When Katamari Damacy went on sale for the PlayStation 2 on March 18, 2004, it took off for major reason: it was $19.99. This was before games sold for anything less than $50. All titles were full blockbuster experiences charging the same top-tier price. Then this little budget oddity rolled up and caught us all with our collective pants around our ankles.
Katamari Damacy is straight up bizarre, friends. The King of all Cosmos destroys all the planets and stars, and then he tasks you, the Prince, with rolling Earthly objects into an ever-growing ball in order to recreate the heavenly bodies.
Your ball, or Katamari, gets bigger as you roll stuff up. As it gets bigger, you can roll even more stuff up. The perspective changes and, in one level, you’ll go from rolling up thumbtacks and single yen coins to giant trucks shaped like swans. The whole thing goes down with this trippy and amazing soundtrack blasting while you steer around with these unbelievably enjoyable controls.
Oh, and the soundtrack. Listen to this madness:
Flash forward to today. Bandai Namco is putting out another Katamari game, this time on iOS and Android. Tap My Katamari is, essentially, a type of game called a “clicker.” There’s no rolling, the art style isn’t nearly as good as it should be, the charm has vanished. Tap My Katamari is nothing more than a distraction that asks you to tap the screen a lot, collect money, buy characters, collect more money, waste actually money on a few microtransactions, and tap some more. It’s a shell of the series.
So, dear potential and veteran Katamari fans. I beg you: ignore this mobile atrocity, and focus on the glory that was my favorite game. This is Katamari Damacy.
The later levels? They start off fairly small. You might struggle against cows and big pineapples at first:
You’ll make your way into the small town, slightly bigger. You’re still going to have some trouble as you bump into all sorts of traffic:
Here’s the magic of Katamari Damacy, though. See, you’ll get bigger. You’ll become a force to be reckoned with:
You’ll get big enough to consume the elephants once challenging your roll:
In Katamari Damacy, you’re something of an adorable monster. You’ll leave cities flat, and then you’ll take aim at green energy:
You’ll devour whole buildings, friends:
When that’s not enough, you’ll go after mythical creatures like gods riding clouds and giant squid:
The crazy thing? Make your Katamari big enough, and angels will circle you as you rip apart the Earth on your apparently divine mission:
Glorious, isn’t it?
Don’t get down because Bandai Namco turned this once fantastic franchise into a half-hearted cookie clicker game on mobile devices. Instead revel in Keita Takahashi’s original masterpiece.
Katamari Damacy is one of the best games ever made. Ignore the mobile take, go for the classic. You can get it right now on the PlayStation 3 by way of a digital download. Do it, friends, and roll up everything in sight.
Joey Davidson has been on the internet writing about video games and nerd crap for something like a decade. Yell at him on Twitter @JoeyDavidson. If you want.
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