Katamari Damacy REROLL (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 11.04.2021

Review for Katamari Damacy REROLL  on Xbox One

Katamari Damacy was a quirky but beloved PlayStation 2 classic. The charming art style and basic 3D models gave the world a toy-like quality. The premise of picking up everything evoked the feeling of being a child and having to clean up a messy bedroom. Gathering up every possible object and making the Katamari ball grow larger was satisfying and the time limit added a sense of urgency. Katamari Damacy REROLL is an updated port of the original that started it all.

One night while on a wild bender, the King of the Cosmos destroys all the stars in the sky. Unwilling to take responsibilities for his own actions, he tasks his five-centimetre-tall son to clean up after him. The Prince is only equipped with a Katamari, an unusually sticky ball that can pick up anything that is relative to its growing size. With this strange orb, he restores the celestial bodies by collecting crap on Earth. Random everyday objects like pets, windmills, kaijus, and even entire cities become fodder for the Prince's chores. To the uninitiated, driving a Katamari may be confusing. Both analogue sticks have to be pointed in the same direction in order to move in the respective trajectory. Turning is like driving a tank since it requires both analogue sticks to be pulled in the opposite directions; one stick up and the other pulled down. More advanced moves are like fighting game inputs, like the forward dash's alternating up and down flicks of the sticks. Control in Katamari Damacy REROLL requires a bit of finesse and becomes second nature after a while.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL  on Xbox One

The only problem with the controls is the frustrating camera and vague hit-detection. The POV in all Katamari games is locked behind the ball with the camera looking above and past its crest. This is not a problem in wide open spaces, but REROLL has many stages that are set in enclosed spaces with winding corridors or smalls crannies to traverse. There are a few trouble spots where the Prince's view will be obstructed by anything and everything. It is a shame that there was nothing done with REROLL to improve upon the wall clipping and camera betrayals. The transparency effect does not cut it since it only gives a fraction of the view instead of all of it. The collision is the same as it was back in 2004. Attempting to climb up steps is unreliable and will often result in a cheap crumble. This happens frequently and sometimes worse things occur, like getting caught on geometry and causing the Katamari to glitch out and drop tons of items. Back on the PlayStation 2, this kind of roughness was passable because there was nothing else like it at the time. After so many sequels, these qualities should have been smoothed over.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL  on Xbox One

Katamari Damacy REROLL has a revised simplified alternative that is somehow more confusing and difficult to control. Instead of rolling around with typical twin-stick strafing and camera turning, the left stick's up and down directions rotate the Prince left and right. There are many other perplexing choices surrounding this control scheme. The basic movement functions have been so utterly botched that everything else is trivial. Katamari Damacy REROLL has a revised simplified alternative that is somehow more confusing and difficult to control. Instead of rolling around with typical twin-stick strafing and camera turning, the left stick's up and down directions rotate the Prince left and right. There are many other perplexing choices surrounding this control scheme. The basic movement functions have been so utterly botched that everything else is trivial.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL  on Xbox One

Katamari Damacy REROLL may be slightly disappointing to long-time fans. Those who knew the series from the later sequels will find that this is about as good as the successors, due to the fundamentals being largely unchanged. REROLL might have been made to introduce the series to newcomers, which would explain why the time limits have been buffed out to allow more leisurely play. This should have been a separate "easy mode" since this does have a profound change on how most people play the game. The original experience of frantically trying to pick up everything is gone now to make way for a milder game that is too easy.

Screenshot for Katamari Damacy REROLL  on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Katamari Damacy REROLL is not the best way to play Katamari Damacy. The faster load times and stable frame rate are par for the course with the ports to much more powerful consoles that came two generations later. This should have been so much more; there are too many features that have been bungled or got cut. Even though REROLL may not be ideal, the core gameplay of rolling a Katamari and picking stuff up and building a planet-sized ball is still gratifying and fun to watch.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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