When Katamari Damacy made its debut on the PlayStation 2 back in 2004, many were amazed at the sheer quality, comedic charm, and addictive gameplay that the game provided. It’s approach was simple enough: your main goal was to control a small prince and roll around an adhesive ball to collect random objects dispersed around various environments. Not only was the premise very straightforward but so too were the controls, which made playing the game very easy and engaging for hours on end. Fast forward to today and that beloved game has now been remastered for the Nintendo Switch, rebranded as Katamari Damacy REROLL. While the game is very much the same in terms of its gameplay, the remastered version provides us with cleaner visuals along with motion controls, making the experience feel that much greater. If you’re a fan of the series and need that quick fix, then this one's for you.
What to Expect
If you’re just being introduced to the series for the first time, this is perhaps the best opportunity to take advantage of, because you’re getting a quality title with an improved set of tools to make things look and feel more fluid. As we mentioned earlier, Katamari Damacy REROLL is a simple game in that most of your time playing will be racing around various environments with your adhesive ball, trying to make the biggest ball of nonsense as fast as you can. However, the game over time grows increasingly harder, which makes it relatively hard to master while the overall rewards make that journey satisfying. Compared to the classic PlayStation 2 controllers, the use of Joy-Cons give players a much more fulfilling experience since it will truly feel like you’re rolling the ball around with your wrists!
One of the most defining features of Katamari Damacy REROLL, or rather the whole series in general, is its visuals. This game was made on a limited budget and yet became one of the most iconic titles of the mid-to-late 2000’s due to its quirky style and lovable characters. You star as the Prince, the son of the King of all Cosmos, who has been tasked with the job to recreate the stars using his adhesive ball. In terms of character design, this game is just so full of comedic charm that you can’t help but laugh at what you see on screen. Whether it’s a bunch of random rats running around the kitchen trying to hit you, or an incredibly outlandish cutscene that’s full of Japanese cultural references, Katamari Damacy REROLL is a visually impactful title that delivers on all ends.
When we played the original back in 2004, our curiosity about Japan and its unique culture piqued because it gave us an introduction into a world we had never experienced before. The early 2000’s were littered with a plethora of music ranging from pop to alternative rock and hip hop, but never did our ears have a chance to experience J-pop. Once we started playing, it was like walking into a new world full of imagination, emotion, and elation. It was the one game that helped us to unlock a new realm of music that only inspired us more to keep playing. With Katamari Damacy REROLL that music is still iconic and brings back all of those wonderful memories of staying up late, skipping homework, and just grinding out the game whilst enjoying such a wonderful soundtrack. If we had to rank the soundtrack of Katamari Damacy REROLL, we’d definitely place it up in the top 10 of all time. That’s how amazing the music is!
Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to try out Katamari Damacy REROLL at Tokyo Game Show and quite frankly, we weren’t as impressed at first. The controls felt a little sluggish and didn’t seem to run very well, which resulted in our disappointment. However, that all changed once we received the full review copy and really spent a lot of time with it. In handheld mode the controls are quite tricky to get a handle on and will take some time to get used to. It still felt a little stiff at times, which resulted in poor control of rolling the ball around, losing points because we kept crashing into things unnecessarily. However, once we put on the Joy-Cons and started playing, all of those worries simply flew out the window. It’s by no means perfect but control-wise, it felt so much more responsive and actually made rolling the ball around feel more authentic.
If we had to recommend a way to truly get the best experience possible from this game, playing with the Joy-Cons is the best solution. It really gets you more involved in the game and makes the experience more exciting. Hours tend to fly by in Katamari Damacy REROLL because so much of your focus is on trying to make the biggest and most crazy looking ball of random items. One minute you’re starting off by gathering things like thumbtacks, coins, and your simple knick knacks, then as you grow larger it’s birds, rats, crabs, and whatever else is lying around. It’s so funny to watch because of all of the sound effects that come with it, for example the rats squeaking or the birds that will let out a funny chirp as you scoop them up in your ball of madness. It’s just such a charming game that sets itself apart from any other game on the market! To be honest, we don’t think there’s any other game that can compare to it.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Katamari Damacy REROLL is the remastered title fans have certainly been waiting for, and despite some of the controls being a little stiff, once you get used to things the overall gameplay is fast paced and fun. You’re not going to get another game that’s as fun as this one, so if you’re new to the series, then this is a must have for the holiday season. It’s also a great introduction into Japan’s interesting culture and if you’re like us, you’ll immerse yourself as much as possible and try to learn more about it as you play! So get out there young Prince, create as many stars as you possibly can, and make the world shine again!
Laaaa-la-la-la-laaa Katamari Damacy~~
Soundtrack is amazing.
Gameplay still feels great and the comedic charm is a plus.
Hours fly by trying to make the biggest ball possible.
Just some stiff controls make it somewhat of an issue at times.
Honey's Final Verdict:
If you have nothing interesting to play over the holidays. or perhaps you need a break from the hype that’s Smash Bros. Ultimate, Katamari Damacy REROLL is just that game to keep your mind busy. You’ll be singing the opening theme song over and over again because that’s just how addictive it is, and you’ll want to keep rolling on for hours. Be sure to follow us on our social media to stay up to date and hit us up on Twitch to catch us playing our reviewed titles live for all of you to enjoy!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!