This came out of nowhere when announced during a Nintendo Direct a while back. Not least in that we’ve not had a Katamari game on a Nintendo console before, and the series has been pretty much dead for ages.
Reroll is a remake of the original Katamari Damacy game for the PS2, upping the resolution, reducing the slowdown, making everything look a bit prettier, and removing the loading breaks between certain size increases. The result, is pretty much just perfect Katamari. Sure, it’s more limited than later games in the series (there are only really three rolling locations, for example), and yes, it doesn’t have all the best music tracks or some of the more interesting modes (like “stay on fire” or “you’re always moving”), but that doesn’t take away from the fun there is here.
It’s impossible to play Katamari without a massive grin, and even though it’s incredibly simple and very easy, it’s just amazing. Now I just have to go back and try and get a bigger cow. Who knew signs with cows on counted as actual cows?
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.
I’ve completed this before, but only in one game mode – “Forever”. Randomly, my daughter asked me to play it again a few days ago (I didn’t even know she knew about it – she was two years old when I last put it on!) and I got a bit hooked again and played through it in Katamari Drive mode.
Which is basically the same game as before, only you move a lot faster.
This makes open levels with lots of things to collect a lot easier, and cramped levels (and those where you have to avoid certain objects) nigh on impossible. Still, I managed it and it was lots of fun because it is Katamari and Katamari is always fun and best and aces.
My first completed PS3 game! Oh wait – you didn’t know I had a PS3? Uh, one fell into my house. I’m keeping hold of it for a friend. I won it. $random_excuse[‘PS3Owner’].
Er, anyway. So Katamari Forever then.
It’s another Katamari game. Like all the others I’ve played. In fact, in many ways, it is all the others I’ve played. The game is split in half, with The King of All Cosmos giving you requests that are basically remakes of previous game levels, and RoboKing giving you requests that are similar to previous game levels (that is, they use the same areas, but you’re a different size, collect different things, or whatever). There are a few totally new levels, but not many.
It doesn’t matter though, as it’s Katamari only with much shorter load times and new fancy graphics filters. And a crap controller to play it with. I managed though, and so it is complete! Hurrah!
Beautiful Katamari (360) Me am cry. If I play the final level on Eternal mode, and collect absolutely everything (including The King), I can only get my Katamari up to 1,450,000km. Meaning 1,500,000 is, in fact, impossible – black hole or no black hole. With this revelation, I set about redoing levels again, making more and more planets so that I’ll have some more to collect next time I try. Assuming the black hole doesn’t eat me.
Galaga Legions (360) I’m getting worse at this. I can barely make it as far as Level 3 now, let alone complete it. And I still can’t complete Area 1 or 2 without losing a life. In more positive news, I’m still at the top of my leaderboard, but that probably just reinforces how difficult the game is.
Geometry Wars Evolved 2 (360) Thankfully, nobody on my “to beat” list (that’s parm, SomethingWitty, That Rev Chap, Lufferov and Zomoniac) has managed to overtake me on any of the scoreboards. I had a go at improving my standings on the Sequence and Pacifism tables, but didn’t.
Ticket to Ride (360) Four games against my wife, two won each.
Mr Driller Online (360) Attempted Russia (3000m). Managed to reach 1800m. Rubbish.
Tiger Woods ’09 Demo (360) Golf: Tee it Up has better camera controls, and the speech and between-hole golfer animations just get in the way. PGA Tour hasn’t been the same since it left the Amiga, and I won’t be buying this when other, better, golf games exist.
It is completely impossible to complete the Astronomic Katamari achievement. Once you hit around 1,200,000km, you’re automatically sucked into the black hole, regardless of where you seem to on the level. Most annoying thing ever!
I haven’t posted in a few days, but I have been playing things. Just been a bit busy and tired and stuff. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to this week:
Fable II Pub Games Demo (360) Marginally entertaining collection of gambling games. If I was interested in buying Fable II (I’m not), and it was 400 points, I’d buy it. So I’m not, then.
