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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

Namco's Bizarre Object Conglomeration Game Rated 42

Thanks to Game Science for its review of Namco's extremely odd PlayStation 2 game, Katamari Damacy, recently released in Japan. The game's premise involves fixing your father the King's drunken heaven-trashing exploits by "...collecting a load of junk from Earth, rolling it into clumps, and sending it up into the Cosmos to make stars." The gameplay is also distinctly unconventional: "Starting with a clump no bigger than the Prince himself, you must roll around the deepest crevices [MPEG link] of a house, picking up tiny things like drawing pins, moving up to Shogi tiles and batteries", before moving all the way up to "picking up giant octopi and huge monsters." The reviewer ends by noting: "A European release can't be ruled out, but a US release seems very unlikely. It's likely to become hot property when word spreads of its goodness, so I recommend a quick purchase if you're teetering on the brink of buying it."
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Namco's Bizarre Object Conglomeration Game Rated

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  • This is coming from a country which makes dating sims. This sort of gameplay is a step back towards reality.

    On a more serious note, to be honest the game just looks like a largely expanded version of Animal Crossing's being able to make a snowman. Not very creative with that said. (Basicly what you did in Animal Crossing was start with a snowball and roll it around until it was big enough for the bottom, the middle, and the head part of a snowman.)

    • This is coming from a country which makes dating sims. This sort of gameplay is a step back towards reality.

      Just because dating and reality fail to intersect in you own personal life, my friend, don't be so quick to assume such things of others.
  • by Kanasta ( 70274 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @08:35PM (#8731773)
    is not advised. The people are likely to copycat the game and stick things like pins and other sharp objects into themselves.

    Oh wait...
    • Or worse. Consider: Due consideration should also be given to people - your primary enemy, and also your main source of clump fodder in later levels. Can you imagine the social problems this would cause? We'd have kids trying to roll over people and crush them into massive blobs, then ignite them into stars! Ye gods!
  • As seen at GDC (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anm ( 18575 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @08:42PM (#8731830)
    The developer of the game presented at GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Personally, I'd love to try the game out. It looks like a lot of fun.

    For everyone else wondering where the fun is, it's probably no different than Super Mario Brothers (collect stuff/coins on a level within a time limit), but of course the mechanics are vastly different. It should be noted that the arrange of stuff on the ball changes how it rolls. E.g., a pencil sticking out of the side will make it difficult to turn. That and the ball grows in level, making it possible to roll over large objects by accomulating small objects.

    • For everyone else wondering where the fun is, it's probably no different than Super Mario Brothers (collect stuff/coins on a level within a time limit), but of course the mechanics are vastly different.

      So, it's a lot like Mario, except completely different?

      P.S. I watched the mpg. When the big ball of stuff began picking up buildings, I was thinking, "How does this ball keep its momentum?"
      • His point was that the best games usually have simple mechanics.

        "How does this ball keep its momentum?"

        If I had to guess, I'd say that it's because it's IN A VIEO GAME. Then again, that's only the blindingly obvious answer and I may be missing something. ;-)
      • "Mechanics" has a specific meaning in game design, relating to the actions users can perform. So yes, the mechanics are "completely different", but the psychological reward structure, or "fun", of the game is very similar.

      • If you watch, there's a little green man pushing it around. (Seriously!) By about half way through the movie, he's barely noticable. (because the ball's gotten so lart)
  • Clicking that MPEG is HIGHLY advised. I've never been more motivated to buy an import game. I actually cheered (quietly) when the parking sign went up.
  • Warning. (Score:2, Funny)

    by ajutla ( 720182 )
    Do not actually attempt to roll around and collect things as is done in the MPEG, no matter how fun it looks. Not only will attempting this likely be painful, it might get you in trouble with the law and would also probably be very, very embarassing.
  • by Rallion ( 711805 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @09:35PM (#8732278) Journal
    Because Pikmin just isn't weird enough.
  • The phrase...
    ...King's drunken heaven-trashing exploits...
    ...misread as...
    ...King's drunken heaving trashing exploits...
    ...leads to the conclusion...

    . o O (Great! Finally someone decided to make a game about Elvis' frat-house years!)
  • i played this game (Score:3, Informative)

    by sonatinas ( 308999 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @10:54PM (#8733075) Journal
    When you get to the last level you get so big that u can roll over clouds and gods. THe soundtrack is very catchy and is available online at various places. The game can be beaten in a few hours though, but the replay value is in getting better at certain objectives such as getting a bear for a constellation. You can get any bear, but u want to get the big bear; however the whole stage is filled with bears. You also get presents.
  • I guess I'll have to wait a few years for Moore's law, and a PS2 emulator becomes available for my 18ghz G6 Powerbook.

  • Translation (Score:3, Informative)

    by spood ( 256582 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @01:58AM (#8734112) Homepage Journal
    So, katamari translates roughly to "lump", "cluster", or "ball", but does anyone have any idea what Damacy means?
  • Damn fun (Score:3, Informative)

    by bugbread ( 599172 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @06:57AM (#8735171)
    Unfortunately, the review has been slashdotted, so I can't tell what it says, but my impressions so far are:

    It's a short game. You can definitely finish it the same day you bought it.

    However, it's also a damn fun game, in a very simple, straightforward way. Controls are extremely simple (left and right thumbsticks and L3/R3 (clicking the thumbsticks) only). There are only three basic game goal types: Collect as much stuff as you can, collect as much of one type of thing as you can, and get as big as you can before collecting a certain type of object.

    The music is great. Like a laid-back JSRF.

    The game tries to be cute, and it works.

    And the only big problem I can see with exporting it to other countries is the sheer amount of Japanese stuff that you pick up:
    • Japanese toilets
    • Pachinko machines
    • Grand Opening wreath decoration things
    • Kotatsu tables
    • Those gold fish used as roof decorations
    • Yanki kids
    • Bosozoku motorcycles and cars
    • Daruma dolls
    • Festival shrines
    • Doll's day decorations
    • New Years cards
    • Elementary school kid's backpacks (Randoseru)
    • Geta sandals
    • The god of thunder
    • Kintaro, giant bear wrester

    And on and on and on and on.

    (And boy is it awkwards to write a list of things that don't exist in the target language. Can't really translate, but can't really leave the words as-is).
  • I currently get games mailed to me, Netflix-style, by TriggerFingers. (I have tried Gplay/GoVoJo, GameFly, TurboGamer, and RedOctane, but Triggerfingers really is the best and offers a 5-games-at-once plan for $30.)

    How do I get JAPANESE games mailed to me Netflix-style? I have a modchip so region encoding is not an issue. There are many japanese games I would like to try that I simply cannot get (Fantavision 2).


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