Published on June 15th, 2012 | by Sgt. Mettool0
Review: Katamari Forever
It’s a bit awkward when you review things backwards. You may remember my review of Touch My Katamari from a few months back, and I’m only just now getting to the previous game in the series. I blame the fact that I didn’t have a PS3 until now, which I blame on the fact that i’ve been pulling in two-digit paychecks for the last year and a half, which I blame on the fact that I didn’t major in programming like my dad told me to. You were right, Dad. You were right.
So anyways, let’s review another Katamari game. This time, we’ll be looking at Katamari Forever for the Playstation 3.
I really don’t think the Katamari franchise needs any introducing at this point, because we all know what the deal is by now. And that’s sort of a bad thing, because it the franchise was never really intended to be, yknow, a franchise. In fact, it was supposed to end with the second game, but Namco decided to have too much of a good thing and exapnded it to what is now a six game series. Forever is the fifth of these, and you can most certainly tell that this is where the series really started to run out of steam.
There’s nothing really new or exciting in this iteration of Katamari that hasn’t been done before. You’re the prince. You work for the King. You roll around a ball and pick stuff up. It’s the same as it always was, with the exception of two new features. For one, you can now jump using the R2 button, a feature that was later seen in Touch my Katamari as well. And secondly, there are special power-up items that magnetically draw items to your katamari for a limited time.
That’s literally it.
The unfortunate truth is that Katamari Forever might as well have been titled “The Best of Katamari Damacy”, because it is made up entirely of recycled content. I think there may have been only one or two new stages in the entire 30-something level roster. It’s one thing to make a “greatest hits” compilation. It’s another to recycle stages and repackage them as a whole new experience. That’s crossing the line just a bit.
But all that aside, Katamari Forever is still the same Katamari you know and love. And despite the sinister rehashing, there’s plenty of content here for you to enjoy. There are, by far, more stages here than any other Katamari game has offered to date. This is great news for newcomers who have missed out on some of the most brilliant moments in the franchise’s rich legacy. Not so much for those of us who have played them all before, though.
What really shines here is the writing. The King is still as witty and ambiguous as he ever was. Joining him is his temporary and hilariously insecure RoboKing. Both of these characters act in a hilarious yin and yang to eachother, giving two distinct moods for you to enjoy as you play. I almost wanted to reach out and give poor RoboKing a hug after his told me about his depressing life living in a shed. Poor guy.
The important thing is it’s still fun in a way. It’s not going to “wow” you like it did the first time around. Or the second. But the magic is still there. And that’s what matters when it comes to one-trick ponies like these. Plus, you can find this one pretty cheap nowadays, so it’s not like you’ll be scrambling to find it like some of the older games.
Really though, I only criticize this game for Namco’s apparent lack of effort and their continued monetization of what was once a unique and brilliant concept. You can’t just take a bunch of levels, add a humorous story and some graphic filters, and call it a day. And hopefully we’ll start seeing some original content again in the next installment. Originality, people!