Review by FFandMMfan

"The game of all cosmos."

Katamari Damacy; the game which captivated our hearts with its innovation and… just plain weird gameplay returns with a sequel in the form of We Love Katamari. This game, like the previous installment, focuses on rolling an adhesive ball around in various environments to complete a specific goal. However, this time you are given many more objectives to complete compared to the previous game. Instead of most of the game being “reach a target size in a set time” you are given a vast choice of “requests” to complete which range from rolling a snowball to create a snowman head, to rolling a flaming Katamari (the sticky ball which the game is named after) around a level to light a giant campfire.
If you haven't played the original Katamari Damacy, I can pretty much guess you think this game is crazy, ridiculous and stupid. Well, that's why I am here. To tell you about this wonderful game, and show you that games that don't include mindless killing and blood-fests are just as good as any other game. If you have played Katamari Damacy, I bet you want to know more, so read on.

[Story – 6/10]
The story of We Love Katamari isn't that great, but neither was the story of Katamari Damacy, however both games present themselves perfectly. When we last left Katamari Damacy; the King of All Cosmos (in all of his awesomeness) had sent his son, the Prince out into the world to roll up objects to create the stars that his majesty had destroyed. After placing all the stars in the sky, and remaking the moon, the Prince was soon forgotten and the great King of All Cosmos was made into a hero. Now, the King is loved by all across the world. Hundreds of fans that just want more stars to light up the sky. So, the royal pain in the ass that we all love sends his son out again to roll more Katamaris to create planets for the cosmos, but this time he enlists the aid of the Prince's cousins which are now all playable. So now, with Katamaris in hand, the Prince and his relatives have to please all of the King's fans and make everyone in the world happy.

[Graphics – 5/10]
Block-shaped characters and limited movement for the win! Seriously, all of the people in the game look rather blocky and have pretty poor movement animations, but that's okay, you will learn to love it. The random objects littering the paths of We Love Katamari look pretty good compared to the characters. Though you must realize that every single thing in the environment can be picked up and added to your sphere of ultimate destruction, so you can't expect cutting edges graphics in a game where everything can be consumed by the ball your character pushes along. Even though the graphics are pretty poor, they fit the mood of the game well, so I really have no complaints. Also to note: The game is much more colorful than Katamari Damacy.

[Music/sound – 10/10]
Every day, every night… *ahem* Sorry about that. Yes, the game's music is very catchy. We Love Katamari's soundtrack is superb. It combines several styles of music (swing, pop, rock, dance, etc) into one awesome package. Most of the soundtrack is in Japanese, since this is a Japan-made game, though some parts of some songs have English in them. Most of the songs are excellent, with a few average songs. Maybe one or two bad songs mixed in, but the soundtrack is fairly large and you are able to choose which song to play at the start of every level so you are never stuck with a song you hate.
The sound effects are much like the first game. Simple “bloop” type sounds when you pick up a normal object, and a few special sounds for certain objects. As you gain in size, you can pick up people, cars and buildings, each making a unique sound. Unlike the last game however, the sounds never get to be too loud and annoying to hear the music.

[Gameplay – 9/10]
Ah yes, gameplay, the backbone of any good game. So, I've been talking about weird ball rolling and object collecting, but does it make any sense yet? If not, I'll clarify it here.
As the game starts, you are treated to a tutorial on how the control the Katamari. You guide your character (the Prince or his cousins) by moving both Analog sticks in a certain direction to move the Katamari. Both forward moves forward, both backwards moves in reverse, etc. Controlling the Katamari can be confusing at first, but after a few levels it becomes second nature.
The request (mission) selection screen is simple: Approach a fan of the King to be given a mission. Each fan has a specific level in which you play, be it a town, a house or something even more unique. They give you an objective and more often than not, you must complete it in a specific time. How do you complete these objectives? Well, you roll your Katamari around and pick up random objects along the ground to grow larger which usually will complete the mission in one way or another. As stated before, some missions allow you to roll a flaming Katamari to make a campfire, while others may require you to reach an exact size without knowing your current size (which isn't as hard as it sounds). One level actually requires you to roll a Sumo Wrestler around instead of a Katamari and have him eat food (or anything in sight actually…) to knock another Sumo Wrestler out of a ring.
After completing an objective you will be taken to a results screen where you can turn your new Katamari into a planet or stardust (if your current Katamari isn't as good as your previously built one). This is also where new cousins and presents are given to you after picking them up in a mission. Sometimes you will be rewarded with a comet for completing the level quickly. However… if you fail, the king proceeds to zap you with his almighty laser eyes. Fortunately, the lasers have no adverse effects on the game.
While playing this game you will come across cousins and presents that you can roll up into your Katamari. Cousins will becomes playable characters once the mission ends, and presents can be equipped to a character so they get a cool new look, such as a guitar or a camera that actually allows you to take in-game pictures. There is no difference between the cousins other than their appearance and small variations between a few presents, so you can play as whoever you like without worrying about which one is better.
There is also co-op and competitive multiplayer modes, but at the time of writing this review, I haven't tried them so I cannot offer any input.

[Final Notes]
An innovative game that amazingly surpasses its prequel in nearly every single way. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this game. Katamari Damacy fans and new players alike, I highly recommend this game to all of you. The only major flaws I can see with this game are that the Katamari moves a bit slower than the previous game, and a few of the levels (namely the Campfire and underwater levels) are a bit tedious to complete. All in all, this game is amazing and definitely worth the $30 it costs.

-Amazing gameplay
-Excellent soundtrack
-The King is awesome
-Nearly everything else

-A few tedious levels
-The Katamari moves a little slower than in Katamari Damacy.

I highly recommend this game, don't rent it, buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/28/05

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