Publisher: Namco Bandai Games America
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: 2/22/2012
Available Exclusively On
I remember when the first game came out, it was something I had never seen before. Rolling stuff up into a huge ball was so much fun, and I played it for hours. Many sequels later fans got tired of the series because nothing would ever change. Sure, a few things were added here and there, but the fundamental gameplay got tiresome. Touch My Katamari adds a new story presentation with voiced hand-drawn cutscenes that are as absurd as The King of All Cosmos himself, and that’s about it.
There are two parts to the game. You sit on top of the King’s head and the left side of his head/roll has items like media player, Prince and King’s Garb, Clothing Store etc. The right holds a dozen levels you play in. If you already played a Katamari game you are right at home here thanks to the dual analog sticks. This is probably the best portable Katamari game thanks to this feature. You just roll around a ball of stuff and get bigger and bigger until you finally start rolling up whole towns, clouds, and islands. Don’t kid yourself, because you get to this point faster than you would like. Starting out in houses and on top of tables rolling up items like batteries, CDs, phones, candy, and hundreds of other items that were created throughout the series. Later you go outside onto lawns, then into the city to consume everything.
There is only one city featured in this game and you finish the game in just a couple of hours. There are three levels that are different from the norm of the game and that is rolling up 150 items, rolling up food items to equal 30,000 calories, and rolling up the largest cow/bear. The other nine levels quickly rush you to the end. The game sadly tries to extend gameplay by having you come back to earn candies which are the currency to unlock song tracks and clothes for the King. It’s kind of stupid and not something I wanted to go back and do over again.
Let’s talk about graphics. The low-budget blocky visuals were charming and cute when the first game came out because of the low budget. The Katamari series is no longer low-budget because they have sold millions of copies of the series. The game looks almost like the original PS2 game, and that is not a good thing. The Vita is capable of more than what’s here, and this game doesn’t do the system justice. The game doesn’t even use Vita’s features very well because the touchscreen controls are terrible. You can use the rear pad to flatten the Katamari or make it tall. Why couldn’t we use the tilt sensor and gyroscope? The last issue I found was the camera. It still has the same issues all these years with it creating a hole to look through when near walls. This can give you a headache because it feels like the camera is constantly zooming in and out really fast.
Overall, Touch My Katamari isn’t worth the $30 price tag. This should have been a $10 or $15 PSN game. With only a dozen levels, lame attempts at extending gameplay (do I really want to dress up the King?), and a sad excuse of a story, Touch My Katamari is disappointing. This is probably the last Katamari game for me unless they drastically change the series.