[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/welovekatamari/cover.jpg[/floatleft][i]We Love Katamari[/i] is the sequel to the quirky and hugely popular [i]Katamari Damacy[/i] from Namco. It is important to note that Keita Takahashi, the creator of the original [i]Katamari[/i], was reluctant to make a second [i]Katamari[/i] game. In fact, the only reason he was involved at all was because Namco was proceeding with or without his involvement. Takahashi is currently looking to pursue a dream in playground design. A slightly different path than most game developers choose, but that is neither here nor there.
The [i]Katamari[/i] games are based on the simple concept of rolling-rolling things up to make a larger ‘clump’ to be precise. The concept is almost so simple it makes you wonder how it flew under the radar for all these years. As you progress through the game, the scale of things that you roll up increases dramatically. You start out rolling up items only a few centimeters in size and end up rolling up incredibly large objects measuring hundreds of meters.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/welovekatamari/ss03_thumb.jpg[/floatright]The King of All Cosmos and his son the Prince return to exchange wacky, off-the-wall dialogue. These exchanges from the first game were downright strange but entertaining. In this game, it almost seems like Namco tried to force the humor and instead came off as annoying. To date, I have skipped past the vast majority of the dialogue in the game. After all, it’s all about the rolling isn’t it?
The replacement of the previous ‘planet’ for selecting which level you want to play has been replaced with a meadow. In this meadow, you will talk to characters who request a katamari. I found this new method of selecting levels to be cumbersome and downright confusing. I think the simple concept of the first game had it perfect, and I have to wonder what Namco was trying to achieve with the meadow. Either way, I don’t like it one bit.
The actual gameplay in [i]We Love Katamari[/i] is virtually identical to its predecessor. Namco had a winner on their hands the first time, so there is no reason to change it. The game is still as quirky and strange as it ever was. One major addition though is that [i]We Love Katamari[/i] features underwater levels where you can go above or below the surface of the water. It really adds to the immersion of the game.
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/welovekatamari/ss05_thumb.jpg[/floatleft][i]We Love Katamari[/i] is more of the same great, simplistic fun that made the first game a cult hit. The lower price point of $29.99 makes it an attractive buy for even the most frugal of gamers. There are some things that I really didn’t like about this one, but they are things that you can ignore and still enjoy the game. Fans of [i]Katamari Damacy[/i] will undoubtedly find themselves enjoying this one. Skeptics should probably check out the original [i]Katamari Damacy[/i] to see if this will appeal to them.