The Basics: Unless you were randomly rolled into a ball of random stuff while walking down the street, you've probably played or at least heard the buzz about Katamari Damacy. Published from Namco, the game, and its sequel, We Heart Katamari, have received critical praise for unique gameplay, oddball humor, and addictive music. With the success of these titles, Namco is now rolling out Me and My Katamari, so gamers will be able to have a ball on the PSP.
Like the first two Katamari games, the game centers around a young prince (your character) that does his best to please his father, the King of the Cosmos, by rolling up balls of people, animals, buildings, etc. To do this, gamers must take the ball (i.e. Katamari) and begin collecting small items to get the Katamari big enough to collect bigger items, and so on and soon. Confused? Basically it's a snowball effect that leads to your little character pushing a ball around that is big enough to hold islands, sea monsters and more.
In the first two Katamari games, the basic storyline had the King of the Cosmos erasing all the planets and stars from the sky; leaving your character to restore them will rolled up Katamaries. With Me and My Katamari, the same idea goes, except you are bringing islands to the ocean. By achieving certain Katamari sizes and numerous other tasks of the King, you receive hard earned praise from the King and advance the story of the game.
With Katamari Damacy and We ♥ Katamari, movement in the game was controlled using a dual analog steering system. Unfortunately, the PSP's lack of a second analog stick makes the face buttons on the PSP serve as a second analog stick. Additionally controls are modified so certain button/ analog pad combinations serve as special maneuvers in the game.
Like We ♥ Katamari, the Namco's latest entry in the Katamari series features multiplayer options -- with up to four players battling against each other at a time. These multiplayer modes are Ad Hoc only.
What do we think? Having only played the Japanese import of the game, there is little I can offer in regards to the objectives, storyline and humor, as even my friend who knows a little Japanese was puzzled in how to navigate through the Japanese text. While I cannot comment on these elements of the game, I'm still amped to play the US version.
What struck me first about Me and My Katamari looks on the PSP screen. Colors are vary vibrant and looking better than ever on the PSP's widescreen. In fact, I can go ahead and say the best looking Katamari game yet.
From what I heard of the soundtrack, the game's music encore worthy of its memorable predecessors. As for the game's island hopping interface replacing the cosmo navigating I was accustomed to, it appears to be more of the same, though I was often confused because of the Japanese instructions.
As far as the controls go, I don't think hardcore Katamari fans will have a hard time adapting to the new control scheme. Yeah, I wish there was a second analog stick to replicate how the game is normally controlled, but then Sony wouldn't get another $250 from me when they make a new PSP, would they? If you've complaints about using the four "shape" buttons for movements, don't worry, it's not Battlefront II bad. No, they're not perfect, but it was never an issue either. In didn't take more than a half hour to adjust.
With a plot and understandable, English objectives, I'm sure I'd find that Me and My Katamari will be a must have purchase for any PSP owner -- especially fans of the series. In fact, with four player multiplayer, it may be the best in the series, and hopefully not the last.