|By Zach Patterson||Saturday, 1 Oct 2005|
We Love Katamari is, of course, the sequel to Katamari Damacy. If you haven’t heard of this, read about that game first. The first question that will undoubtedly come to mind about We Love Katamari is “is it as fun/wacky/insane as the original game?” The answer is a definite yes. It retains the same dual analog control scheme and ridiculous sense of humor. The King is even more over the top in this game, and you get a bit more story and humanization of the character as well, through various flashback vignettes. The game is very, very similar to its predecessor, to the point where at times it feels like an expansion pack at times. Is this a bad thing? I really don’t think so. The first game, in my mind, is the perfect example of what games should be like: simple, innovative, funny, and enjoyable to all ages. I’ve seen people addicted to this game that would normally never like video games. It’s a testament to the game’s design and its inspired writing.
On another note, the music in this game is not quite as solid as the original, though it boasts a wider range of music, from M.I.A.-esque Japanese hip-hop to infectiously catchy J-Pop tunes to abstract dark barking medleys of songs from the first game. Saying it isn’t as good as the first game’s music is perhaps the wrong light to cast it in, because it is still one of the best soundtracks in recent game history, and completely sets the mood for the rest of the game.
The missions in this game have also been improved, by and large. The more annoying missions are gone or have changed so that they are much more fun (thought there is still that damn largest cow/bear stage…). In addition, there is a present in each level and a playable cousin (or 2 or 3) to find that makes each level worth replaying multiple times. I found myself playing each level at least 5 times, most of the time just for fun to see what I could collect and if i could better my personal records. This is in part to better designed levels, and larger levels. There is more logical progression, and you don’t find yourself in areas here you are way too small very often, if at all. And luckily, this game is a bit longer than the last, so the game isn’t necessarily beaten in 2 hours. More like 3. In addition, the two-player vs. mode is quite an improvement over the last game, with actual objectives and multiple stages. The two-player co-op is a bit too confusing at times, but it is fun with a group of people. It’s still not really vital, but the multiplayer is certainly much better.
So should you buy it? I am a devoted fan to this game, and I can honestly say that if you liked the first game, that this should be in your collection. It may be 10 dollars more than the first, but at still a cheap price of $30, it’s a deal. It may not still have that initial innovative WTF that the original had, but it is incredibly fun for people of all ages, and guaranteed to make you smile at some point as you mercilessly roll people, cars, houses, and eventually the entire universe into your lonely rolling star.