Friday, July 15, 2005

We Frickin' Love Katamari Damashii

If you buy only one video game about rebuilding the solar system by wadding household items into lumps this year, make that game Minna Daisuki Katamari Damashii (to be released in the West as We Love Katamari Damacy). This sequel has all the charm of Namco's quirky original with a bit of welcome variety thrown in to boot. I challenge you to find another game with a stage where the objective is to roll a sumo wrestler around town, sucking up food items until his weight is great enough to topple his opponent.

The original Katamari Damashii (roughly meaning "lump spirit") scored points with audiences in both Japan and the US with its simpler-than-simple gameplay and general eccentricity, earning special honors for its exuberant soundtrack. It turns out that rolling a ball and picking up coins, then cats, then trash cans, then businessmen, then racecars, then elephants, then houses, and then islands in your quest to please the King of the Cosmos is more fun than it sounds.

What kid doesn't dream of engulfing his teachers?

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