Katamari Damacy Reroll Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Katamari Damacy Reroll is a remaster of the classic PlayStation 2 game of the same name minus the rolling bit.
I only had a passing familiarity with the original Katamari Damacy on release, never having a chance to get my hands on a copy. I knew the basics, and I knew the people who did like it really liked it. It was a game that really wormed its way into people's psyches, and, after only a few minutes playing Reroll, I could see why.
Katamari Damacy sees the player take on the role of The Prince of the Cosmos who has been tasked by his father, the King, to build new stars to populate the sky. To do this, The Prince must take his Katamari (a small sticky orb, basically) to earth to and roll up as many objects to form the basis of your new stars. You will roll your Katamari around kitchen tables, golf courses, and more, grabbing a wide assortment of objects to build the biggest stars possible.
Whether you are a newcomer to the game or returning for the first time since the early 2000s, the game wisely eases you into the particulars of everything with an extensive tutorial section. This is very important because the controls are not initially that intuitive, you use both analogue sticks, with different combinations of directions and presses performing different functions; forward rolls, backwards rolls, sideways manoeuvres, and speed rolls, etc.
You take the Katamari around the maps, gathering objects that you come across. The only limitation is that you can only pick up objects smaller than the Katamari at that time. As the ball gets bigger, the size of the objects you can collect grows with it. The camera gradually pulls out, so your Prince goes from appearing quite large on-screen to looking like a spec compared to the hulking junk balls that you are pushing around. Each level comes with a time limit and a minimum Katamari size to reach, if you hit that mark before the time limit is over, you will get extra time to continue building the Katamari to beat your current record.
Katamari Damacy Reroll may look a little daunting at first glance, but it is a simple concept with enough complexity to make it entertaining for novices and experts. Considering the game is set in an absurd fantasy universe where cosmic royalty build stars out of household trash, the laws of physics still play a roll in gameplay. Inclines will see you lose control of your rolls if you are not careful, and collisions with large objects or objects moving at speed can cause damage. You can play the game with an absolutely haphazard approach, just throwing yourself into the chaos, but you can play the game with some strategy behind your movements, and it becomes an incredibly satisfying experience.
The levels are wonderfully designed and every bit as offbeat as the main character designs. The design work is timeless, there are very few games that look like this, and even a clean-up is enough to make Katamari Damacy Reroll look great by today's standards. Being a straight remaster of a PlayStation 2 game, it does come with some of the issues inherent in that era, namely abysmal camera controls, but that is something anyone with any familiarity with that era in gaming will be expecting. It is irritating by today's standards, but it is something you accept. Maybe younger gamers who never had to suffer through inelegant third-person camera controls will find these issues more intrusive but, really, the target audience for Katamari Damacy Reroll is nostalgic PlayStation 2 players.
For old PlayStation 2 owners wanting to relive an old favourite or old PlayStation 2 owners like me who missed their chance the first time, Katamari Damacy Reroll presents a marvellous opportunity. This game is incredible amounts of fun, it remains a singular gaming experience even after all this time.