Honey’s Anime was present in the Pre-TGS event at Bandai Namco’s official headquarters in Tokyo this week, and we were able to have a hands-on experience with Nintendo Switch’s upcoming Katamari Damacy REROLL! We had a chance to sit down and play so we’ll give you a quick breakdown of what it’s like, and our overall experience with REROLL. Just as a reminder, that the information provided in this article is subject to change once the retail version is released, so please use this is as a frame of reference. With that being said, let’s get the ball rolling!
Katamari Damacy Reroll - Nintendo Switch | Nintendo Direct 9.13.2018
Many people who are familiar with the Katamari Damacy franchise will know that it started its illustrious career on a home console, and so making its transition to the Switch was a surprise even to us! Years after its release on PlayStation 2, back in 2004, the Katamari Damacy series has seen its ups and downs, but we feel like it has found its rightful place on the hybrid console, simply because the elements of the game go hand in hand with everything. In the demo version we played, the control scheme was laid out for us and basically you control all of the rolling using both the left and right analog sticks. The left one moves you around while the right analog helps you to change your position in order to continue rolling around to grow your ball.
To be honest, the control scheme felt very foreign to us just because both analog sticks are quite small when compared to that of the PlayStation’s, where control felt a little more intuitive whereas the Switch version required a lot of getting used to. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but certainly felt different and will require a little bit of practice before really getting the movement down effectively. You can clearly tell that the game is truly a port of the cult-classic, not really making any significant refinements to take advantage of the Switch and its gyroscope mechanics. Motion controls will see its entry once the final version is released, but overall, things felt clunky and non-responsive at times, which led to us running out of time and not being able to meet the requirements of the challenge... which felt a little disheartening. We’ll need to revisit the game once it releases to get a better perspective and honest opinion on whether motion controls really help in any way.
Visually speaking, Katamari Damacy REROLL actually looks very clean on the Switch console, sporting a much more revamped presentation to adhere to the current generation of gamers. That was a plus for us because, despite being such a dated game, it still maintained its colorful and happy-go-lucky aesthetic that most fans of the series really admired.
Our Experience + Final Thoughts
In the end, we didn’t get to spend too much time with the demo because well, the demo was very short and only really provided us with one stage to experiment with. The kitchen was a fun environment to roll around in, collecting whatever bits of food and accessories that lie around on the floor. It definitely brought back those fond memories of playing the game throughout high school, and skipping out on homework to make the biggest clump of craziness the game would permit us to. For now though, that memory felt a little frustrating due to the sticky controls, but we hope that once the game is fully released and all the stages are available, our nostalgic moments will be once again magical and we can hum along to the beautiful soundtrack this game is known for, along with its whimsical story on the go!