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We Love Katamari

Talk about an odd game that almost defies description! In the Katamari games, you are rolling a sticky ball. That's it! It's amazing how addictive it can get.

This is the second game out, after Katamari Damacy. You are a prince. Your dad is the eternally bizarre and self-absorbed King of All Cosmos. He sets a series of challenges up for you, with the aim of creating stars. You wander along a grassy meadow, meeting up with people and choosing which challenge to work on next.

The graphics are just amazing here, in a cartooney sort of way. You wander through an undersea world, rolling up various sea creatures. You roll around a home office, gathering typical office supplies. In each case you start with a little ball. As you roll the ball over an object, if it's small enough, it sticks onto your ball and you can actually see it rolling around. As you pick up more items, the ball gets larger and larger.

You're ranked, depending on which section of the game you're in, on how quickly you make your ball grow large, on how large you get the ball to be, and various other ranking schemes.

The music is fine, although I would have liked a little more variety. It's just a little too techno for me, all the time. I like to hear a variety of music types in a game like this.

This is really a game that is PERFECT for all ages. There's no bloody shooting of enemies. There are no super complex puzzles to solve. All you do is roll, roll roll. It's very soothing, in a way, a mindless way to rid yourself of the stress of work or school. You're achieving something, and you just roll along to do it.

My only complaint is that the co-op mode is rather challenging. It's tricky to get two people to roll a ball together. With this being such a great game for kids, I *really* wish they could think up a way for a parent to play with their kid (or even a grandparent to play with their kid). It's a game that appeals to all age levels - but there just isn't much of a way for those people to play "together". Surely there'd be some way to do that - maybe give one character a 'freeze ray' to stop items that are in motion, so the other character can then go roll them up.

In any case, the game is quite a lot of fun, for those times that you want a relaxing, mindless, casual game. Well recommended!

Rating: 4/5

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