Katamari Damacy REROLL (PC) Review

By Athanasios 11.12.2018

Review for Katamari Damacy REROLL on PC

Back in the era of the PS2, Keita Takahashi created one of the most niche, and, for a lack of a better word, Japanese videogames ever. Despite its bizarre look and quirky humour, as well as the concept behind it, which revolved around creating an enormous ball made out of... well, everything, Katamari Damacy was, at its core, a title with a simple premise, which focused mainly in accessibility and fun, rather than weirdness. After more than a decade from its release, Bandai Namco remasters it, or, more specifically, rerolls it, giving new gamers the chance to see what this was all about, with Katamari Damacy REROLL.

What's a 'Katamari?' Why, a very adhesive (a serious understatement) ball of sorts that the Prince can roll around. Who is the Prince? A tiny and cute... thing that has to roll his Katamari (not a sexual euphemism) in order to create a big ball of junk. Why? Because his father, a douchbag deity known as 'The King of All Cosmos' recently wiped the stars off the universe, after some pretty intense partying or something. Oh, and there are cows and dancing pandas in here - just felt that this should be pointed out, for some reason. Yes, Katamari Damacy was weird; Japanese commercial-level weird.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL on PC

Then again, apart from the Prince, and the magical properties of his gluey tool of the trade (again, NOT a sexual euphemism), it mostly kept things on the mundane side of the visual scale, as the action takes place inside typical Japanese rooms, gardens, and neighbourhoods. The REROLL version has left the, purposely low-poly, ordinary and/or cartoony look of it all untouched, and rightly so, with the only upgrade at hand being the increased resolution, and, as expected, the improved performance.

The idea behind it is this: you are given a Katamari of a certain size, and a time limit - you must now reach a target size by rolling the Katamari over other items, increasing its mass in the process. Of course, the Prince can only add items to his spherical pile only when said items are smaller than his ball. This means that he will start with petty buttons, pins, and ticks, with bigger objects making him lose mass when he attempts to roll over them, and while larger animals constantly chase him. With enough time (and rolling), though, he will be able to roll over said obstacles, whether these are pesky cats, schoolboys, or bicycles, to freaking buildings!

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL on PC

Given its concept, it's pretty obvious that this isn't a game for just everyone. Rest assured, however, while some will just do a nice little facepalm and move on, some are destined to get hooked like crazy. Apart from the original look and gameplay mechanic, rolling over things while trying to create the largest garbage glove possible can be strangely exhilarating - although it can get aggravating every now and then, as it's not always clear which item is supposed to be bigger than you. One thing that should be noted is that this is definitely a feel-good title. Yes, you are grabbing cows from their pastures, and children from their playgrounds, but you never really feel like you are doing any damage, with the catchy tunes of the soundtrack adding to that cheerful vibe.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL on PC

To be perfectly honest, Katamari Damacy was never really a perfect piece of software, as, like many "novelty" games (Octodad for example), it relied more on its quirkiness, and not its highly refined gameplay. That isn't to say that this is a broken mess, but its age is definitely starting to show, with one example being its frequently annoying and unhelpful camera, and the second, and more important one, its somewhat cumbersome controls, which make you feel as if you are driving a tank, instead of running with a magical, videogame character that has the strength to push mountains.

Namco did the right thing by keeping this as identical to the original as possible, but the control scheme could definitely use some actual remastering. Having said that, this works great, has no bugs or whatever, and succeeds in being the best way for new gamers to try it out - whether they like it or not, however, is another matter altogether. You see, the main issue with Katamari Damacy REROLL is simply the fact that, from the first level where you roll over ants, to those levels where you roll over whole towns, everything kind of feels the same. Sure, sizes change, but there's no real feeling of progression, as you are basically doing the same thing over and over again...

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

As a port of the original, Katamari Damacy REROLL is definitely a great way for people to try this bundle of rolling wackiness for the first time. Just note that it can get very repetitive very soon, and that it clearly comes from that awkward phase where 3D games weren't that refined.

Developer

MONKEYCRAFT Co. Ltd.

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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