GAME NAME: Touch My Katamari
DEVELOPER(S): Namco Bandai
PUBLISHER(S): Namco Bandai
PLATFORM(S): PS Vita
RELEASE DATE(S): 22 February 2012
If drugs took drugs and had children who got drunk and took drugs the resulting offspring still wouldn’t be as trippy as Touch My Katamari. When the game starts your eyes are greeted by a dancing King of Cosmos, in his finest garb mind you. His mood sours shortly thereafter once the King overhears a fan say that the Principal is as awesome as the King. This cannot be tolerated.
Following this audacious comment, the King recruits the Prince to roll a ball – or Katamari – around, collect stuff on the ball and make the ball as large as possible in a specific time, so that the King can turn the Katamari into a star, and you can gain candies for a job well done. If you are still with us, you will be happy to know that the trip doesn’t end there, though that is the basic idea behind Touch My Katamari.
The King sends the Prince on different missions, most of which require players to roll up as much junk onto the Katamari as possible. From little coins to fully grown gorillas, everything can be picked up and the more you roll up, the bigger the Katamari gets. The bigger it gets the bigger the junk is that you can roll into the Katamari, and so on. Some stages offer some variation on challenges, such as collecting very specific junk, or sometimes a certain amount of items in the time limit, but the idea remains the same.
The game makes use of the Vita’s touch controls as you direct the Prince and Katamari around the levels by pushing it on the front touch pad, with other commands used by tapping the rear touchpad. It also gives the option of the standard controls if the touch controls are too much for you. All the control systems work well and the flow is seamless as you move through the environments.
While Touch My Katamari is an oddly enjoyable venture, it ends rather abruptly with just 13 missions to play through. It does offer some replayability with two alternative modes to try on the same levels, such as the Katamari Dash which reduces the time you have to work with, and the Endless mode, which lets you roll the ball until you have items coming out your eyeballs. There are also some extras in the form of collectibles such as curios and fans spread out through the levels in hidden places. You can also save up precious candies to buy new clothing for the King and Prince, song remixes and that sort of thing.
Touch My Katamari is a fun, if not spectacular game. The extra, irrelevant story that runs parallel with the main story is a humorous although unremarkable aspect of the game. The problem with Touch My Katamari is that the trip is one dimensional and over far too soon. It is well suited to the mobile gaming format, but lacks anything which would make it a worthy purchase unless you have cat instincts and simply cannot resist playing with a ball over and over again.