bitparade: We Love Katamari (PlayStation 2)

Katamari Damacy was one of the most original and bizarre games released in recent years, it depicted you as the Prince of all Cosmos and gave you the task of rolling a Katamari, a sticky ball type invention that collects everything that you roll over, around various levels in order to put the stars back in the Cosmos after your father, The King of All Cosmos, lost them. The game proved popular with the Japanese and Americans, although it didn’t receive a PAL release, but Importers spent the next year raving about what a great little game it was.

We Love Katamari introduces you to a world that has gone mad for Katamari and The King of All Cosmos, kind of like the real world for those who have played it, and tasks are introduced by the inhabitants of this world wanting to see the power of the Katamari, the Prince and the King. Although they mainly remain unimpressed with the results.

From the opening movie you just know you’re going to be treated to something so radically different to anything released on these shores before. This leaves you feeling completely open to whats about to greet you. And your first response is just to simple smile. This is gaming at its purest. The games charm and quirkiness keeps you coming back for more, which is helped by its LEGO brick style graphics and the music which you’ll be humming for weeks without it irritating you.

Your first impression while playing the game for the first time will be how awkward the controls feel, you see you control your Katamari like a tank, you move both analogue sticks around to control the Princes right and left hands to push it along, for example when you push both sticks forwards, your Katamari will roll forwards, if you pull one back and push the other forward you will turn around on the spot.

But while they may feel awkward at first, the fact that rolling the Katamari over stuff is so damn fun means you don’t mine, and before you know it, you’ve got the hang of things.

We Love Katamari is one of those games that come around every once in a while that drag in those who give it a chance and make them evangelical about it, but on the whole it will be ignored by the average high street gamer. Which is a huge shame as We Love Katamari is an absolute gem of a game, these is literally nothing more than can be added to make it anymore fun that it already is.

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