Katamari Forever Review
Katamari Damacy deserved the accolades hailing its innovative gameplay and quirky humor when it first released as a budget title in 2004. The joy of sweeping up everything in your path with a giant sticky ball remains intact in the PS3 premiere, but the entire formula has lost its zany newness. Playing Katamari Forever, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was listening to a greatest hits album from a band that only ever had one great song.
The biggest change to Forever is a detailed art overhaul, abandoning the textureless visuals of previous games for a crayon-shaded world presented in full 1080p glory. It’s a welcome change – if only the rest of the game had seen so much attention.
Half of Katamari’s 30-some levels are stolen from previous games in the series. Conceptually, you’re tackling these familiar stages to help fill in the King of All Cosmos’ memory gaps after a bump to the head. In practice, it feels like an excuse to not make new content.The new (and more enjoyable) stages are presented through the introduction of the Robo King character. All of these fall under the “get this big in this amount of time” concept. Whether rolling through the Robo King’s levels or helping the original King with his memory, the level scoring feels arbitrary, and the linear progression of levels is limiting. Even so, the mechanic behind it all is still fun and engaging.
The absurdity of the story and presentation has been ratcheted up yet again, but at this point I’m not sure I’m still getting the joke. Katamari Forever serves as a fine introduction to the concept for those who have yet to push the ball, but former Katamari addicts may find they’ve rolled down this road before.