In today’s videogame world, the term “sequel” tends to make people wince in horror, fearing that a great game will get its reputation tarnished by a lackluster #2. Fortunately, this is not the story for Katamari Damacy. Its successor, We Love Katamari, has been successful at keeping the same feel and environment, and has expanded upon it tenfold.
Continuing from where the first game left off, the King of All Cosmos notices that the people of Earth are happy that the stars of the night sky have been returned and they’ve all gone Katamari crazy. The only thing is, the king forgot about the rest of the stars in the universe. That’s where the Prince, and now his cousins, come in.
Before I go farther, let me explain to the pod people reading this what a Katamari is. A Katamari is a ball that you roll around various places, picking up everything in sight, growing larger and larger, and engulfing even bigger objects.
Each mission is initiated by talking to one of the many Katamari fans hanging around a park. They ask the Prince to make their dream Katamari a reality. Outside of making a Katamari a specific size, there are wacky objectives such as collecting enough fireflies so someone can study in the dark, feeding a sumo wrestler, keep a ball of fire lit to start a camp fire, rolling the head of a snowman, and more.
The controls used to meet these objectives haven’t changed at all. Again, for the pod people (especially you with the antennae, pal), the analog sticks are all you need; it’s similar to using an RC car. Just both sticks forward, you got forward; both sticks backward, you go back; etc.
Aaah yes, the multiplayer; how could I forget that? It’s safe to say the versus mode is better than the first, but still doesn’t have the lasting power of a conventional versus game. The co-op is really where the game shines. Each player controls one half of the Katamari and is set loose on any level you wish in the game. At first, the control seems very brick-like, but after playing for a little bit, you and your partner will easily stomp your old scores and roll around town like champs.
The music in the first game is a major highlight and, in my ears, the new sound does not disappoint. It is a lot more varied and keeps the mood fresh. What makes the wider range of tunes a great addition is the song selection option before you play a level; you can pick any song in the game to play to. So if you don’t like one song, you don’t ever have to listen to it again.
As with Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari is low on flashy graphics, but the charm is the same. It’s cute, silly, and very Japanese. The graphics were tweaked a little bit, though, with sharper models and more detailed textures. Well, about as detailed as possible given the art style, that is.
I’ve really tried to find major flaws in this title, but I cannot find anything to lower my opinion of the game heavily. We Love Katamari is just a simple, fun title that will keep you occupied for hours on end. Get it, play it, and be carefree in front of the TV.