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October 1, 2004

{     Katamari Damacy (PS2)     }    

KATAMARI DAMACY! I want to shout it from the rooftops! My love for this game is as pure as driven snow, and I will suffer no others before her. Handily the best video game I've played in 2004, and it has already garnered a spot on my top 5 games of all time. Katamari Damacy takes everything I love about gaming and rolls it up quite literally into a huge gibbering, shrieking, twitching ball that has plowed straight through my heart. I feel positively goddamned _evangelical_ about this madcap bit of oddness and joy. Here's the basic gist of it: you control a teeny-tiny little guy rolling a ball that picks up anything it touches. Your goal is to make the biggest ball of stuff that you can. Then you do it all over again, and again, and again. The story has it that the "King of All Cosmos" got a little crazy one night and accidentally broke all the stars in the sky. That simply will not do, and someone has got to put them back. That someone is his son, the Prince, and your character in the game. The solution is to find a planet with a bunch of stuff and "borrow" it for some ersatz star material. Earth, it seems, has more stuff laying about than any other planet so the Prince is sent there with a sticky _katamari_ (Japanese loosely for "clump") that he might roll over things and give them to his father to replace the night sky. What kinds of things? Well, all kinds of things: thumbtacks, chewing gum, golf balls, cassette tapes, mice, birds, teenagers, sumo wrestlers, fences, trees, giant squid, convenience stores, elephants, automobiles. . . anything and everything you see in the game can be, once your katamari is of sufficient girth, trampled over and added to an ever-growing sphere. There is absolutely nothing in the game that is not a potential target. Play this game long enough and you'll start to look at the world around you a little differently. "That pigeon," I thought yesterday, "would be relatively easy to pick up. But it's going to be difficult to get those park benches: I'm not seeing much of anything around I could pick up to get big enough to snag them." Katamari Damacy is an ideal game to try and rope someone into gaming that just won't bother. The game is controlled exclusively with the dual-analog sticks. There are no buttons to push, no combos to memorize, no menus to navigate. It's just you and your sticks. And I know you know a thing or two about manipulating your sticks. This game also has _the best soundtrack_ I've heard in a video game in years. Not since the DreamCast's Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5, and Samba de Amigo has a game come packaged with such a gleeful and wonderful collection of highly danceable grooves. I'm fully prepared to pay _more_ than the cost of the game to import my own copy of this soundtrack (Katamari Damacy is available at the low, low price of $20 US dollars). Buy this fucking game! _Edit (3 October 2004):_ Well, I'll be damned. It looks like Katamari Damacy is positively flying off the shelves right now. That is if "flying" is an accurate word to describe something like 10 sales per store. Check out this story on GameSpot: "Where is Katamary Damacy?":http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/09/28/news_6109142.html Check your local EB. Seriously, do it first thing tomorrow. You can thank me tomorrow evening.

     » Buy it from EBGames.com
     » Official Japanese-language site. Much cooler than anything on the American site. Be sure to hit the downloads section (second link down in the center of the page, check the URL)

Comments

$20? The game gods must surely be smiling upon us! I was hoping you'd supply a link for purchase, in addition to the very groovy game-site link. Howzabout it?

Posted by: Adam at October 1, 2004 3:17 PM

Oh yeah, right. See the thing about that is when last I checked for an online dealer I found a whole lot of "out of stock" and "backordered." Apparently shipments must have come in last night, because that ain't the case today.

So, I've found it at EBGames.com and Gamestop.com this morning. I'll just pick one, I reckon.

Posted by: benjamin at October 1, 2004 3:56 PM
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