Touch My Katamari ReviewRando Evans
Oh Katamari, for some reason even though you are the most basic, oddest game in the world, you've kept me addicted for years on end. Now that you've gone portable, there is only one choice, and that is to purchase you and play you. Even though your series has been done over and over, again and again, here I am, pushing a giant ball of junk around enjoying it immensely. But every so often I stop and think: can't there be more to life than this? With the release of Touch My Katamari (the newest installment of the franchise for the PS Vita) I think that the Katamari series is starting to ask itself that exact same question.
For those who need some education on the subject of Katamari, the premises of these games is simple: you roll a giant stick ball around a map (called Katamari), the ball touches things, picks them up, becomes larger, and then you push the ball some more, collect more things, and it gets even bigger. You keep doing it over and over again until you get your ball to the desired size before the set time expires.
And for some reason I've been doing this across various sequels for many years...
So why do I even bother? Well... it's hard to say. It really is. Touch My Katamari plays out exactly the same as its predecessors but it does do one thing differently (and that's saying a lot in this series), the rear touchpad can be used to stretch and flatten your Katamari in order for you to manipulate it so you can (you guessed it...) pick up more junk.
So this all doesn't sound so bad, right? You love Katamari and this is just more of the Katamari you love with a slight change. Well, exactly... that's exactly what it is. No matter how different Katamari may feel with the ability to manipulate your Katamari, Touch My Katamari still feels like the exact same game, but now you can play it on the plane, on a lunch break, or in the bathtub (if that's your thing).
The story of Touch My Katamari is as wacky and obtuse as the rest of the series and to be honest, it matters very little. At least you'll see the familiar faces and hear the familiar voices of the past Katamari games so fans won't have to worry about anything changing drastically. If you know the Katamari story arc, then this game will wrap it up for you.
That makes Touch My Katamari perfect for two types of gamers: Katamari fans that are ready to take Katamari anywhere they go, and newcomers to the series who are ready to experience it for the first time. Those hoping for a new Katamari game that will impress them with all sorts of cool new mechanics will be out of luck. With a bunch of recycled content from other Katamari games, there isn't much new to see here. The saddest part of it all? Touch My Katamari ends after just an hour of gaming. With the short length and minimal extras content - there just isn't enough to save Touch My Katamari for most gamers who have already played Katamari a dozen or more times.
At least Touch My Katamari plays out in full uniquely beautiful classic Katamari graphic and design. These haven't changed much over the years and now, at this point, seem to be wearing thin. The game has a precise response from the Vita's buttons and touch screens so at least you won't suffer from bad and wonky controls.
Regardless of its repetitive, unchanging nature, Touch My Katamari has charm, and even if there could have been a lot more done as far as multiplayer connectivity and taking the Katamari series to all new heights, most gamers are not going to complain that they are getting the same old reliable entertainment in a portable form.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.