missing a second analog stick, but it manages to be
fun without missing too much in the functionality
23, 2006 - Me
and My Katamari is a bizarre and unique game that
is new to the PSP. The Katamari series has graced
the PS2 with two releases so far. That quirky and
entertaining brand of gaming is now available in a
portable version. There are some compromises to be
sure, but the trade off for a portable, handheld version
of this instant classic is worth it.
those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a Katamari,
allow me to relate this simple, yet brilliant, concept.
The Katamari is a tool of sorts. It collects things
when it's rolled over them, much like a snowball rolling
down a hill increasing in size as it picks up more
snow. The more mass the Katamari collects, the bigger
it gets and thus, the bigger objects it will be able
to collect. That's what a Katamari does. How it's
used in the game will be discussed in the following
paragraphs. I'm not letting you off the hook that
easy, you're going to have to do some reading. I get
paid by the word y'know.
of the first things you'll be introduced to in this
game are the oddball, but endearing, characters. The
King of all Cosmos, not to be confused with Howard
Stern - the King of all Media, is a very powerful
but eccentric ruler that enjoys a good drink among
the stars and has an ego that must be stroked by his
subjects. Maybe he is fashioned after Stern after
all. In order to feel loved, the King must please
his subjects. He will go to great lengths to accomplish
this by even replacing the stars in the skies with
his son's Katamaris in the last PS2 version entitled,
We Love Katamari. It seems the population can't get
enough of these magical devices and the King loves
this version, the King takes the Royal Family on a
vacation to romp in the sea of stars. It's the cosmos
equivalent to a beach resort. After much frolicking
the family accidentally creates tremendously destructive
tidal waves that obliterate a series of islands that
are home to many different species of animals. To
make amends and save these homeless creatures, The
King attempts to create new islands for them. But
he needs to collect huge amounts of mass to do so.
So he calls in his boy, The Prince, to use him Katamaris
to collect tons of mass by rolling over as many things
the story has been established, there are not very
many cutscenes to propel it further which is disappointing
since the King's antics are tremendously perplexing
and amusing. Overall the game is very short in length,
with a minimal amount of replay value added by the
multi-player mode. Even the locations are reused over
and over as we revisit them at different seasons and
at different times of day. If you're used to any of
the PS2 versions you'll have to learn to come to grips
with the control system. It's not at all as smooth
or intuitive but considering what you've got to work
with, it's a wonder it works at all.
first thing you have to deal with is the time limit.
You will have to collect a certain amount of objects
and reach a specific size before the time runs out.
You'll start with small items lying around the house
such as pencils, batteries and toy figures eventually
progressing to people, vehicles and entire city blocks,
until you begin rolling up entire cities. The Katamari
keeps expanding the more you collect but unlike the
PS2 version you'll experience a load time about half
way through the level in which the imagines of previously
collected material will disappear to make room for
more to be displayed. This is only to keep graphic
processing under control and doesn't affect the size
or power of the Katamari although it does interrupt
will demand that you capture specific items for them.
Some of these items may be described as cold, sweet
or nice to look at. This requires that you keep your
eye out for these items and steer the Katamari in
their direction. These tasks are never particularly
difficult as the items always seem to be within reach.
the Katamari requires some practice. Whereas you used
the two analog sticks to control the Katamari on the
PS2, the PSP relegates the face buttons to take the
place of one stick and the D-pad to act as the other.
By moving these control systems independently you
can drive the Katamari like a bulldozer with each
system controlling one track. The L and R buttons
gradually turn the Katamari to the corresponding direction
- left or right. It's a slightly awkward control system
but it doesn't take long to get used to, but even
when you're used to it your hands will eventually
cramp. It's not very comfortable position to hold
for a long time but the game is not really intended
to be played for hours on end.
more replay value you can search for Royal gifts hidden
by the King. These include outfits and accessories
for the Prince such as hats and sunglasses. Some of
the Prince's playable cousins are also unlockable.
You can even unlock all of the tunes in the game and
play them whenever you want. The multi-player mode
accommodates up to four players but all participants
have to have a copy of the game. This competitive
mode lets players scramble to see who can collect
the most items with their Katamari. To keep things
a little more interesting than a generic race, you
can knock things off of your competitors' Katamari
which will keep them from expanding. Through the Wi
Fi link you can also trade Royal gifts with other
and My Katamari is a fun game when played in small
doses. It's not very long and even the multi-player
mode won't garner a lot of replay value. The entire
game is a fun and unique package that is sure to keep
even the most hardcore of gamers fascinated for a
couple of hours. It may not make a great purchase
but if you rent it for a few days you can extract
most of the fun out of it.
gameplay and art style returns: Old-time fans and
newcomers to the series will rejoice as they see
the all new interface that features an island setting
where you can choose your options and stages represented
by animals in need of a place to flourish.
new tropical levels: Roll throughout different locations
and environments, the Prince can enter buildings
then roll into aquariums, and more in all new Katamari
expanding cast of characters: New Cousins created
specifically for the PSP make their premier appearance.
Customize your cousins with new masks headgear and
you can dress the Prince and cousins
wearing items on their head, face and torso, all
at the same time!
brought world peace with co-op play - now it's time
for a battle: Battle up to 3 of your friends through
wireless Ad Hoc play as you compete to roll up as
many objects as possible!