Katamari Forever

October 15, 2009

Katamari Damacy snuck onto the gaming scene as a huge sleeper hit and many questioned the longevity of a game that was completely based around rolling up objects into a giant ball. Katamari Forever is the 5th title in the Katamari franchise to hit North America, and the game is still very similar to its original incarnation. So is it still worth the full price?

Katamari Forever is currently a Playstation 3 exclusive with no releases planned for other consoles. It features everyone’s favorite King of All Cosmos, the Prince, and a whole bevy of additional Cousins that are fully playable. When the King of All Cosmos gets hit in the head and develops a case of amnesia, the cousins build a robotic version named RoboKing to fill in for him. RoboKing goes on a rampage and destroys all the stars in the sky so it’s up to The Prince and Cousins and roll up and create new stars for the sky.

Katamari Forever contains 34 levels that are a mix of new levels and some seen in previous versions of the game. Older levels take place in the mind of King of All Cosmos while the new ones take place in the present. Older levels feature a black and white color scheme with the goal of returning color to the world as you grow your katamari. New levels feature the classic goal of building stars. In addition to building stars, some levels have additional goals that you must satisfy to appease RoboKing. At the conclusion of each level, your katamari is rated on a scale of 0-100 with 100 being a perfect star. Failure to get a high enough score results in your star being destroyed and you failing the level completely.

Some new gameplay additions to Katamari Forever are the Prince Hop and the King Shock. The Prince Hop actually allows the Prince and his katamari to leap into the area to reach higher areas. Previous versions of the game forced you to find ramps or other ways to reach higher sections of the game. King Shock allows you to rapidly grow your katamari by sucking any nearby object that you are large enough to roll up onto your katamari like a magnet. These 2 new features are definitely integral parts to successfully completing some of the RoboKing goals. I had a little difficulty triggering the Prince Hop right when I wanted to and sometimes gave up when I couldn’t make the Prince actually hop despite flicking the controller. Luckily you can also press R2 to trigger this action.

With the basic gameplay being so similar, is Katamari Forever worth paying full price for yet another Katamari game? After playing through it for quite a few hours, I can safely say that I would have no problem paying full price for this title, especially given the $50 pricetag. I don’t expect everyone will share similar sentiments, but it was definitely a title the entire family had fun playing and watching as we passed the controller around. Some levels were a little difficult for the kids, but they still had fun playing. Katamari Forever is a classic Katamari game with a few new features and a whole lot of levels and it provides a fun experience for the whole family. It’s a niche title for sure, but one that will definitely appease fans of previous Katamari titles.

Plays Like: Previous Katamari titles
Pros: New features like Prince Hop; Lots of levels
Cons: It’s the same game you’ve played before
ESRB: E for Everyone – Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Comic Mischief, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.