the series. Unfortunately, we can't report on the game's soundtrack, as the noisy show floor area where the game is being shown at the Tokyo Game Show makes it nearly impossible to hear any games being played.

All in all, fans of the other games in the series should definitely keep their eyes peeled for new information on this PSP installment of Katamari Damacy. The game is currently scheduled to be released in Japan on December 22. No US or other North American date has been announced.

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Jeff

Jeff Gerstmann

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.
Katamari Damacy

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