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Beautiful Katamari

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Written by DM on Sunday, October 21 2007

When the original Katamari Damacy game appeared on the PlayStation 2 in Japan, it started a phenomenon. The quirky game was 100% Japanese through and through. From the offbeat, way out characters, to the over-the-top dialogue, the game screamed Asia. Normally, this would have affected sales here in North America, but Katamari proved to be the exception to the rule.

Now, with a Katamari game on almost every platform available, the franchise has penetrated the market thoroughly. Even though the novelty has worn off, the game has still found a very enjoyable home on the Xbox 360 in Beautiful Katamari.

In case you have never played a Katamari game before, let me give you a quick overview of the mechanics. Basically, it is your job as the Prince of all Cosmos to replace the stars in the sky that have somehow gone missing. You accomplish this by literally rolling up a humongous ball of junk, and throwing it up in the sky where it becomes a heavenly body. When you begin each level, you are given a small, round, colorful ball called a "Katamari." You must roll this Katamari around the level, picking up any objects that are small enough to stick to it. As you roll a more junk, of course, bigger things will stick to the ball. You are given a size goal on most levels to accomplish before time runs out. And there you have the basic premise of all Katamari games.

This time around, your father, the King of all Cosmos, has ruined the sky it yet again during a game of tennis with his wife. During a particularly powerful serve, he mistakenly creates a black hole, which proceeds to devour the night sky. The only solution, of course, is for his son, the Prince, to refill the night sky, and eventually plug the black hole. Does the game's premise make any sense? No, of course not, but sense is the last thing you'll find in a Katamari game.

The main complaint about most Katamari games is that they are too short. Unfortunately, the single player adventure in Beautiful Katamari suffers from this flaw as well. I was able to finish the single player game inside four hours. Of course, there are many extras you can collect in order to complete the game 100%, but for many gamers, once they have completed the storyline is hard to go back and redo levels that they have already finished. These extras include collecting the Prince's cousins, as well as accessories that the Prince can equip on his avatar. There are many to collect, but only the most avid Katamari players will be able to get them all.

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Beautiful Katamari

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