Wonderfully weird, weirdly wonderful, as usual.

User Rating: 7.5 | Katamari Damacy Tribute PS3
I'm going to try to make this review as unbiased as I can, being a huge fan of the Katamari games since they came out. Because I am such a huge fan, I've followed the series loyally since Katamari Damacy, and unfortunately have only missed the game Beautiful Katamari, on account of I do not yet own an XBox 360.

I've put pros and cons at the end of this ramble so you can skip down there for the simple story, if you'd like.

Anyway, I'm going to break this down but apologize if I get unnecessarily lengthy, after all, this is a game about rolling up a clump of random objects/living things to make into stars, planets, or zodiac constellations.

As far as the graphics go, this is regular Katamari fare. Maybe you expect the graphics to have come a little further by now, given games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and the like sharing the same system, but the extremely low-poly graphics and simple textures are, and have always been a part of the game's overall style, and the same goes for Katamari Forever. This game mixes it up a bit on occasion, giving some levels wood-grain overlay textures and having some in black-and-white, as you roll more up, more color is added.

The art/style should be mentioned, as well, and it's as wonderfully quirky as always. Everything in the game has it's own unique style that, while we've seen it in every game, never really gets old. From the King of all Cosmos' ultra-realistic face with his bizzare.. everything else about him (he's fab, though, as he says), to the crazy pop-up-book game hub, practically flooded with bizzare moving randomness, to those wierd spacey expressions on all the cousins and the Queen, everything is just so wonderfully Japanese. And the food looks like it would just taste so good.

Um.. This one's not deep. Although it's not going disappoint of fans of the series, the story is just as random as everything else. The King got conked, fell asleep, has amnesia, now there's this Roboking who has an inferiority complex, there's something about Jumbomen Brothers, and so on. As opposed to the semi-usual requests to make Katamari's, like in a few others, the King and Roboking each have pages of the pop-up book where they loosely frame each roll-up challenge with some witty rambling. Since it fits here as well as anywhere, I should mention the writing is hilarious and a joy to read. Even when either of the 'Kings are talking right over your rolling, you'll still probably want to read it because of how hilarious their personalities and dialogue can be. For me, there were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments usually followed by a "..What?"

Here's the meat. You're a colorful little weird-headed cousin or Prince (or Princess) walking behind a big sticky ball that rolls up everything small enough to stick. As you get bigger, you roll up bigger things, and so on. There are various times the game mixes this formula up; watering some dry land with a wet Katamari, keeping a Katamari on fire, even collecting specific things or high/low priced objects to get a higher score. Good stuff. If you've never played a Katamari game before, it might be hard to understand why this is so fun. It just is. It's almost theraputic, rolling until you're big enough to roll up the Gods themselves, and collecting presents and cousins along the way.

There were some levels that really got difficult, the difficulty can be a bit unbalanced at times. Some levels are way easy, while some had me re-trying several times. There is also one gameplay hinderance I ran into, which is lag. There were times, sometimes for a few minutes at a time (which is a lot given many levels are 5 minutes short) where the game would just chug. This made an already slowish Katamari almost stand still. It is fairly easy to get past, and doesn't happen often enough to break the game, but it really made me WTF, given I've always been surprised that I've never had lag in a a Katamari game, and here it is.

Last but not least, the sound of the game fits everything else about it. There is no one in the world with the power to resist getting Katamari on the Swing in their head at least once after hearing it. While some songs are more like tunes, this game features reduxes of lots of songs that have kept along throughout the seriese. They're all very, very Japanese and extremely quirky, but they prove to be a wonderful soundtrack to you rolling up screaming school-children, giant mushrooms, fireworks, Jumbomen, islands, ect. I find myself singing these songs long after I've put the game down, and you really can't imagine a better musical fit for a game as unexplainable as this one.

So, it's a good game for folks into this sort of thing, but I'm convinced just about anyone CAN enjoy it on the right day. It's a simple concept, a well-realized style, a hilarious, random story, and unlike almost anything else.

Fun to play,
Quirky, memorable dialogue,
Catchy, over-the-top soundtrack,
Very, very unique,
More of the same.

Occasional lag,
Some unbalanced difficulty,
Logic has no place here,
More of the same.

A rent, at least, especially if you haven't played a Katamari game before, you need to. You just do.