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Katamari Damacy - Best Game Ever Made?


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#1 of 22 Steve Y

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Posted September 23 2004 - 12:52 PM

You may want to read up on this one before a purchase -- those of you perhaps more into SOCOM or Grand Turismo or Splinter Cell, perhaps... but if the idea of rolling a giant sticky ball around & forming giant balls of matter out of pushpins, flower pots, batteries, people, and even cars and buildings (as you get progressively bigger and bigger and the landscape around you gets smaller and smaller as you play)... then you're not even close to realizing how much you're going to love this weird game.

This one is REALLY out there. And it has a fabulous Japanese / Soul soundtrack. And it's only $20. It's already one of my favorite PS2 games of the year.

The game is apparently not SUPER-long but "length" is not really the point of this game. Unless you grab that big pencil that you weren't big enough to snag earlier but now you need to find a way up that hill... and that giant ramp was actually just a magazine on its side... everything's coming into focus...

Like I said: really out there.

~s

#2 of 22 Brian Johnson

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Posted September 23 2004 - 02:06 PM

Thanks for the question mark...... Posted Image

Is it available for the Xbox?
(edit: Doesn't appear so)



Great. Now I have to go & find out. Are you offering a refund if we're not happy Mr. Best Game Ever Made?






(Posted Image)
Gimme da cashhh!!

#3 of 22 Rob Lutter

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Posted September 23 2004 - 03:33 PM

My friends and I have been playing the japanese import for about 6 months now... it's AWESOME Posted Image

#4 of 22 Steve Y

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Posted September 24 2004 - 05:06 AM

Despite my facetious subject line, this really is an awesome game ... I've not seen anything like it. It really gets under your skin -- last night in my head I kept rolling up giant clumps of stuff in an imaginary landscape.

As I indicated in my first post, I suspect it's not for everyone -- which is why I propose buyer beware, Mr. Johnson. Posted Image

In the "fourth attempt", you start off collecting things like coins, pushpins, legos, and candies in a room ... and by the end you're out of the room, in fact out of the house, rolling around a city street picking up people and their bicycles (the people shout and scream as you lift them into your clump) ... eventually you pick up stadiums and ocean liners, but I'm not that far yet.

Unfortunately, this game is only available for the PS2.

The graphics are somewhat simplistic, but if you look more deeply, you'll see there's a LOT of detail, considering the amount of scaling that has to be done to change the game's perspective so drastically and in real-time. You get to fully experience the transformation from annoying "roll under the cat" lint-ball to giant ball of rolling terror.

Fans of Dreamcast-style puzzle extravaganzas should really like this one (it's VERY Japanese in its tone and environment). Think psychadelic Toy Commander moved into the Nth dimension, minus the warfare. (the graphics are a lot better than Toy Commander and the game is more complex -- it's simply the closest comparison out there)

~s

#5 of 22 Joseph Young

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Posted September 24 2004 - 07:13 AM

Hey Steve!

Unfortunately, I earned the chagrin of EB and Gamestop because I didn't have the forsight to pre-order (this game kinda snuck up on me). Our local B&M Boutique ordered a whopping TWO copies of the game and they were both reserved well in advance anyway. Posted Image

Really makes me wonder if these stores are only alloted a certain copies of a game based on sales projections, and secondly, if those sales projections are often wrong. This game may not be a GTA:San Andreas blockbuster but it has a niche audience that is much larger than given credit for.

The one online vendor I've checked, Gamestop/IGN Gamestore are already on backorder/sold out. Who knows when online orders will be filled a gain. I jumped on the Katamari bandwagon a little too late it seems. Hopefully it won't be in such limited release that I'll miss out on it. Sounds like exactly my type of game. Plus, the music is awesome!

#6 of 22 Brian Johnson

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Posted September 24 2004 - 02:18 PM

Thanks Steve for not taking my post serious Posted Image
I was only joking about the refund bit........

I've read some solid reviews on the game, looks fun, unfortunately I'll probably never see it. Posted Image
Gimme da cashhh!!

#7 of 22 Steve Y

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Posted September 24 2004 - 04:36 PM

Not many places up here have carried it. I don't know if this makes you feel any better, Joseph, but the EBgames where I live informed me they would NOT have the game available even as a pre-order. This particular clerk may not have known what he was talking about, but it goes to show that you can't always be exactly sure about these places.

EBgames.com has the game available now - you can order it through the mail. Mine arrived very promptly.

I just read the IGN review again; the reviewer makes it sound like it's a great game that you'll probably play only for a weekend -- this doesn't seem true to me. Just don't play it for twenty hours straight (and you may want to)... don't burn out. Take it a little bit at a time. It's one of those gems I can see returning to every so often for the experience of "rolling" this strange world into clumps.

~s

p.s. - I finally advanced to where my clump is rolling up buildings and cranes and large trees... what a crazy trip.

#8 of 22 Kyle McKnight

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Posted September 24 2004 - 05:34 PM

As soon as they drop the new PStwo down to $99 this will be one of the top games on my list. I really can't wait to play some great PS2 games, but I wont be buying until a price drop. This game looks so crazy. I'm going to have to give it some playtime at work.
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#9 of 22 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted September 25 2004 - 05:46 AM

That game looks really bizarre.
"The computer had attained consciousness, only to reject it, claiming it was too unstable an operating system."

