Roll up these Katamari Damacy facts in this “out of this world” review

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Roll up these Katamari Damacy facts in this “out of this world” review

Labeled for reuse via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/98295006/ under the creative commons license

Labeled for reuse via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/98295006/ under the creative commons license

Labeled for reuse via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/98295006/ under the creative commons license

Labeled for reuse via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/98295006/ under the creative commons license

Adrianna Popovich, Fall Author

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The Katamari Damacy (which literally translates to “clump spirit”) game series is one of the weirdest Japanese games ever made. The plot is that you, the Prince of all Cosmos, has to roll up items on Earth to replace the stars after your dad, the King of all Cosmos, got drunk and destroyed all of the original stars, plus the moon. 

The first game was released in 2004, on March 18, for the Playstation 2. The most recent installment was Katamari Damacy Reroll, which was just a remaster of the original Katamari Damacy.

Jokes + Level Select

When you’re not rolling up anything on Earth with your Katamari to give the galaxy new stars, your home planet serves as a “level select” screen. While on your own planet, you also have the option to adjust the sounds and music. You can also check out the descriptions for certain items. Some of them contain interesting facts, while others have jokes that could easily fly over kid’s heads. While I obviously can’t list the dirtier jokes here, because it’s a middle school journalism article, a joke that lasts through the entire series is in the cow/bear levels, when you roll up a cow or bear, the King either screams “Bearrrrrrrrr!” or “Cowwwwww!”

The cow/bear levels are also hated by a myriad of fans, because as soon as you roll up anything even related to a cow or bear, the level ends. If you aren’t happy with what you rolled up, you have the option to try again to try to roll up the biggest creature from each level, from the cow level it’s the Holy Cow, from the bear one it’s the Kintaro bear.

How Katamari was Received

Katamari Damacy was generally well received in both Japan and America, so much that stores had to restock quickly because of how fast people were buying the game. It has been dubbed a “sleeper hit,” which is a piece of entertainment that was successful for a long time and becomes a big success, even if it had little to no promotion or a bad first impression. Other examples are the Ace Attorney games, Undertale, and the original Pokémon games, Red, Green, and Blue.

Gameplay + Game Over

The typical levels given to the Prince by the King are the “Make a Star” levels, in which you need to grow your Katamari to a certain size or over. Failing to do so results in some of, if not the darkest moments in any of the games: the “Game Over” screen. In Katamari Damacy, REROLL, I Love Katamari, and Katamari Amore, the Prince (or whatever Cousin you might be playing as,)  falls to their knees, crying, as the King ridicules them and then sends them back to their home planet. An interesting piece of trivia is that, in the Katamari Damacy Game Over minigame, when the lightning flashes, you can see the King of All Cosmos doing various poses. In We ♥ Katamari, the King shoots lasers from his eyes at the player, causing them to shrink on impact. Me & My Katamari’s punishment is being tied to a rope and having to dodge the King’s punches. Those are only half of the possible punishments. Despite all the player’s failures, the King will always forgive the player. You can watch the first game’s game over screen here: Game Over: Katamari Damacy – YouTube

Cousins

Most of the Katamari games introduce new cousins, which you can roll up in your katamari and later play as. The first game has 23 cousins, 24 including the Prince of All Cosmos. We Love Katamari has 16 second cousins, who look more odd than the first game’s cousins. Both Me & My Katamari and Beautiful Katamari have 8 new cousins. Katamari Forever has the least amount of new cousins, 2. You can see the cousins and read more about them on this website: https://katamari.fandom.com/wiki/Cousins.

Conclusion

Katamari Damacy is a strangely lovable game; even if the plot stays relatively the same over the series (the King destroys all the stars and the Prince has to fix the mess,) the settings are creative and game itself is addictive. Anyone who enjoys a calm, yet challenging, problem solving game should definitely give the Katamari games a try. To rate it, I’ll use my own made up word:gringus. It has no meaning, so it works for any situation. With that said, I give Katamari Damacy and all of its sequels:

5/5 Gringuses!

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