Friday, August 17, 2007

Katamari Damacy

Another game (for the PS2) that I love is Katamari Damacy. It's very simplistic, very stylized, and definitely not a typical American game. I'll just cut and paste from the wikipedia article to describe the story:

The game's plot concerns a tiny prince on a mission to rebuild the stars, constellations and Moon, which his father, the King of All Cosmos, has playfully destroyed. This is achieved by rolling a magical, highly adhesive ball called a katamari around various locations, collecting increasingly larger objects, ranging from thumbtacks to schoolchildren to mountains, until the ball has grown large enough to become a star. The game falls under both the puzzle and action game genres, since strategy as well as dexterity are needed to complete a mission.

You just use both the analog sticks to move the prince around collecting the objects. It's a great nonviolent game for kids, but it falls into the Japanese-absurdist-LSD-inspired categories, and some of the cutscenes and intros need some explaining.

I have not played any of the sequels, but hopefully they don't stray too far from what made the original so unique.


Anonymous said...

Ok... maybe you just didn't go in depth enough... but WHY?

Why would you do anything except run the little "ball" in a straight line one way, move to the side a little, and move in a straight line in the other direction.

I mean, if all that matters is the collection of mass to make a new star.

However, I suspect that, despite you not mentioning it, that WHAT you collect as you roll over it effects the final outcome of the star?

Otherwise this is most definitely a WTF? game as you have so conveniently taglined it.


Trey said...

The "playing field" can be anything from a kitchen to outside a house (with carrots that can be uprooted) to a city (I've seen images of katamaris with blue whales, a baseball stadium, skyscrapers, etc.

At least in the levels that I've played so far, there are multiple, uh, levels, with barriers that you can't cross until your katamari is large enough. They don't make it so that you can just run in straight lines.

Also, say you've picked up all the strawberries and then pick up a ladle. Now you are off balance but can possibly pole vault onto another level.

So far I don't think it matters WHAT is collected - the King of the Cosmos is just concerned with the restrictions on the diameter of the collection before he makes more stars.