We Love Katamari is not just another cute and charming puzzle game. Despite its whimsical appearance, the game boasts challenging levels with a variety of unique goals to complete. Players will be kept on their toes as they roll their Katamari through various obstacles and foes, and even using a sumo wrestler as a Katamari. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting caught up in the addictive gameplay before being faced with a challenging boss fight.
We Love Katamari Review
We Love Katamari is a puzzle-action game published and developed by Namco and released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 back in 2005.
We Love Katamari returns players to the original format of the beloved Katamari Damacy series. As the player, you will roll your Katamari down the vibrant streets of Japan, collecting all sorts of objects in order to achieve various goals and restore the stars that the King of All Cosmos has accidentally destroyed (again). The familiar mechanics of rolling up increasingly larger objects to create a celestial body are present, but with new challenges and objectives to keep the game fresh and engaging.
Remaster (We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie)
Namco (now Bandai Namco) is currently remastering this game, with it being scheduled to release on June 2nd, 2023. I am eagerly waiting for this release, and excited to get back into the world of Katamari again.
Background of the Story
The story of We Love Katamari is as wacky and whimsical as the gameplay itself. The game follows the adventures of the Prince, who is tasked with helping his father, the King of All Cosmos, rebuild the stars in the sky after the King accidentally destroys them.
To do this, the Prince must roll his Katamari around various levels, picking up objects of all shapes and sizes in order to make his ball bigger and bigger until it is large enough to collect the designated goal item. Along the way, the Prince encounters a cast of quirky and eccentric characters, including humans, animals, and even inanimate objects, all of whom have unique personalities and dialogue.
Despite the seemingly absurd premise, the game’s story manages to be surprisingly charming and endearing. The relationship between the Prince and his father, for example, is a central theme throughout the game, and players can’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction when they successfully complete a level and help the Prince bring a little bit of order to the chaotic world around him.
The concept of We Love Katamari is unlike any other game, making it stand out as a unique experience for players. The game features a quirky and offbeat storyline where players control the Prince, who must roll a sticky ball called a Katamari around various environments to collect objects and increase its size. The game’s core mechanics revolve around the physics of the Katamari, making it feel like no other game. The player must maneuver the ball around obstacles, avoid enemies, and collect various objects to meet the level’s goal.
One of the unique features of the game is the ability to pick up nearly any object in the environment, regardless of its size or shape. This includes everyday objects like pencils, paper clips, and candy, as well as larger items like cars, buildings, and even people. The game’s whimsical and absurd premise adds to its uniqueness, as players are tasked with creating stars by rolling up increasingly larger and more complex objects.
The area where We Love Katamari outshines its predecessor is its variety. Of course, a theme you’ll find in this series is one large level broken up into different parts, which you’ll get access to as you progress through the game.
The other levels, with unique goals outside of reaching a certain size, are the ones that stood out to me the most in this game. In one level you will be rolling a flaming Katamari to light a campfire, rolling your Katamari at high speeds on a race track, or (my personal favorite) using a sumo wrestler as a Katamari, rolling up food so he can gain weight before you roll him into an opponent to win the match. The final few levels in the game, including the two secret ones, are a fantastic culmination of the progress you have made in the game and bring the story and your collection progress to an excellent conclusion.
Speaking of collection progress, this game features various cousins of The Prince which can be found scattered throughout the levels waiting to be rolled up. While all characters share similar features: an antenna, a solid color scheme, and a small face, they fit a surprising amount of flair into their designs. Some of my personal favorites include Kinoko, the faceless mushroom, Twinkle the Star, and Johnson, the unfortunately named cousin with a rather phallic face. With 40 cousins to collect, there is guaranteed to be one to fit your aesthetic, and you’ll find yourself hunting down your favorites across large levels.
When it comes to the playability of We Love Katamari, there is no denying that there are moments of repetition and tedium. This is largely due to the nature of the game’s core mechanics, which involve rolling a ball around and collecting various objects in order to grow in size. However, despite this inherent repetitiveness, the game still manages to remain engaging and fun.
