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Katamari Creator Wasn't Interested in Sequel 58

Posted by Zonk
from the not-for-critics dept.
MTV Games, in a report on the Katamari sequel, reports that game creator Keita Takahashi wasn't slightly interested in making a sequel. From the article: "Suddenly celebrated for his originality, Takahashi would soon have to tackle the possibly contradictory idea of doing a sequel. He told his bosses at Namco several times that he wouldn't do one. 'But it came to a point where the company was willing to release a sequel without me,' he said. He discovered that the company's planned sequel seemed more like a re-release, primarily swapping Christmas graphics into the original game. 'That went against everything I wanted to do with Katamari,' he said. So he agreed to get involved. "
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Katamari Creator Wasn't Interested in Sequel

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @04:55PM (#13661665)
    "Miyamoto's not interested in making new Mario games? Alright, tell him we're making one without him where Mario plays baseball or some shit. That'll scare him straight."
    • They're way ahead of you, man...

      Mario Baseball [ign.com]

      After all, Mario does everything, right? Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario RPG...he's a doctor, he's a painter, he referees boxing and tennis matches, he lays down the smack in Super Smash Bros, he even teaching typing!!

      ...so why not a superstar baseball player? Whatevz... *sigh*

      • Canada: I'm still waitng for Mario Curling.
        U.S.A.: I'm still waiting for Mario Bowling/Foorball.
        Mexico/Spain: I'm still waiting for Mario Bullfighting.
        U.K.: I'm still waiting for Mario Cricket/Rugby/Football.
        France: I'm still wating for Mario Insult Foreigners.
        China: I'm still waiting for Mario Tianenmen Square.
        Osama bin Laden: I'm still waiting for Mario Kill the Infadels.
        GWB: I'm still waiting for Mario Rapture. Hey, Dick, my controller doesn't work, and I pushed the red button over and over again. What?
  • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @04:56PM (#13661678) Homepage
    Well, being that I typically hate video game (and movie) sequels, I was worried when I decided I *had* to buy this one. I ordered it on Amazon and after noticing that the delivery date (from 9/25) was in late November I had a friend buy it for me at Gamespot.

    The gameplay is nearly the same (look and feel wise) but they have added new and different challenges and removed most of the annoyances that the first version had (getting stuck under objects or moving to slow when you were huge during eternal levels).

    I enjoy the new soundtrack immensely and love the crisper and clear graphics they've added. It's basically the same damn game but 100x better.

    Thank you for releasing a worthwhile sequel that was still true to the original! If you haven't played We Love Katamari yet, I suggest you do.
    • Yeah, I really like We Love Katamari. It takes the concepts from the original and builds on them in a unique and interesting way.

      That said, I hope they don't make a Katamari 3. Part of the appeal of the game is in the uniqueness of it, and making sequel after sequel would kill the magic. Of course, since it was so successful I have no doubt there will be more. We'll get sequels and spin-offs until Dead or Alive: Beach Katamari 6 comes along, and then it will die a quiet death in the bargain bin, mourned
      • Actually... 'Dead or Alive: Beach Katamari 6' sounds kind of interesting... you get to roll around a beach picking up hot chicks.

        Sounds fun.
      • I'm at a loss for where I saw the quotation, but I saw an interesting metaphor for Katamari Damacy by way of the analogy of a rock star. The first time you saw them, it was an incredibly visceral experience. This was music history happening right before your eyes! The band is obviously giving it all they've got and it's non-stop action. Then, they become more popular. They still play the same songs, but they know they've got it made, so they start listening to their fans and adding in little touches to plea
    • Often, the best game sequels are those which don't try to make a whole new game. If you're going to make a whole new game, make a whole new game. A good sequel should, in essence, smooth out the problem/bugs of the original, remove anything that made the game less fun while accentuating things that made it good in the first place, and add new levels (and a new story, if applicable).

      The problem, in fact, comes when the designers aren't content to just do that. They start rearranging things for the hell o

  • That sucks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by frederec (911880)
    I was actually hoping that We Love Katamari would have been developed by a separate team. This way the original group could continue doing innovative things, but then all of us who really liked the first team and wanted more could have that too.

    Though from the sound of it, the sequel was much better for the presence of Takahashi. Sad that he was pushed into it.

    It always gives me hope to hear about teams like the group working on Shadow of the Colossus. A group that has apparently been allowed to wo
  • by sycomonkey (666153) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @04:58PM (#13661690) Homepage
    You could sort of tell, from the way the game is presented. The King of All Cosmos seems terribly bored with the whole idea, and amazed that we're still interested in katamaring. He only obliges because the fans flatter him and insist. I am very glad the game came out, it's all kinds of fun, but it wasn't exactly nessicary. Katamari Damacy was quite sufficient in the first place.
    • by frederec (911880) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @05:07PM (#13661799)
      To a certain extent Katamari Damacy was sufficient. But at the same time, for me playing that as well as the new one just increases a desire to roll up new and stranger things.

