Review by N3k74r

"Unique, but a good unique."

In a fit of drunken negligence, your father, the King of the Cosmo's, accidentally destroyed many of the stars in the night sky. Upon waking from his drink induced stupor, he realized what he had done and brings in you, his son, to correct what he has broken.

That is the basic premise behind this amazingly fun game, where the point is to roll around a ball and pick up as much stuff as you can to recreate the stars. In this truly amusing and original game, you may start out small, picking up bits of cheese and batteries but you end up picking up squirming humans and cars.

As described, the game play is incredibly simple and easy to learn. You use both of the analog joysticks on the controller to move yourself around. As you pick up more objects, the objects you can pick up become larger. You win each level by acquiring the necessary size to recreate the star your father destroyed. Reaching the goal does not end the stage.

Instead, once you have done so, you continue to pick up stuff to get a better score at the end of the time limit. The time limit per stage is different in most cases, ranging from a few minutes to almost half an hour. You can always quit the stage before the time is up, but it does not count your score. Since the control scheme itself is so simple, even those who have not played many games will be able to pick it up in mere moments.

The music in this game is one of the best original soundtracks to come in a game in a long time. While you might not be able to understand most of it, not all of it is in Japanese and on the whole, you won't even mind that the singers are singing words you don't understand, although you might be humming to those tunes since they are catchy.

The sounds of the game are, most of the time, quite funny and it seems to be anime influenced. From the screaming people when you pick them up, to the cats who take off running whenever you go to run them over, every sound is truly high quality.

The challenge in the game is not to be forgotten, though. While some stages are easy to breeze through with hardly a thought, some of them will be difficult to achieve the size necessary to create the star, prompting your father to shatter your work into useless star dust. Upon completion of specific stages, you unlock the chance to recreate specific constellations in the sky, such as Gemini and Taurus.

In the Gemini stage, you are required to collect as many twins as you can, including people, boots, bushes and who knows what else. In the Taurus stage, you are asked to collect the largest cow you can find. Sounds easy, but it is not.

The level is littered with cow related objects, such as a sign saying “No Cows Allowed!” to a small statuette of a cow. Both of them count as a cow. As you get larger in size, it gets difficult to tell what exactly is a cow and what is not, thus the difficulty behind the entire idea.

Replayability is actually fairly high, for once you have completed a stage you can go back and try to make the star even larger. You can go back and try to run through it as fast as you can, unlocking the Shooting Star for each stage. Three specific stages have an Endless Mode, which takes away the timer and objectives and just lets you do what you want to do; Build the largest star ever.

Also in the stages are hidden Royal Presents for your young prince of the cosmo's to wear, such as a winter scarf or a white guitar. These can be difficult to find and get, for if you are too small or too large the item cannot be gotten.

All in all, this game is not one to be missed. Of course, due to its nature and the fact that it is not widely known, it is doomed to obscurity. Combined with the fact that there are not that many copies available, and this might just be a collectors item of sorts.

For those who love Japanese games, this is definitely on your list. If it is not on your list, it should be. If you own a PS2, you should at least rent this game for the novelty value. Recommended to all.

Highs:
Incredibly bright and unique idea from Japan, with fun gameplay and high entertainment value.

Lows:
Graphics are not what most would call stellar.

Final Verdict:
One of the most original and fun games to come out in recent years.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/02/04


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