23.9.04

Katamari Damacy


The rolling, sticking, never-stopping, ever-swelling clump of stuff that makes a star of out everyone and everything.

Namco's Katamari Damacy is one of the most original and charming games that I've ever played. During the game, you roll around a sphere around various places. Smaller objects, like tacks and matches, stick to it, bigger things don't. Yet your katamari grows as things stick to it, and the once unassailable blockades become fodder for your ever-snowballing pile of junk.

The initial enaging element is, haha, look what I just rolled over and squished onto my ball. The secondary element of the continuous increasing of scale is surprisingly and lastingly engaging. Often you'll start a level rolling over tacks, rolling around the heels of towering humans. After a minute or two, you're knee high to them, then soon enough you can knock little children over and consume them! Then cars! Then buildings! The epiphany that occurs when you realize that what once was a limitation is now an asset is a great sensation.

It is hard to discuss Katamari Damacy without continually praising the insanely catchy music. The wide array of musical styles all imbue the game with a sense of playful wonder that frames the innocent element of the player's all-consuming mayhem.

I recommend Katamari Damacy to anyone who thinks rolling over a bunch of little girls is even slightly funny.

postscript: I found mp3s of the music! Enjoy and share! Argh, the link up and vanished on me. Contact me if you need them.

postscript: Penny Arcade put up one of their funniest comics about the game. Good stuff.

3 comments:

Steve said...

Game Developer has an awesome ad for Katamari this month -- the ball in the picture has a huge ferris wheel, some kind of stadium, and a cruise ship attached. I can only imagine how long it must have taken to get the star up to a size that'd pick up stuff like that...

Steve said...

*sigh* Disregard last stupid comment -- turns out that's just the picture on the cover of the jewel case. Don't I feel dumb.

DeathMonkey said...

No worries; I thought it was interesting that a game would advertise in a GameDeveloper; most of the ads are tools and companies seeking employees. The game was well received at the last GDC and maybe Namco was trying to milk a few sales out of those that had seen it?