#10 of 22 Joseph Young

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Posted September 28 2004 - 07:16 AM

Now that I've had some solid time with the game, some impressions.

There is truly nothing else like it out there. Imagine starting off as a small ball rolling up ants, thumbtacks, then small candies, then hairpins, then the rats, then bumping around hallways and scaring the cats and small dogs... before you know it, you're outside in the garden uprooting plants, you realize that that big wall you kept bumping into is actually a person with a golf club..

Once you are big enough, your ball is filled with birds and cats and you're running over bicycles, buckets, teapots, benches, then people. But it doesn't stop there... you get to where fences and lampposts buckle over into your ball of death, and when those SUVs and Jeeps don't seem so menacing, the crowds scatter screaming from you. Every item you pick up fits into your katamari and affects its motion.. so if you snag a telephone pole a certain way, your ball hobbles along awkwardly.

When I started picking up houses, I thought 'okay, this is crazy. My Katamari can't get any bigger than this.' But no, houses are just the beginning.

By the end of the experience I was
visiting strange islands across the ocean, uprooting tankers and giant squids and a sports stadium, then plucking clouds and even a rainbow out of the sky itself.


This game is not a military battlefield sim. There are no vehicles to pilot and no USB headset support. There is no online component. So it may not be for all of you. But there is a Tetris-like addiction in trying to get to a certain size in the time limit, and that euphoria when you reach that size under the limit and just keep growing. The music is really great, goes from lounge to electronic to japanese pop to balls-out rock anthems.

There are also side-quests... for instance, try to get the biggest cow you can find. The catch is, you need to get your Katamari big enough to roll over and capture it.. and until you're big enough, you can't touch *anything* cow-related, including microscopic cow figurines that are scattered about, or cow pylons, or even a bottle of milk.. so you must be very wary about what you pick up. Plus, your catamari gets a 'cow skin' while you're doing this mission.

In other missions, you must pick up as many maidens, crabs, fish, or crowns, depending on the constellation you must complete). The themes are worked into each side-quest beautifully: Dogs walk past you on the street wearing crowns. Fish statues rise up out of the water. Spiders and crabs skuttle about everywhere. All depending on the theme.

The character of the "King of All Cosmos" is the most bizarre character I've ever seen in a videogame. Make sure to go into first person mode to during the tutorial and look straight up into the skylight in the top of the dome... you'll see a nice surprise!

One last thought: the Game Informer review mentioned that Katamari Damacy has some of the worst graphics seen in a videogame in the last three years. I don't think so. The characters models and textures are very primitive, but the draw distance and the sense of scale (remember, the world scales out in real-time, it is not broken down into fixed 'size ratio' levels) and the imagination employed in bringing the hundreds of world items to life is commendable.

For $20 this is a no-brainer for anyone interested in unique and creative videogames.

#11 of 22 James_Kiang

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Posted September 28 2004 - 08:23 AM

Is there any video of the gameplay out there? I'd really like to see this in action.

#12 of 22 Ken Chui

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Posted September 28 2004 - 09:01 AM

Quote:
Is there any video of the gameplay out there? I'd really like to see this in action.

Try these:

Introduction movie
In-game videos on IGN


#13 of 22 David Galindo

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Posted September 28 2004 - 01:05 PM

While I love my XBox (for online gaming and Halo 2), Im jealous of Gamecube owners for Pikmin 2, and now for PS2 owners of this game. Looks fantastic.

#14 of 22 Joseph Young

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Posted September 29 2004 - 04:43 AM

Well I hear there is a sequel in the works in Japan (I heard a rumor that Katamari Damacy was as popular in Japan as Halo 2 is out here), and hopefully, the Xbox will get it's much deserved Katamari sometime next year. It's a game that deserves cross platform status because it just so darned unique.

#15 of 22 David Galindo

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Posted September 29 2004 - 01:17 PM

Does anyone know what songs are in teh game? A list of songs, or a soundtrack?

#16 of 22 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted September 30 2004 - 01:42 AM

After seeing the video... it looks even more bizarre. Posted Image You can definitely see the source of the addiction, though.
"The computer had attained consciousness, only to reject it, claiming it was too unstable an operating system."

#17 of 22 Jeff Keene

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Posted September 30 2004 - 02:48 AM

ebGames.com has it on "back-order". Sigh. Wish me luck in finding this thing.

#18 of 22 Joseph Young

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Posted September 30 2004 - 04:18 AM

Jeff Keene: i found my copy at BB just sitting on the shelf (it was the last copy and I got very lucky). my local EB Games only ordered two copies of the game and (I suspect) the employees snagged those copies as soon as they came in. in other words, with niche games like this you're actually more likely to find a copy at the big b&m's like BB etc. The gamestores like Gamestop went from 'next day shipping' to 'backorder' in a single day so even people who pre-ordered it had to wait. It's why I sometimes don't bother and try my luck with the big 'superstores.'

David Galindo: the ending credits of the game (which you can access at any time once you get to the ending) list all of the songs with full credits (but I can't recall them all now.) I noticed that a lot of the musician credits were on behalf of Namco, so the songs were crafted for the game. Really great music.

#19 of 22 Jeff Keene

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Posted September 30 2004 - 05:38 AM

Thanks Joseph. I'll try that.

#20 of 22 David Galindo

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Posted September 30 2004 - 06:30 AM

Thanks, Ill have to borrow my friends PS2 and rent the game Posted Image Thanks again!