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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Action Puzzle

 

Publisher

Namco Bandai

 

Developer

Namco Bandai

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

September 22, 2009

 

 

- Big, bright colorful ball rolling

- One of those titles you can play for fifteen minutes and feel better about yourself

- Anyone can play this...

 

 

- ... after learning the seemingly counter-intuitive controls

- Can get "stuck" in many of the constricted parts of the levels

- Just what the hell is going on here?

 

 

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Katamari Forever

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

katamari forever          katamari forever

 

Playing Katamari Forever is like taking part in a bizarre waking dream set in the brain of a Japanese salary man at the close of a five-day bender. Honestly after about fifteen minutes of the game I tried to turn my brain off; flip the switch that tries to make sense of the "story" or why I'm rolling stuff into an ever-expanding ball of stuff -- fish, candy, diamond rings, donuts, cows, people, trees. It doesn't seem to matter what you're rolling into a ball and I was never quite sure of why I

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was doing it -- I'm pretty sure it has something to do with creating the universe or repairing the cosmos or some giant giant robot with a noggin like Mr. Canoe Head lambasting you for a job poorly done -- but after successfully hitting the switch to deactivate my brain, Katamari Forever was just damn fun rather than confusing.

 

The very brief tutorial

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should be enough for gamers with experience to get a handle on the twin-stick controls but I found casual (or even non-gamers) that are intrigued by the simple gameplay had to spend a great deal of time learning the controls.

 

Jerking the control up to make your Katamari jump sounds okay on paper but more than a few times the controller was suddenly hitting the ceiling thanks to some over-excitement. (Kids have have all the subtlety of an elephant trying to return a busted salad shooter.) A press of a shoulder button to jump makes more sense to me -- and if you read the manual, you'll find out that you can! -- as would a button press for a speed boost. Once players have the basics though, it should be smooth shaving after that because all you're doing in rolling stuff into a spheroid and navigating some really bizarre environments sometimes with a time limit, a specific goal, or aiming for the best time.

 

katamari forever          katamari forever
 

Besides the single-player mode there's also a off-line multiplayer component, which is just as outlandish as the single-player, there's just more competition involved. If you're connected to PSN, the scores from the single-player are uploaded to a leader board. If you want to be blown away and disheartened, check some of your own scores against the obvious masters of Katamari-rolling. How do some of these scores even exist?

 

Big, bright, colorful, and a tidal wave quirkiness rolled into a ball, Katamari Forever can be a lot of fun if you just let yourself enjoy it.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(October 28, 2009)

 

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