      They make me think of things like rolling up microscopic objects. Sure, the game is awesome when you get huge. But wouldn't it also be cool if you could roll up the whole world after starting at the subatomic level? Or perhaps setting stages in other times and settings. Like rolling up the battle of Waterloo. Or maybe a haunted house or something. The joy of rolling up new stuff in different places to me seems like it could just keep going in so many different ways.
      • Or perhaps setting stages in other times and settings. Like rolling up the battle of Waterloo.

        Keita Takahashi, is that you?

        That'd be absofuckinglutely awesome. I'd love to see Napoleon yelling Sacre balls! GAAHH!! as he gets added to the rolling mix.

      • Waterloo level:

        "There is a little man that we demand audience with. A tiny tiny little man, no bigger than you, well... perhaps a little bigger than you. Bring him to us at once, but i fear he may not come quietly. A pity."

        Little Napolean would run from you (shouting "Sacre Bleu!" over and over again) while his forces shot at you with cannons, knocking pieces of your Katamari off and slowing your progress.

        That would be awesome!
    • I noticed this as well. In the way this story is presented, We Love Katamari is perhaps the most fourth-wall video game I've ever played, and not without a good reason. I was looking forward to this new game a lot, and haven't been disappointed with it so far, but the very idea that the original needed a sequel at all still seems strange.
  • It doesn't seem like they were actually planning to release what they showed him. (Christmas graphics? Oh please!) They just wanted him to go "Oh no! I can't let them ruin my vision!" so he'd do the second one.
    • yeah, sure.. right.

      he did it for the money. period. everyone do everything for the money. there's no such thing as integrity in this world.

      He came up with this history so he can look good for some fans that take integrity as a reality...
  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @05:03PM (#13661762) Homepage Journal
    The whole thing seems silly to me, I mean, a dude running around with a little ball. What's the point. Roll an average sized ball around a course over and over again? There's no progression whatsoever! Give me a sword or a gun, not some huge ball rolling toward m-oh shi-,
    • Dude I said the same thing when I first saw the original Katamari Damacy at a buddies house. Now I own the sequel, we love Katamari. It seemed like a boring timed puzzle version of marble madness at first. But when they started rolling sumo wrestlers and expanded the over the top plots, it became a great and addictive game.

    • Notice the last few words. NOT a flame--or at least, it's one he kicked himself for in the end...
  • please, everytime a company takes rights over a game it comes to suck, and changes the original idea.

    We need original games, I support independent gaming for this reason.
  • by iamnerd (917614) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @05:05PM (#13661784)
    They could lose one of their best designers. There has been alot of game designers who have quit working at a company because they were forced to make sequels or weren't allowed to be creative. The first two that come to my mind are when Gunpei Yokoi and Masahiro Sakurai. One of which wasn't even allowed to make games and the other was forced to create sequels. To be fair to Nintendo, they didn't allow Gunpei Yokoi to create games because he created the failure that was the Virtual Boy.
    • Virtual Boy's failure was at the level where you would be expected to commit hari kari long ago. Granted the Japanese business enviroment has changed in the last century radically, but it still was a massive failure in the extremes (sorry to say but it was) and the shame gotten from it was horrible.

      Remember in America a failure isn't critical to your career in some cases, Windows ME probably didn't get many people fired, in Japan a critical failure like that would likely have entire departments liquidated.
    • He also created the massive success that was the Gameboy, arguably the most popular thing the company's ever made. Letting him go was a tremendous mistake, period.
      • Not to mention that he create the Game & Watch titles (without which Nintendo would be a very different company today). He was also the inventor of the D-Pad. So I suppose he is allowed to make a mistake here and there.
    • Umm, of course Gunpei Yokoi was "allowed" to make games, he was the mastermind behind the entire metroid series including arguably the best game for the SNES, Super Metroid
  • His Sequal at the heart was a "thank you" to the fans who loved the game. I gotta say it worked, it was the same as the original but different enough to be enjoy able, it was 10 bucks more than the original (30) but you know what? It was perfectly fine.

    Too bad 90 percent of the articles is fluff, and almost none of it is about the creator. "Look people, People liked this game 'Katamari Damacy'" but what else should I expect from mtv.com? ... Music? *cracks up*
  • Seems like a pretty good strategy for dealing with an idealistic developer who is letting his idealism get in the way of making kabillions of dollars.

    "Well, you don't have to be involved, but left to our own devices it will happen at DisneyLand and play the It's a Small World After All theme constantly. Of course...if you DID decide you wanted to come on board and inject your special brand of creativity into the project...it might go better."

  • ...the PSP version that was announced.

