We Heart Beautiful Katamari (Old Skool)

Since both M and I are addicted to ‘We Heart Katamari’, the genius, bizarre game that involves rolling stuff up into a ball (like food, toys, people, countries and so on) we finally bit the bullet and retro-graded to buy the original – Katamari Damacy. So apologies to anyone who expected to see us this weekend.

The original Katamari outing is, strangely enough, almost identical to its sequel. You have the enigmatic/mentally deranged King of All Cosmos giving quests to his son the Prince to restore all the stars to the sky, after an apparent drunk driving accident caused them all to be knocked down. You have the wonderful techno-jazz sound-a-like songs. You have cows and bears that really p*ss you off. You have confusing instructions that make no sense. And, of course, you have to roll. Where the game differs is, unsurprisingly, in the handling of the Katamari, the round ball you use to roll everything up. The game mechanics obviously haven’t been as smoothed off as they are in the sequel – so you sometimes find yourself frustrated/confused/shouting about a situation where the katamari is stuck for no reason, or loses a pile of collected items from a very very slow collision, or just won’t get out of a corner – plus the game designers hadn’t yet implemented the ability to see through walls when they get in the way so sometimes you can’t see where you are… Of course all of this is due to us being used to the sequel, and once you learn to forget the other mechanics the fun is still all there, and that’s the important thing. Really.

The only bad news in all this is that the latest Katamari game – Beautiful Katamari – is only currently out on XBox 360. Dammit! There is a rumour about a Wii version, but who needs yet another reason to yearn for a Wii? Please send answers written on a Nintendo Wii to the usual address.

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