Touch My Katamari

After more than half a dozen sequels, Katamari Damacy has proven itself as a game with a formula that works. Take one Prince, son of intergalactic entity The King of All Cosmos, drop him off on Earth with a sticky katamari ball and get him to roll up coins, toys, cats, people, cars, buildings and mountains until he has a big enough ball of miscellany to transform into a star. Simple enough. This portable outing of the Katamari series looks and feels like it is on par with its console counterparts. The new mechanic here is being able to stretch and squash your katamari to be thin and tall or wide and short using the back touch pad. Wielding a tall katamari means you can roll faster and fit into tight areas, like between cupboards or buildings, while having a wide katamari slows down your rolling but means you can pick up many more items to increase your size. Still being able to fit under beds and in pipes while your katamari is huge doesn’t hurt either. Controls have been mapped to two different control schemes – Classic and Standard. Both of these come with the same touch control options, where you can use the touch screen to roll the katamari around. Classic is the same as previous console iterations with dual analogue controls, but newcomers may find Standard simpler to get to grips with at first as it uses the left analogue stick for movement and right analogue stick for the camera.

Jumping is back from Katamari Forever and has thankfully been mapped to the R shoulder button while quick turning has been mapped to the L shoulder button. In terms of both the number of levels on offer and the variety within them, Touch My Katamari is far less comprehensive than home versions of the game. A paltry sum of only eight main levels and four special request levels, and these are almost all room or town themed. This may be eased, though, thanks to the slow trickle of DLC levels on their way. Two have been available since launch, namely Snowman Redux and New Shopping. More are lined up for release over the coming months, namely Maids, Downhill, PAC-MAN, Soccer and Cosmos Explosion. The final one is the only “premium” DLC; the rest can be paid for using Fan Damacy who you roll up about once an hour during playtime. Most levels have three play styles: Usual (the default, usually a get this big in this amount of time ordeal), K Drive (the same, only sped up) and Eternal (where you have unlimited time and no objective).

There’s plenty to collect in the game, though. There are ten curios (special items), one cousin and one Royal Present to track down in each level. Candy is rewarded upon finishing each level, and it’s the currency which allows you to purchase music as well as outfits for the King to wear. The final fashion item in the game costs a whopping 76,500 candy, so it’ll keep you busy for a while. The Collection feature is gone, so it is no longer possible to view absolutely everything that has been picked up, making 100% completion much easier, but perhaps less fun overall. Fans of the series should know that playing on mute is a disservice to any Katamari game as music is one of the core elements that ties the Katamari experience together. As such, a new Katamari game soundtrack is always a delight. This time there are a bevy of new tracks alongside piano jazz versions of old tunes and some dub for good measure. Always dreamy in some form or another, these tunes will inevitably earworm their way inside your head eventually. DLC tracks are available too if the track selection isn’t already meaty enough for you.







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