Katamari Damacy Reroll doesn’t change anything about the original game other than its graphics, but despite this it remains just as magical.
Developer and publisher Bandai Namco’s Katamari Damacy Reroll is little more than a simple reskin of the original PlayStation 2 game, but that has not stopped it from being just as magical an experience as it was nearly 16 years ago. Katamari Damacy may not be one of the best games ever, but it manages to mesh its unique concept with a terrific control scheme for an experience unlike any other out there, and it holds up with Katamari Damacy Reroll.
For the uninitiated, Katamari Damacy puts its players in the shoes of The Prince of the Cosmos as he and his father the King attempt to restore all of the stars in the sky. The Prince must take his trusty katamari and roll up any objects in his path to build brand new stars. Of course the only reason the celestial bodies need to be restored is because the King accidentally destroyed them one night while drunk, but rather than dealing with it himself he ropes his son into fixing his mess. There are few games that celebrate their wackiness quite like Katamari Damacy.
The titular katamari in Katamari Damacy Reroll can pick up any object smaller than it, which in turn will cause the ball to grow in size. As the katamari continues to grow the player will be able to roll up even larger objects and eventually make it gargantuan. Each of the main levels of Katamari Damacy Reroll assigns a time limit and a minimum katamari size that the player must reach within that time. In the beginning players will only be given a few short minutes to reach their size, but by the end some of the levels can be explored for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Katamari Damacy Reroll has players control their katamari by using both sticks simultaneously to move in certain directions. Pointing both forwards or back will move the katamari correspondingly, but moving them in opposite directions will allow the player to turn their katamari around. These controls are very unwieldy at times, but that actually lends to giving the katamari a kind of weighty feeling as it continues to grow. Once the katamari reaches larger sizes part of the challenge becomes trying to make the controls work in the player’s favor, which is a bonus, not a detriment to gameplay.
There are side missions in Katamari Damacy Reroll as well that offer differing kinds of challenges. The majority of these have players roll up constellations that require specific objects. Pisces, for example, will need as many fish as physically possible, so players will need to look for fish or fish-related objects throughout the world. One of the more interesting is the Make the North Star mission which doesn’t give players a time limit nor a size gauge for their katamari. Instead players end the mission when they think they are as close to ten meters as possible. These side missions add some fun little twists to an already deep premise.
While the gameplay and controls are the right mix of fun and strange in Katamari Damacy Reroll, one of its strongest aspects is the soundtrack. Each song has its own character and will worm their way into the player’s brain for days after they finish the game. Even when playing some of the longer levels these songs somehow still don’t become repetitive or boring.
The reason that the soundtrack is so engaging in Katamari Damacy Reroll is because it just as as eccentric as everything else in the game. Players will probably never encounter another game quite like Katamari Damacy (unless they play one of Keita Takahashi’s other games like Wattam), and will definitely never find one that combines its bizarre premise with such infectiously fun gameplay. Katamari Damacy Reroll is little more than a prettier version of its PlayStation 2 predecessor, but nothing about that description changes how fun and playable it remains so many years later.
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Katamari Damacy Reroll can be played on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A PlayStation 4 code was provided for the purposes of this review.
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