Katamari Damacy is a game so strange in its concept that if you haven’t played it, you might start to question its existence. It is all about rolling around a giant ball that continues to grow. The world in Katamari Damacy has a unique Japanese touch to it. Everything feels fresh including the style of humor, environment, and objects. It reminds me of these old school Japanese reality game shows that were bizarre but also entertaining so you couldn’t stop watching them.
Katamari Damacy was quite popular when it made its debut on PS2 and since then, there has been a new Katamari game on almost every major platform, but there was no such thing this generation until Katamari Damacy Reroll. While it is exciting to finally get back to this esteemed classic, we have to keep in mind that this is not a new game but more of a remaster that brings back old levels and gameplay mechanics with some modern features.
As soon as you boot the game, the main menu gives a certain nostalgic feeling. It is the same Katamari Damacy that you remember playing back then, and the authenticity and spirit of the series are kept alive and fresh with this remaster. Since I was playing it on the Nintendo Switch, there was the option to use motion controls or the default standard controls using the dual analogs. The clumsy nature of the controls in Katamari Damacy is actually its selling point too, however, the motion controls felt like something new.
First, let’s talk about the controls. There are the default controls which demand you to use both analogs. In Katamari Damacy, you don’t have much to do aside from rolling around a giant ball that sucks in objects and keeps growing in size. The analog sticks correspond to each direction of the ball, so you use can use it to control with a little precision. You push both of them together to move forward or backward, or just one of them to change direction.
It is easier to grasp once you spend some time playing the tutorial. The thing that doesn’t make sense though is the support for motion controls. I have no idea what I was doing wrong, but they never work as intended. In fact, they were always incredibly frustrating and felt random. If you want to preserve your sanity, my suggestion is to never try them since they are completely broken in their current state.
Katamari Damacy doesn’t really offer many gameplay innovations. It is about a simple concept. Roll a ball that gradually increases in size and as the density increases, you can roll even bigger objects with it. The story revolves around this concept as the object that you are rolling around ends up being a full planet thanks to the power of King of All Cosmos. Your job is to help him rebuild various stars and constellations.
The beginning of the game deals with relatively small planets so you aren’t really doing much. It is a slow opening but once you manage to progress a little further, the bizarre factor increases tenfold. Soon, you will start rolling around a giant ball that is capturing everything along its path including humans, buildings and vehicles. It is a non-stop journey for your character where each mission has a certain necessity to fulfill ranging from capturing a specific type of object, reaching a certain size, and doing it all under the given time.
As I have said before, if you want to play this game expecting new levels, it is not going to offer something fresh. As a remaster, it looks decent despite the age and plays out well. The controls can frustrate in the start because they are not as easy to grasp. Once you learn them though, you will waste no time making these huge impressive planets. There are other collectibles and secrets to discover in every level encouraging you to replay them again to unlock new customization.
Overall, this a solid remaster by Bandai Namco. It was badly needed because of the lack any representation for the series this generation. Katamari Damacy Reroll takes advantage of the handheld and console nature of the Nintendo Switch to offer you the best of both worlds. There is a local multiplayer support if you want to challenge a partner but it feels quite limited. Most of the time, you are simply working on making planets and in this regard, the game is extremely fun. There is a solid amount of content and good replay value which keeps bringing you back to beat your own record.
Katamari Damacy Reroll Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: The beloved roll-em-up game returns with fully updated graphics, completely recreated cutscenes and in full HD!
Final Score - 8/108/10
Katamari Damacy Reroll brings back a cherished classic to modern consoles. It acknowledges the historical significance of the franchise and avoids making too many changes, sticking closer to the creative vision, therefore making it a great remaster.