Reviews: Katamari Damacy

One of the best video game series ever made... no, really!

The whole Katamari series is really quite something special. Most know it as that wacky game from Japan filled with psychedelic imagery that features that guy with the head that looks like a rolled-up carpet that talks almost entirely in non-sequitors. Katamari is all of those things, but it's also more than that quirky game you pull out at parties to turn some heads, it's also a genuinely fun and addictive series with unique gameplay unlike anything else.

The art direction is distinctly stylised with a papercraft-esque look and surreal designs, meaning that even the PS2 games have held up well visually. The music is upbeat and cheerful, creating a hilarious disconnect from the sound effects which mainly consist of people screaming and running in fear as you roll up the entire planet into a Katamari. The dialogue is hilariously incoherent and nonsensical, and The King of All Cosmos brings tons of personality and humour to the series. All of these elements mix together to create one of the most whimsically insane and off-the-wall games ever made. Despite this it still has more quiet moments as well, such as a stage where you roll up the clouds in the sky so that the sun can shine, or a stage in which you roll up the stars in the sky, accompanied by more subdued music, providing a more atmospheric kind of surreality to the usual wackiness. In short, the game's strange in every way possible.

Gameplay is addictive, despite the generally short length of these games. A large amount of collectables, unlockables and high-scores to beat make the games immensely reaplayable, and there's always something to do whenever you decide to revisit the game. You WILL want to revisit these games too, as the gameplay is so fun and unique. There really is no other game out there like the Katamari series.

If you only play one Katamari game, go for Katamari Forever on the PS3. It's a collection of levels from all the previous Katamari games but with a new story and a couple of new levels, so there's not much new content here, but it's also by far the biggest game in the series and will keep you entertained for hours. It's also still very common and easy to find unlike the somewhat rare PS2 originals.