Bionic Commando Rearmed Demo (360) Quite good fun, although I can’t get used to having no jump button. Had the same problem with the original though. Looks good, and the “This is a demo! Buy the full game!” messages are excellent. Again, if it was 400 points, I’d get it, but at 800 I don’t think I’m tempted. Besides, I have no points because I spent them all on…
Beautiful Katamari (360) …DLC for this. I’ve bought all the levels now, and played it quite a lot. I’ve mainly been trying to get the achievement for an Astronomic Katamari, but that involves not falling in the black hole too soon. And it takes 20 minutes to redo the level! Gah!
Ticket to Ride (360) About time the next expansion for this was released, yes? Not that we’re bored of Europe – far from it – it’s just we want the next one now. Managed another achievement in this during the week too.
So… that’s pretty much it. I’ve completed the few remaining levels (all of which were Volcano Island “strange request” levels), and on every level I’ve managed a reasonable-or-better score, with many levels having a score of 100. I don’t really fancy playing it again for better scores, as each level was almost the same as the last, so I feel I’ve been playing the same level over and over and over already.
Besides, the 360 is easier to control, so I could just play that if I fancied a bit more rollyball “action”.
Completed in that I’ve done all the main levels and the end of game sequence and bonus game, at least. I think there are a few more animals to sort out on Volcano Island, although I’ve done most of them too.
It’s a shame that the levels are all the same and it’s too easy (I haven’t failed a single level), but it’s still rollyball fun like the others in the series – it just happens to be the weakest in that series.
Oh! And this would be my first completed PSP game! Hurrah!
I’ve been a bit busy this week so haven’t had time to fill in my diary. So here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve been playing:
Me and My Katamari (PSP) It’s been this for most of the week. It is good and all, but I’m finding it a bit limiting. There are so few locations in the game (even fewer than the 360 version, in fact) that almost every level is a repeat of the last, with a different – or not – arrangement of objects. The controls are very fiddly too, with going straight and large turns being easy enough, but minor adjustments are difficult.
There’s also the dual problems of pop-up (so bad that you sometimes collect items before they’ve even been drawn on the screen) and slowdown, marring enjoyment somewhat. There’s another strange thing too – I actually kept running out of things to roll up. I’d reach the target size, and have so much time left over I could not only roll up every single remaining item, but also have another minute or more left in which there was nothing to do.
Thankfully, it’s still fun, and it’s still Katamari. I think if I’d played the other games after this one, perhaps I’d not be so bothered by the problems.
Sega Superstar Tennis (Wii) This was £15 in Asda, and as it had had some reasonable reviews, I thought I’d get it. Even though common sense dictates that because it’s a Sega game, there’s a good chance it’ll be crap. But it isn’t! OK, so it isn’t fantastic, and the Wii swinging controls are a little unresponsive, but it’s more fun than Top Spin 2 on the 360. Some of the mini-games are pretty ace too – especially the House of the Dead one.
Wii Fit (Wii) This arrived this week too, and it’s brilliant. I don’t go in for it being an actual tool for really actually getting you fit, but if it makes me more active at least, that’d be good. It’s also a great novelty too, using your entire body as a controller. And it’s worth the price for the skiing and ski jump games alone. Almost.
I won’t be posting my BMI and weight and stuff here, just my progress. Which so far, hasn’t happened. I’ve played most of the unlocked Yoga poses (one of which my body simply rejects), all the balance games, and a couple of aerobic exercises. I’m not planning on even touching the muscle exercises though. Press-ups? No.
Hurrah for new games arriving in the post! Boo that this should have arrived last Monday and my local post is crap. Hurrah for it being aces! Boo for it having really difficult controls (no dual analogue sticks). Hurrah for that not really mattering all that much.
And most important of all, hurrah for the King of all Cosmos: Swimsuit Edition! Amaze!
I’ve only completed two levels (and the training) so far, and it feels much more like the PS2 version than the 360 version. the mid-level loading is there (which is a shame, but not a deal-breaker), and the graphics do look a lot worse than on the 360 – something I didn’t think would be the case, as on the 360 they didn’t seem that much better than the PS2 version. None of this matters, as it’s Katamari! Yay!
Once more I played to try and improve my scores/times/ratings/whatever. I think I have to re-roll all the planets and stuff, having dumped them all in the black hole to complete the game first time around, but there’s no way of telling which planets I have left to do, so I keep doing the same ones again not realising.
Not that I mind, of course. I just wish my brain would remember those I’d done again. Perhaps using the Power of Pen and Paper I might be able to keep track…