Katamari Damacy is the first for a long-going series of games from NAMCO! The game is definitely known for its original concept and overall wtf-ness xD.
The story goes is that The King of All Cosmos had gotten drunk and in his stupor ended up destroying the universe (talk about advertising how bad drinking can get when you’re an all powerful king xD). So due to that, he decides to make his son (The Prince) to clean up the mess and rebuild the universe. There’s also a B-story as well with the Hoshino family dealing with all this randomness and seeing the Prince here and there and the daughter having some strange power of the Cosmos. Very odd stories, but they were unique and gave some interesting moments in the game lol.
So how do you recreate something so large like the universe? By rolling up the most random things into a big ball of wtf-ness xD. Yeah the main goal of the game is to roll a Katamari up to a certain size (or in some cases certain amount of the same or similar object). A katamari is just a ball with some kind of substance to make objects stick together and it has to be slightly relative to the size so anything tiny will be picked and gradually be able to pick up things like buildings and giant animals.
There’s technically three major places, the House, the Town, and the World (though that’s still kind of relegated to the area so it’s not like the later games). Add in there are certain tasks. Most of the time it’s to get the Katamari to the size presented (which is in Metric sizes, so us Americans might have a little trouble). Once you get into the stages based on the astrological signs, there mostly based on said sign (like Cancer’s mission is just getting the most crabs and Gemini to find pairs of objects). Even one is based off of just getting the biggest bear or cow in one grab!
Graphics / Sound
Graphics: The graphics in this game is really something. I mean the art style is pretty bright and colorful and kind of have this pastel/cel-shading look to it without being either of them. Mostly everything is angular (which shows tons on the people and animals) while other objects are more rounded out like fruits and other objects. The scenes of the story are a bit jagged, but fitting for such a thing.
Sound: The series really shined bright with its soundtrack. Mixing in a bit of technopop and J-pop and some really experimentive stuff, the music of the game was really different and unique. I mean I’ve reviewed the soundtrack so you can tell I was a big fan of it. Add in that a lot of the objects you can pick-up have sounds to em (mostly the people and animals with some other things). There was even some voice active (mostly the King and the Hoshino family scenes, but it happened and it was good!)
There’s quite a bit of stuff to do after you Make The Moon which I can talk about!
Get every item! – Yes to fill that completionist mind of yours, you can collect every item in the game that you can roll up with the Katamari and you can check them all out in the Collection area and read ALL of them (though it’s great to check what you’re missing and even get some funny commentary on most of the items as well!)
Get all the presents! – In every level there’s a present that you can put on your Prince to make him look a bit more snazzy. One in particular, the camera lets you take photos in game, I thought that was pretty cool.
Get all the cousins! – Like the presents, there are one cousin per level, HOWEVER you won’t be able to use them because their only use in the game is for multiplayer…but still, getting them will fill your completion.
Multiplayer fun, sorta… – Yeah there’s multiplayer but not in the sense most of you think it is. You basically go against each other to get the most of a certain item…yeah it does get old after a while, but I guess it’s good enough to do.
Beat your own score! – I mean the game has a score system based on how big the katamari is, so the best thing to do is to make it bigger and get a better score overall!
Listen to the soundtrack and watch the cutscenes!!! – There’s an area where you can do all these things as well when you just want to take a break from the game.
As the first of the series, Katamari Damacy did a lot at the time with its innovative concept and just overall quirky look to it. However, it didn’t come without its problems. The camera is probably the worst offender and it still is to this day, but it’s not like you can really do much with it considering the point of the game being picking everything up in sight. It’s also quite short of a game, being able to complete it in less than 12 hours and the game can get really repetitive considering there isn’t a lot of variety in the missions.
On the good side, this is probably the most difficult of the series even though it really doesn’t come off as tough (but compared to the other games of the series, this actually had some challenge). The music is also a really awesome thing and becomes a standard here lol. Still it was a great beginning for an awesome series!