PlayStation 2 – Katamari Damacy – the Most Original Game in Years

Katamari Damacy for the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the most original, most unique, most fun video game to come along for any system in many years. Not since Pikmin for the Nintendo GameCube has an original creation this fun been introduced. Not too many people, outside of hardcore gamers, know about this game, even though it is all the hype on G4TV; the video game channel.

After hearing so much about it, I had to try it. It only costs $20, so I figured that I had nothing to lose. The best way to describe it is that you command a small alien creature who has to roll things into an ever-growing ball. Everything you see, from toys to people to cars to buildings, even to land, can eventually be gathered into the ball. I know it sounds odd, but that’s the point.

I, like most fans of video games, am always in search of a new game. By ‘new game’ I mean one that is original in play, not just the newly released games that come out each week. It is so rare that an original game comes out. Some original titles include Ico for the PS2, Pikmin and Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube, and Katamari Damacy for the PS2.

Katamari Damacy is the one original game that has been talked about the least. Everybody that I talk to has never heard of it. Nobody seems willing to try it until I force them. I even had my girlfriend addicted to it and she is not a video game fan. It is one of those games that, if you try it for 5 minutes, you will be hooked and love it.

The game is heavily Japanese in style. The influence is obvious and part of what makes it so extraordinary. It begins with some insane dialogue between you (the little alien guy) and some crazy looking Zeus-like God type creature. He tells you some of the set-up and rules; most of which I didn’t even understand. The story does not make sense. Don’t worry about that though. The storyline is not what drives the game. It is the original game play.

The Zeus guy tells you that you need to make a ball at least 1 centimeter (or larger as you progress through the game)/ You do this by just rolling around and picking up everything that you see. The scenarios are loaded with items to suck up. When you roll over something it attaches to your ball; making it bigger.

This happens as long as you are large enough to pick up an object. You can’t pick up a car or person when you first start; you need to build it up first. You are given a time limit and the fun begins. Just start rolling around. You go through rooms, houses, streets, towns, cities, islands, eventually you will be able to pick up everything on the screen; all that will remain is the blue water/sky. This is only available after completing all other levels as it unlocks the hidden, no time limit, world environment.

Along the way you encounter various tasks; each more strange than the previous. One task involves your having to pick up just one bear item. There are various bears, from stuffed to teddy to statues to pictures to real ones, scattered throughout the scenario. They are everywhere. The first one you touch is the one you get and the task ends. Your goal is to get the largest bear that you can. However, you start out very small and can only pick up the smallest bear items. In order to get the very large bears, you need to gather other, non-bear items first. This is very hard since bears are everywhere. But it makes for a great challenge that is highly entertaining.

This task is one of many different tasks that result in your building up stars in the solar system. I honestly don’t understand what it means or if I am even describing it correctly. It really makes no sense. All I know is that this game, while impossible to do justice by describing it, is highly addictive and entertaining for all ages. There is no violence, no sex, just simple fun.

The game is pretty much the same thing over and over (kind of like AC/DC’s music) but that same thing is great and you will love it (kind of like AC/DC’s music). This game is not a borrow, not a rent, it is a definite buy. It is just $20, if you can find it. So when you see it, trust me, pick it up, you will thank me later. In an age where most games are just like each other, most are violent just for the sake of violence, most are just copies of previous games, and most have zero original content, it is so wonderful to experience a game like Katamari Damacy.

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