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Review: Touch My Katamari

Posted by on March 19th, 2012 | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

As I’ve made it obvious before, I’m a huge fan of Katamari Damacy. When I saw this on the shelf, I picked it up before I even had my Vita (yeah, I was one of those guys). So I find myself thinking, is this powerhouse of a new console gonna make these simple graphics mind-blowing?  The answer is… yes and no.  While Touch My Katamari looks great, its design flaws hold it back from being the strongest in the series.

Do I even have to talk about the story? Basically the king has an inferiority complex and falls into a self-conscious paranoia. The only way to prove that he is better than everyone else is by making the Prince roll Katamari. Makes sense. The King of All Cosmos is once again hilarious in his sarcasm and outlandish dialogue. Most the humor takes a trolling tone to it… I love it.

The level select which has always been a creative part of this series is once again great. This time it’s the prince rotating the King’s head to find different Katamari Fans. Unfortunately, you’re quick to find out that there are only 13 fans to roll for. Many of these levels take place in similar locations as well as some of them being straight-up reusing of older levels from previous games (You know, exactly what Katamari Forever did). In order to get the most out of each level, players must go through it about 4 times. After beating it for the first time, a replay of the level will allow you to unlock a cousin, while a third play though unlocks a present. A fourth play through allows you to sometimes get a candies bonus.

Candies serve as the currency of the game, and are rewarded to the player depending on how good you roll that level. You can also use candy tickets to incite a multiplier to get even more candies. You can use these candies to purchase new songs and new clothes for the King to wear which are just hilarious. I always liked when there were tons of cousins and presents to find, so I thought this was lacking. Besides the reused levels, the newer ones sometimes fall into a sparse detailing with few objects to pick up. It also employs a flatter angle than most games, limiting your field of view and thus limiting your draw distance. I was shocked in some levels that pop-up is prominent just some 10 feet away from your Katamari. It doesn’t seem as though this game was optimized for the hardware in that aspect. Though there is pop-up, the framerate never chugs, so there’s that at least.

The touch gimmick never really comes into its own. There are a few instances where you need to pinch the Katamari into a rolling pin to fit behind book cases and stuff, but that is it. Flattening it out feels kind of cheesy too because you can roll up twice as much stuff at once.

Katamari isn’t as long as I wanted it to be, but since it requires so much replay, it’ll still be getting played until the King has every outfit… which should take awhile. Free DLC on the way too, so that’s nice, except that runs on a lamer currency than candies. Instead there is a 20% chance of finding a “Fan Damacy” in each level. 10 of those can unlock 1 DLC level. Right now there are 2 levels released, so get grinding! There is an online ranking system that updates weekly called the “High Rollers Club”. Each tier has you collecting and maintaining a certain level of candies. It’s an interesting addition to the formula. You’ll get some replay value out of this one, but as a returning fan, call me selfish for wanting more.

A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.

General Info

  • Pop-Up
  • Only 13 Levels
  • Sparse
  • Touch Gimmick

  • Charmi

    I did play the demo today, and it is still fun. But i think I’ll wait till there is enough dlc to justify a purchase. The only other katamari game I’ve played in Katamari forever/Katamari Tribute, and that had a ton of different levels. So moving to a 13 level game feels like a serious downgrade.
    Plus i heard that you don’t get any of the massive “world rolling” stages in Touch My Katamari (where your katamari ends up big enough to collect continents and clouds). I don’t know how far this is true though :/

  • Johnny

    I was disappointed as well. I can’t believe the controls, the psp katamari controls were a trainwreck, I had to put it down. Why couldn’t they just use the PS controls, back and forth to sprint?! It is a complete waste I have found, to even try to sprint in TMK, I am beating all the levels by just rolling around. There are also WAY TOO many large moving obstacles that I don’t remember on PS2, pinning you in a corner, or kicking you to the other side of the area. I also found the music lacking. 

    Is there seriously no way to look at all the planets you’ve made? I hope I am crazy and missed that part. Major shame, please tell me I’m wrong, please tell me there is a hypnotic level to check out your work like in We Love Katamari….