Katamari Damacy is almost unplayable today. You can’t buy it online through any platforms or services.
The 2004 PlayStation 2 original game is out-of-print. The Xbox 360 sequel isn’t backwards compatible on the Xbox One. No Katamari has ever been available forWindows or any other desktop computing platform.
Mobile versions of the real Katamari existed on the iPhone, but aren’t available anymore. The only Katamari games that you can download on an iPhone today are free-to-play explorations of other game formulas like the modern clicker game or the endless runner. Those seem to exist solely to siphon off our shared nostalgia.
Katamari Damacy is just a great example of the difficulty in preserving original games in their original format. Hooking up a PlayStation 2, 3, or Xbox 360 is the only way to experience it today without walking in the harsh desert of emulator country and I haven’t even begun to explain why anyone who hasn’t played some version of Katamari would care about it.
It’s a game where you roll a big-ass ball around, it’s extremely weird, the ball collects things in a fictional version of our world and the things all have a kind of low-poly aesthetic. The ball is called a Katamari and it is being pushed by the Prince of the Cosmos under orders from his father, the King of the Cosmos. As you collect things the ball grows larger and larger until it’s finally going to roll up entire continents and at some point the level ends and the King is either satisfied with your work as the Prince or you can repeat the level. Some levels had annoying goals, it wasn’t perfect, but Katamari Damacy is missed by everyone who loved it. I still listen to some of the soundtrack with my family because it’s fun music that is approachable even to people who haven’t played a Katamari game.
I’m eternally grateful to whatever print magazine or 1UP.com show that told me about the original, because I wasn’t hooked into anywhere else that was talking about it when it was released in 2004.
All that said, this remaster of the original Katamari Damacy will finally be available on December 7th, 2018. Katamari Damacy ReRoll (it’s strangely an all-caps REROLL in the press release) on the Nintendo Switch as well as Steam for Windows. I don’t have a firm price available yet. ReRoll will also have new motion controls on the Switch. Very curious to see how well this game caps off our year of remasters and remakes as Katamari takes one more roll through the ephemerality pipeline.
The King of the Cosmos is back in Touch my Katamari from Namco on the PlayStation Vita, but this time he’s all about breaking the fourth wall and talking about how fans are upset with the more recent games in the Katamari series. It’s a nice setup. However it is not exactly welcome when this game doesn’t make up for six weak sequels.
So much of Katamari’s status was due to the original game’s surprisingly fun and original gameplay. When I first bought the Playstation 2 game I had no idea what to expect, my local retailer had only one copy and they were surprised anyone was going to buy it. But I’d caught word that it was something special. Not much has changed since then despite sequels for every platform. Rolling up every object in sight into a huge ball is still your overall objective.
The few unique levels in the game don’t really stand out, but there is a new gameplay element that is actually kind of fun. Or it would be, if there were more opportunities to use it while playing. For the first time you can stretch or squish the Katamari using the front or rear touch screens while rolling to fit into places the regular ball-shaped Katamari couldn’t.
Like the game’s few unique levels, this touch feature is underutilized. The most time you’ll spend using it is during the tutorial. Sure you could use it during regular gameplay, but there aren’t enough situations to do so. I’d hate to be forced to use touch features, but it’s almost worse that Namco actually came up with a good idea and then didn’t use it.
I wouldn’t really mind the lack of innovation in this iteration if there were more stages to play in. This is really the crippling blow to the game. I saw everything there was to see in a little over an hour.
That’s OK when there’s some kind of amazing narrative or replayability, both of which are missing from this game.
Katamari games have always had this great colorful texture palette that is a nice change from most every other game out there. It’s combined with fairly simple graphics which is why it’s a surprise when the game can get a little choppy in the frame rate department while you’re rolling your Katamari on the larger levels.
I had a few laughs at the King’s expense and enjoyed what I played, but I just wish there was more of it. Katamari games have never been super challenging, and they shouldn’t be so all the game really needs is more stages. I’m usually hesitant to equate gameplay hours to money, but in this case it’s impossible to ignore. King of the Namcos, lets put a little bit more effort in next time.
Siliconera has the scanned-in scoop on Katamari Damacy Tribute, a PS3 Iteration of the famous series which most people would probably decry as overkill on Namco/Bandai’s part. However I’m very interested in seeing if the Dual Shock 3’s tilt control is finally put to use properly.
When I thought about reviewing Noby Noby Boy, the first thing I thought was that everyone would review this unusual gem the usual way, with a score, and all that crap. Well lets leave that kind of thing to the IGN’s, GameSpots, and 1Up’s of the world. Instead, I asked a friend’s 4-Year-Old daughter a few distilled questions about the game.
Her words are blockquoted and my questions are in bold. Occasionally, she performed nonverbal actions, those are in italics.
What is “Noby Noby Boy”?
It’s a game. Noby Noby Boy! (Does a jump.) You eat stuff and poop it out. You can create a new map. Falling off the earth and coming up the chimney, too. I like eating fruit from that crazy world.
Is “Noby Noby Boy” fun?
Yes. Poop it out is the most fun.
If your cat were in “Noby Noby Boy” what would he say?
“I’m pretending I’m a worm.”
What do you think of the character, “Boy”?
I think he is happy. I like to eat flowers. I don’t like to eat houses.
Have you zoomed out and seen “Girl”, what do you think of her?
Yes. I like talking to her
Is there anything else you want to say about the game, “Noby Noby Boy”?
I like the ballerinas dancing on me. I liked when the fairy came and said ‘loading’, ‘now loading’, ‘loading’, ‘now loading’.
There you have it, Noby Noby Boy reviewed by a 4-Year-Old Girl, and I think she did a better job than most of the 20+ Year-Old “Game Journalists” with a smaller wordcount, to boot. Also, from now on the game will be referred to as “Poop it out”.