review, video games

Me & My Katamari

Me & My Katamari cover art

I am a fan of Katamari Damacy. It is a rather simple game, but it makes me smile. I do not know what it is about rolling up people, who often scream in the process, and other objects into a big ball but it is fun. It may be the catchy tunes, the easy controls or the open world gameplay but Katamari Damacy is a great game.

Me & My Katamari is supposed to be the perfect game for gamers like me who are not always near a console to sit down and play. For fans, or even the interested, Me & My Katamari is supposed to be the perfect portable version of the original game. Unfortunately, it just does not live up to the original.

The music is there. The catchy tunes, the repetitive but not annoying little songs are present. The basic idea is the same too. You roll up objects to amass a even greater ball of stuff until the time runs out. It even has those levels where they ask you to roll up a certain number of certain types of objects as well.

I think though the failing is in the controls. The original and sequel were both on the PlayStation 2 and used the analog sticks for movement. Pushing both sticks in the same direction caused the katamari to move in that direction. The controls were easy to understand. Me & My Katamari tries to mirror those controls on the PSP but does not quite pull off the necessary ease. In order to move in a direction, both a directional button and face button must be held in concert. This seems to slow the game down in places though while fingers leave one button combination for another. You can use also the thumb-nub on the North American version, but when I tried it did not seem all that better than the button combinations.

It has a couple of things that were added and designed just for the PSP that are interesting. The seasons and time of day change during different levels. The first time an area is played it may be during the day but on a second play it could be late in the day or even at night. It can even snow at times, blanketing the same old area in white while adding more items to roll up. It has the ability to create an ad-hoc network for play with nearby friends who can visit you in the game or challenge you to a fight to see who can roll up the most items too.

Is it worth a purchase? Probably not. If you own a PSP and liked Katamari Damacy, then I recommend borrowing or renting this game for a few hours of play and some portable nostalgia. Ultimately, the annoying controls overtime just distract too much from the game for it to be worth buying.