Katamari Damacy Reroll, originally available on PC & Nintendo Switch back in 2018, is an improved version of the original Katamari Damacy that saw release on PS2 during 2004. Now heading to PS4 & Xbox, there will be ample opportunity for people to check out this cult classic. Can the Katamari roll with the punches of modern gaming? Lets find out…
Katamari Damacy opens with the King of All Cosmos accidentally destroying all the stars, constellations and the moon across the night sky and charging his son, the Prince, with the duty of repopulating the sky above. The Prince will need to do this on Earth, collecting as many objects as possible for the King to convert into shining stars.
The story is delivered as nonsensical as the premise, with the King usually babbling at the prince about what needs to be done and the odd cinematic focusing on your average folk which adds even more randomness to the mix. You’re in the wrong place if expecting some kind of BAFTA award winning narrative delivery, Damacy hails from a simpler time when quirky games were actually quirky. You could be done with the game in around 6 or 7 hours though, luckily that’s predominately gameplay and doesn’t really account for replaying stages.
Its a good job Bamco went with Reroll instead of Remaster for this release as there hasn’t been much improved aside from resolution, with some added detail here & there over the PS2 original – though most of it is the same just in HD. Funnily enough it didn’t really need much else as the simple angular design has stood the test of time, easily slotting in alongside the more stylised indie games out there today. The games visuals do also help when talking about performance, it’s butter smooth on PS4 and certainly won’t be getting in the way of the gameplay.
Audio is another highlight of the game. There’s isn’t really much in the way of voice acting, so it’s really the soundtrack and quirky sound effects used when collecting people & animals. Few games out there with a licensed soundtrack would best this either, the barrage of feet-tappin Japanese pop music melds perfectly with the on-screen visuals.
This series is a simple game at heart. At the start of the stage it is just you and your Katamari, and with a size target placed on you, the work can begin. You start small so can only collect items like coins & pins. As more items stick to the Katamari it obviously grows larger which leads to you being able to collect even bigger items. Nothing is safe from the Katamari once you’ve reached an adequate size. You’ll have to avoid moving items such as pets or vehicles as their collision with you can chip away at some of the collected oddities, until you are a large enough size to collect them that is.
Probably the biggest enemy would be time, as most stages will feature a counter that you need to hit a certain size by. This can lead to some surprisingly crucial decisions over how to manage that time as some areas of a stage won’t open up until you hit a certain size either and you’ll need to make the most of it. Bonus stages are offered in the form of constellations which can change up the formula a little. These are still timed but come with caveats, Cancer for example sees you needing to collect as many Crabs as possible during the stage too. The only real stickler could end up being controls. They’re intuitive enough once you get used to them, but you have to get used to them first.
Katamari Damacy is 6th gen quirky Japanese game design at its best, offering timeless visuals and gameplay that demands one more go. Reroll takes that PS2 original and updates it with somewhat improved HD visuals and general QOL improvements. There wasn’t really much need for anything else though, Katamari is Katamari to fans of the series, and Reroll offers those young & old a chance to play a cult classic they may have missed before on modern systems.