Sunday, 6 June 2010

Beautiful Katamari

Publisher - Namco Bandai

Developer -Namco, NOW Production

Format – Xbox 360

Playing tennis is dangerous business when you're the King of the Cosmos. Causing black holes with you back swing is a real possibility but thankfully you've a Prince to push your workload on.
Your task - to push around a katamari, a ball like thing that seems to exude a great gravitational field, and recreate all of the planets in the solar system using it. Every planet, except earth, became victim to the Kings careless game so we have a level for each and a few other celestial bodies like the moon.

If you've played katamari before there's nothing new here, a new soundtrack but everything else will feel familiar. Don't let this stop you picking it up, it's still good but seems lacking in comparison to the others in the series. £10 and you won't be a disappointed, it's a new hit of katamari goodness.

For anyone who hasn't, you control the katamari using the two analogue sticks which takes some getting used to but does work well. The only problem is it can start to feel uncomfortable after playing for some time and isn't as good as the playstation controller at this control scheme but it's still the best way they could have done it on the 360 pad.

Each level has a time limit in which you have to get your katamari up to a certain size by and a secondary objective to collect a majority of a certain kind of object, such as food or plants. The size objective is the foremost and if exceeded you'll unlock the next stage. If the size is great enough and you've collected enough of the given type of objects you'll unlock eternal mode for that stage, letting you mosey through the level with no time restrictions. This is useful for collecting cousins and presents which are colourful and unusual new characters who play no different to the Prince, choosing a different is a purely aesthetical choice, and the presents contains trinkets to accessorize them with. They're all nice little add ons which are compelling to collect.

Some stages mix it up by having different objectives like rolling up hot things to make Mars and objects with rings in them to make Saturn.

It doesn't last long but this addition in the katamari damacy series is a nice one if not the best. If you're new to the series pick it up and enjoy it, and if not scour it out anyway just don't expect anything new.

This was a budget title release but pay no more £10/$15 for it. I love this game along with all the other katamari damacy games, it's one of the most cathartic game series out there and is teeming with re-playability but I have one big problem with this one. Downloadable content.

This game has DLC done wrong. Its DLC is of the lock and key variety which means the content is already on the disc that you've paid for but you need to shell out again to gain access to content that's technically already there. The stages are cheap, there are five that cost 80 MS points each, but honestly they aren't great. One or two are fine (Milky Way Constellations and High Calorie Katamari) but overall I'd avoid. If they were new levels added after the game had come out and they didn't play like rushed, poorly thrown together segments then they could be justified.

Even the achievements tell you to download them, you can't collect all the cousins and presents without doing so which is ridiculous and brazen. If they added new cousins fine, as long as the achievements said something like collect all original cousins. It gets to me they expect you to pay for content which is already in my hands and will tell you to do so at every opportunity they can.

In conclusion buy this game on the cheap if you can but avoid the DLC.

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