One of the key reasons for this is the game’s simple yet effective controls. Players move the ball around using the analog sticks on their controller, and there are only a few other buttons to worry about for actions like jumping or dashing. This straightforward control scheme allows for easy and intuitive gameplay, which is especially important considering the fast-paced and chaotic nature of the game.
Furthermore, everything in We Love Katamari just works. The physics of the ball and the objects it collects feel realistic and responsive, which is crucial for a game that relies so heavily on rolling mechanics. The camera also generally behaves itself, tracking the ball and its surroundings in a way that is rarely disorienting or frustrating.
While the graphics of We Love Katamari may not be the most visually stunning, they are still effective in conveying the game’s unique and quirky style. The whimsical and colorful art style, along with the unusual character designs, contribute to the game’s charm and create a world that is both fun and immersive. However, it’s true that the low-resolution textures and polygonal character models can be jarring to modern gamers who are used to more polished graphics.
Despite the visual shortcomings, the game’s design and attention to detail make up for any technological limitations. The levels are meticulously crafted, with a variety of objects and environments to roll up, each with its own unique challenges and rewards. The character animations, while not the smoothest, are still lively and entertaining, adding to the game’s overall sense of whimsy.
While the graphics may have aged poorly, they still serve the gameplay and contribute to the game’s overall charm. We Love Katamari is a testament to the fact that a game can be enjoyable and captivating without relying solely on cutting-edge visuals.
The soundtrack of We Love Katamari is a true masterpiece that is sure to stick with players long after they finish the game. It’s not just a background score, but rather a carefully crafted musical experience that is both catchy and memorable. Even if one lacks knowledge of Japanese music, the upbeat tunes perfectly match the fast-paced gameplay and whimsical feel of the game.
It’s not often that a video game soundtrack can leave a lasting impression, but We Love Katamari’s soundtrack manages to do just that. The songs are so well-crafted that they perfectly complement the visuals and gameplay, creating a cohesive and immersive experience. Each level features its own unique track that sets the tone for the entire stage and immerses the player in the game’s world.
You can listen to the soundtrack here:
Personally, I’m not typically one to pay much attention to game soundtracks. As long as they don’t detract from the overall experience, I’m satisfied. However, We Love Katamari is one of the very few exceptions to this rule. The soundtrack is so enjoyable that I find myself listening to it outside of the game just for the sheer pleasure of it. It’s a testament to the quality of the music that it can stand on its own as a work of art, even without the accompanying gameplay.
When it comes to the entertainment value of We Love Katamari, there is no denying that the game is a blast to play. Even after all these years, I find myself coming back to this game at least once a year and I am always entertained.
The game’s concept of rolling a ball around and collecting objects is incredibly addictive, and the various objectives that the player must complete add a sense of challenge and variety to the gameplay. Whether it’s collecting a certain number of a specific object or rolling up a specific object within a time limit, there is always something to do and accomplish in We Love Katamari.
What’s more, the game’s charm and quirkiness are hard to resist. From the unique character designs to the whimsical soundtrack, everything about the game is designed to put a smile on the player’s face. Even the various objects that the player collects are amusing, ranging from everyday household items to more outlandish objects like cows and buildings.
We Love Katamari’s gameplay is not only unique but also incredibly addictive. Rolling around a ball and collecting anything in your path may sound simple, but it quickly becomes a satisfying challenge as you strive to create the biggest possible Katamari.
While there are moments of repetition and tedium, the controls are straightforward and responsive, making the game easy to pick up but difficult to master. The various levels and objectives provide enough variety to keep the game fresh and entertaining throughout.
The upcoming remastered version of We Love Katamari, featuring the new Royal Reverie content, promises to breathe new life into this beloved classic. The addition of playing as the King of All Cosmos, one of the most enigmatic and intriguing characters in the game, is a welcome addition that fans are eagerly anticipating.
Whether you are a longtime fan or a newcomer to the series, We Love Katamari is a must-play title that deserves a spot in any gamer’s collection. It may not be perfect, but its unique concept, charming aesthetic, and addictive gameplay make it a truly unforgettable experience. We Love Katamari has been one of my favorite Playstation 2 titles for over a decade and, while I may be looking at this game through nostalgia-lens, I truly believe this game is something special. If you have yet to dive into the Katamari series of games, I cannot recommend this enough to be your entry point.
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