Saturday, October 22, 2005

I Still Heart Katamari

This afternoon, when I should have been doing laundry or finishing the coat-closet cleanup I started, I spent a couple of hours playing "We Love Katamari," the sequel to "Katamari Damacy," which is simply the greatest videogame ever.

The Katamari games are the two best examples of pick-up-and-play, minute-to-learn-but-a-lifetime-to-master design I've ever seen. Basically, you roll a sticky ball--a katamari--around different levels, collecting items ranging from matchsticks to football stadiums to Jumboman (it's a Japanese game, after all). Sounds goofy (to a certain extent is goofy), but more fun than a barrel of monkeys (rolled up onto a sticky ball, of course). It's not surprising that the original game won every conceivable award from the gaming world in such areas as most creative, best music, etc., etc.

The name "We Love Katamari" isn't just an amusing "we couldn't think of a sequel name" moniker, either. Although the gameplay is very similar to the original, this one may be the world's first po-mo, self-reflexive videogame. The "plot" still involves the King of the Cosmos (think Donald Trump, only gigantic, better looking, and even more self-absorbed) dealing with requests from fans of the first game to roll up specialty katamaris--1,000 origami cranes, say, or every student in a school. (This will all make sense if you just play the games, preferably in order, though that's not a requirement.)

There's even a two-player mode that's a little lame, but at least allows The Boy and me to share rounds instead of passing the controller back and forth. (Did I mention, by the way, that this is my game? I own it. I own both games, in fact. They're mine, all miiiinnneee...)

So go to the video store now. The weather's yucky; it's a good time to stay in and play. And if you're feeling at all guilty about the laundry or the coat closet, just remember that you're keeping up with a pop culture phenomenon. If you must justify it somehow, think of it as a lesson in post-modernism.

With Jumboman.

5 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

OMG, it's out?! and here it is 11:00 and Target is closed...well, I will just have to get up early to get my Katamari on!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

I was even one of those people who put down a five-dollar deposit to reserve my game. For about a month, I'd tell my husband, "Just three more weeks till the second Katamari!" "Just two more weeks!" ad nauseum.

Get going, girl! There's Katamari awaitin'!

6:39 PM  
Blogger David said...

I'd never seen the game. I looked it up on the web after reading your post.

...and even with just that little exposure, I found this defective yeti post called "Katamari Democracy" very funny.

5:34 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thought you might like these katamari pictures.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

OMG--these are awesome! And the Katamari looks just like my red and black Katamari earrings (scored off eBay for $4), which I just happen to be wearing today. Thanks!

10:40 AM  

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