Blast to the Past! Katamari Damacy (Playstation 2)
After scouring through a cesspool of used games at a local thrift store, I found the holy grail of innovative games. That game is Katamari Damacy on the Playstation 2. I once read in "Time's 50 Best Videogames of All Time" list that Katamari Damacy is one of the finest games ever created. That piqued my curiosity. Without a doubt, I bought the game for 6 dollars (SGD) in a heartbeat.
I'm proud to say that this game is ridiculous for all the right reasons. Seriously, this game is absurd beyond belief. Any cynicism that I had before playing the actual game is all gone.
The story goes like this:
You play the Prince of the Cosmos. Your father, the King of All the Cosmos, destroys all the stars in the universe after a night of binge drinking in a drunken stupor. He sends you off to correct all of his wrongs with a sticky ball (Katamari) to collect objects scattered across earth to recreate the stars and constellations of the universe. It's amazing how such an acid trip of a story works out in the end.
The story is backed up by stylish artwork (Wind Waker-esque). The world looks like a strange mix of animation and paintings. Textures could have been better though. The bubbly soundtrack enhances the game's overall appeal, setting the tone for the whole game, which is "downright stupidity at its finest", and that's a good thing.
To complete the package, the game oozes both style and substance.
The controls involve a mix of joystick movements and trigger controls on the Dual Shock 2 Controller to move the Prince of All the Cosmos and his "Katamari" around to pick up objects of smaller size in a third person perspective. As the ball grows, it begins to adhere larger objects to the Katamari and vice versa. Surprisingly, the controls are smooth and easy to handle, although it takes a little getting used to in the first few missions.
Gameplay is amazingly fun as we take the adorable Prince with his "Katamari" around the vibrant landscapes on Earth and create widespread destruction, from a small scale to world wide destruction. It's like Grand Theft Auto for kids. To add to the experience, the video game has split screen cooperative play where the second player plays one of his cousins, a rarity in today's console generation. What's better than wide-scale destruction with a friend?
Overall, this game is a tour de force and proves that even the most childish of games can be stupid fun for the older crowd. To all the current generation game developers, please make more games like this. I give this game an excellent 9/10.