Game Review: I Love Katamari

I Love Katamari is this week’s Xbox Live game, released just yesterday. In it, you roll this sticky ball around a virtual world, forming a type of snowball with assorted junk!

Overall Score:ILoveKatamari 4/5

Though this game may be loved by its dedicated fans, it does suffer from slightly bad controls and a very occasional frame rate lag.

Gameplay: 3/5

The premise is simple: Roll the ball over objects smaller than it so they will stick and eventually form into one massive ball of junk. Depending on which gameplay mode you pick (Story, Time Attack, Exact Size Challenge, or Endless), you’ll have to achieve various goals while creating your ball of assorted items. In the story mode, you have to create a ball large enough to be able to then roll over and collect a certain object (sometimes it is a cat or a small truck). In the Exact Size Challenge mode, you’ll have to create a ball of a certain size (like 1 meter in diameter), and then stop there. These gameplay modes in combination with the 8 different maps make the game pretty fun to play. The challenge of finding enough small items so you can build your diameter up in order to collect the larger items is extremely satisfying. The feeling you get when you finally create a massive ball that can collect city buildings is quite neat. However, this experience is hurt by the controls. The game is almost entirely controlled by the accelerometer, which makes navigating some small sections and controlling the viewpoint of the game difficult at times. The biggest deal breaker for me, however, was that you cannot calibrate the accelerometer, so you are stuck playing in a sitting position with the screen at a certain angle.

Presentation: 4/5

If the game didn’t occasionally (by that I mean three or four times) stutter and freeze up for a few seconds while playing it, then it would probably receive a 5 in presentation. The visuals are pretty good, and the 3D world looks really nice. They are possibly a little pixelated if you stop and stare at them, but they look great when you’re rolling around and in motion. The music is fabulous, as many reviewers in the Marketplace have already said. Each map gets its own soundtrack, and the musical style blends perfectly with the gameplay.

Lasting Value: 4/5

If you manage to beat every level in one try and you play through the first three gameplay modes, the game will take you a total of almost two hours. However, it is likely you won’t beat each one on your first try, so you should get way more lasting value out of it. And then there’s the Endless mode that you can play forever and ever. Since the game can be beat in under 3 hours, it doesn’t receive a 5/5, but it still lasts a good amount of time.


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Title: I Love Katamari
Price: $6.99
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

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