Title: Katamari Damacy Reroll
Release Date: December 6, 2018
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco
For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of playing Katamari Damacy when it first was released on the PlayStation 2, I have good news! Katamari Damacy has been remastered for the PC and Nintendo Switch under the name Katamari Damacy Reroll, and it is pretty much perfect. The game feels better than ever and all it needed was some polish on the visuals.
Katamari Damacy Reroll is from a previous console generation, it was important for us to see how the game holds up after all the changes to gameplay standards have evolved. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before we realized this game is timeless and should be experienced by all.
The humorous story and characters also are a major part of what makes Katamari Damacy great. The plot of the game is that your drunken father the King of All Cosmos accidentally went and destroyed all the stars and celestial bodies in the sky and has tasked you his unfortunate offspring to roll up giant balls of stuff on earth for him to replace the stars with.
Each mission has you rolling up a different sized ball and no matter how big you make it, your father still calls you a loser prince and takes credit for your success. There is also a background story of these two kids who notice all the strange things happening because of you and they try to tell their mother but she doesn’t pay them any mind. The whole concept is weird but funny because of how strange the whole thing is. The developers don’t shy away from being weird either, the game knows what it’s trying to do and does it well. It relies on a style of dark humor that isn’t at the expense of someone else or malicious instead, the game creates these small situations that are meant to bring a little bit of joy between levels.
Gameplay feels just as satisfying as it did in the original. You still get to push a little ball around the world gradually getting larger and larger as you go from picking up small objects such as dice and batteries to picking up whole islands and even the very clouds in the sky. It scratches that itch that only Katamari games can scratch, and while playing I felt the same amount of enjoyment as I did back when I first played Katamari Damacy during lunch break in junior high in my teacher’s classroom.
The one issue I had with Katamari Damacy Reroll was that the game starts off windowed on PC, and you need to go through the tutorial with the keyboard controls before you can access the game’s menu. While I cannot attest to how the Switch controls feel, I think the keyboard controls for the PC version of Katamari Damacy Reroll are adequate. You basically replace the left analog stick controls with the WASD keys and the right analog stick controls with the IJKL keys. Other than that difference, the game plays exactly as you would expect, however, I still recommend you plug in a PS4 controller for a more authentic Katamari experience.
If you’ve played Katamari Damacy before, this is the point in the review where you can probably stop reading. The game is almost exactly the same as the original but with updated visuals for modern screens, and honestly, that’s all it really needed. The game was great before and is great now, and I highly recommend you pick up Reroll if you want to re-experience the joys of Katamari Damacy without the hindrances of outdated PS2 visuals. The rest of you uninitiated folks, however, should stick around because I am going to break down for you what makes Katamari Damacy so gosh dang good.
Katamari Damacy is such a unique game and while at its core the game is simple, there is an elegance in its simplicity. Each element that makes up the game is important to the overall experience and with even one part removed, Katamari Damacy would lose its identity. The game has an adorable and colorful art style that reminds me of a cross between Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Yoshito Usui’s Crayon Shin-chan. It is beautiful to look at and is enhanced by the accompanying soundtrack which features a variety of smooth jazz, hip-hop, and the ever so catchy theme song that makes the whole experience of rolling things up rather zen.
In case you couldn’t tell, I love Katamari Damacy and I love this remake. If you are looking for a no pressure game that is fun, relaxing, and unique, I definitely recommend you pick up Katamari Damacy Reroll. There are so many enjoyable things about this game, and you owe it to yourself to experience it.
It’s hard for me to explain exactly why Katamari Damacy Reroll is amazing because it’s the game that, at first glance, you wouldn’t expect to be deserving of this praise. However, playing it 15 years ago and playing again today has solidified my confidence in the game’s charming design and gameplay mechanics. I’m happy that Bandai Namco released this remastered version so that a new generation has the opportunity to discover just how timeless this game is.
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