    It doesnt make any sense considering the DS is perfectly suited for this kind of game, but apparently it doesnt make sense that there is a PS2 sequel either, so there are obviously a lot of nonsensical ideas being put to action over at Namco.
  • Keita Takahashi wasn't slightly interested in making a sequel.

    Does that mean he was, instead, greatly interested in making a sequel?

    On a side note, I just bought Katamari Demacy for my wife this weekend. We haven't played it (or even opened it yet), but based on the reviews, I think she's gonna dig it.

  • by joystickgenie (913297) <joleske@joystickgenie.com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @07:16PM (#13662791) Homepage
    I have to say I'm a bit saddened that he didn't stick to his convictions on this. If he would have stuck with "no I don't want to work on this sequel" and they did put out the other game without his support at least it would have shown as some sort of protest to making the unnecessary sequel and shown the public (well the public that hears about it anyway) that designers do actually care about their product enough that they wont be part of it's uninspired sequel.

    The fact that designers are willing to let go their ideals is one of the reason I think that games aren't being taken seriously as a form of expression/art. What are you trying to express if you're willing to put a sticker on it, put it out as a sequel, and say that it's better then the previous artistic expression?

    I loved the original Katamari Damacy. The visuals, game play, and sounds were all just so different then the conventional video game. I saw the game as a breath of fresh air in a game industry that is growing stale.

    In my opinion, contrary to previous posters, I don't find we love Katamari worth buying if you already own Katamari Damacy. The game play and concepts are exactly the same as the last game with a shiny new wrapper. You're still just rolling a ball trying to get it bigger in every level. They may add an additional theme for a level (you're not rolling a ball this time you're rolling a thin sumo wrestler) but that's the entire difference.

    To me this sequel is about as much of an addition and improvement to the original game as Metal Gear Solid VR Missions added to Metal Gear Solid. It turned an original creative idea into a gimmick.
    • Perhaps MGS VR Missions were great, because they were more of the fun stuff, with less Transciever conversations. If I want to hear a girlfriend talk about missing her period, I think I'd rather skip the condom than play MGS2.
    • And yet the biggest complaint about the original Katamari was that most of the levels took place in the same location. While there are a few matching levels in W3K, there are many new original types. Besides, it seemed to work for Dance Dance Revolution. (Freeze arrows, woah!)
    • Oh, come on. The original game had ten levels and five side-quests. Don't tell me you didn't think it needed a sequel.

      Personally, I think the new one is a lot of fun. Not a whole lot of innovation going on there, aside from the sumo wrestler and that *@&$*! fire Katamari level. But I'm happy to get my hands on more ways to roll that thing. That's not to say that the original wasn't perfect in its protean half-indie state - it was delicious. But when you can buy both for the price of a single ga
      • The original Katamari was one of the miniscule set of PS2 games that didn't have long load times. Now I have to wait for loading in the middle of the freakin' level?

        Apparently we just never realized that this was happening in the original... because it didn't say it was loading. After the second time of hitting the mid-level loading screen, I realized that was why they had the king say things and point out the cones to the next level in the original. Because while it was loading, we were busy madly press

    • If he would have stuck to his convictions the game still would have been made, it just would have been worse. He didn't want them to tarnish the series by not having him involved. He did the right thing.

      Just because game designers let go of their ideals has nothing to do with games being taken seriously as a form of art. The only reason it gets less respect is that it is a new medium that a lot of people aren't familiar with. Painters might want to paint a certain style but that style may not put food
      • Let me put it to you this way then. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has long been considered art. Now imagine if you will that Michelangelo went out and painted 30 other buildings in the same fashion with only minor changes because as you put it "he has to pay the bills". The original chapel ceiling wouldn't be so special any more would it. Every time you make a copy of an original inventive work, without taking measures to make it stand apart from the first, the first work becomes less and less original
    • If a lot of people wanted another Katamari (and it appears as if they did), and Konami could make money from it (which is their stated goal), why shouldn't they do it? Just because the designer was confortable on his high horse? Come on.

      Sequels are not inherently evil, you know. The Godfather Part II is a masterpiece. The Three Musketeers had two sequels. And most of Arthur Conan Doyle's body of work were sequels to A Study in Scarlett. Those are just off the top of my head.
      • Yes, but the godfather part 2 was a work off of it's own merit. The fact that there was a godfather part 1 is not the reason that godfather part 2 was good. The creators of godfather part 2 created new plot and made new content and continued the vision. They didn't simply copy the previous movie.

        Tell me would Arthur Conan Doyle's work be respected if in every novel he used the same plot devices. It Sherlock holms solved every mystery by talking to the exact same people and matching the villains shoe size to
        • Maybe. Then again, most opinions on the new game have been positive (as far as I can tell, and I read every review on Amazon). Maybe it was not a work of art, but what's the problem with giving the Katamati addicts what they wanted? And if you don't want it... well, you don't buy it. No harm, no foul.

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier

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