In a sale a few months ago, Touch My Katamari dropped to about £18. I was very tempted to buy it but the only thing stopping me was a full Vita memory card. By the time my 64GB card arrived, it wasn’t on sale any more and I’d a billion other things to play anyway.
This week, I spotted it for £3.29 on PSN, and, with my credit I’d bought for 20% discount, nabbed it for around £2.60. Bargain!
Or so it seemed. As it happens, there’s not much more than £2.60’s worth of content there. Only 8 levels, including the tutorial, and none of them are as large or as long as those in previous Katamari titles. Sure, there’s free DLC (8 more levels, each a separate download, although numbered 1 to 9 with number 5 missing), but it isn’t really free. You can download it for free, of course, but can you play it? No. You can’t unless you then pay 10 “fan damacy” (one of the in-game currencies) to do so. Fan damacy can be obtaining in the game, appearing as a character to roll up, but after completing the game and then replaying the entire game then playing some more, I’d found three. Leaving another SEVENTY SEVEN to find.
Lets just assume, that somehow, I managed to find 20 of them in total. That will take forever at the current rate, but pretend I hit my head or something and I play the entire game through another 12 to 15 times, in order to do this. That still leaves 60 fan damacy needed to play what I’ve already downloaded. Luckily for Bandai Namco, you can buy fan damacy with real money. Unfortunately for the player, 60 fan damacy will cost more than £16. So much for free DLC. It’s crap like this that made me stop playing the iOS version.
What about the actual game then. Is it any cop? You’ll be glad to hear that, despite the above and the shortness, yes – it is. It’s not as good as Katamari Forever or Beautiful Katamari, and it suffers from lower powered hardware as levels are smaller and prone to slowdown. The touchscreen (or back panel, if you prefer) gimmick to flatten or stretch your katamari is completely useless, and outside of the tutorial isn’t required at all. In fact, it’s sometimes a hinderance as wandering fingers on the back of the Vita sometimes reshape the ball when you don’t want it to. The Vita itself doesn’t really work well controlling it in general, as I kept finding myself tilting the console back all the time due to the way you have to hold it, to facilitate pushing up on both sticks 99% of the time, and to prevent accidental ball squashage.
The music isn’t as good as previous titles either, consisting of very quiet tracks, some of which appear to be easy listening slowjams of earlier tracks. None are catchy and some are barely audible.
There’s a lot of criticism for so many parts of the game, but ultimately it’s Katamari, and for £2.60 I can’t really complain too strongly. Short, not as good as previous games in the series, but still fun.