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Namco's Bizarre Object Conglomeration Game Rated

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the keep-rolling dept.

PlayStation (Games) 42

Thanks to Game Science for its review of Namco's extremely odd PlayStation 2 game, Katamari Damacy, recently released in Japan. The game's premise involves fixing your father the King's drunken heaven-trashing exploits by "...collecting a load of junk from Earth, rolling it into clumps, and sending it up into the Cosmos to make stars." The gameplay is also distinctly unconventional: "Starting with a clump no bigger than the Prince himself, you must roll around the deepest crevices [MPEG link] of a house, picking up tiny things like drawing pins, moving up to Shogi tiles and batteries", before moving all the way up to "picking up giant octopi and huge monsters." The reviewer ends by noting: "A European release can't be ruled out, but a US release seems very unlikely. It's likely to become hot property when word spreads of its goodness, so I recommend a quick purchase if you're teetering on the brink of buying it."

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Good lord! (-1, Flamebait)

arfonrg (81735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731575)

That has got to be the dumbest looking game I have ever seen.

Meanwhile . . . (-1, Offtopic)

Momomoto (118483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731604)

Namco's servers start looking a little like stars (ie. super-heated balls of gas) when hordes of avid Slashdot readers all attempt to simultaneously download a 10-megabyte MPEG file at once.

ATTN Moderators (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8732236)

This isn't what the Redundant tag is supposed to be used for. KTHX.

Soooo.... (-1, Troll)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731624)

I watched the video. Its a moving around game? Is this of a certain genre that the Japanese love or something? All I see is a game world and a method of locomotion. Where's the fun button?

This is slashdot so surely someone out there loves importing games and can shed more light here.

Re:Soooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8732057)

Yes, don't worry Mike Hawk, the rest of us aren't worthy of your elite gaming perspective. Yes, it's a moving around game. Yes, there is a 3D game world and a method of moving in it. It's far too simplistic and not 'fun' for you at all. Please don't waste any time thinking about it, it's okay, don't worry. Those Japanese are retards for ever making such a sorry game. We're all terribly sorry and will try to come up with something that will sate your intellectual desires as soon as possible.

What. A. Fucking. Cock.

Re:Soooo.... (0, Flamebait)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732262)

Wow, someone certainly is being defensive. Maybe you should've tried answering his legitimate questions.

Rob

Re:Soooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8735372)

Umm yeah, defensive... cause y'know, I wrote the game, and work for Namco, and Namco is currently holding my family hostage until this game gets mega sales, dude.

If you can't take a game for what it is, and have some fun with it, then somewhere along the line you lost it. What 'it' is, I don't know. But you lost it.

Light (4, Insightful)

August_zero (654282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8733230)

It looks like a bit of a puzzle game to me. Obviously I am not on the design team so I can't say for sure, but I would imagine that the difficulty of the game would hinge on beating time limits or being able to solve puzzles/defeat enemies. The size of the ball is continually growing and things that might hurt or kill you at one size would actually be "food" once you were big enough to absorb it (I could say a Microsoft simulator if I wanted to seize an obvious pun) Its merit would hinge on whether the game play and level design keeps in interesting after the aesthetic appeal of crushing the world under a ball of garbage wears off.

I think it looks like it could be entertaining, it is at least a unique idea for a game, and for as much as a lot of people constantly complain that there are no new ideas in the gaming industry, I have to say that I am surprised how quickly people are ready to try and nab that +1 funny by making some smarmy comment about a game they can't immediately classify and pigeon-hole. Wait a second no I'm not.

Re:Light (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8735148)

I have the game, and you're right. The game isn't really difficult, but it is a lot of fun, and things which are so big that running into them knocks pieces of your ball off eventually become pieces you can pick up. And don't knock the aesthetic appeal. I don't think of it so much as "crushing" as "collecting", but it's damn fun when you get big enough to pick up things like Godzilla. Plus the designers had a great deal of imagination regarding the things that you pick up (though if you're unfamiliar with Japanese culture, a whole lot of it may be lost on you).

Re:Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8744864)

Did you import the game?

If so through who and how much did it run you?

Re:Light (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8754688)

No, sorry, I live in Japan...

Re:Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8759338)

One can see your smirk from the other side of the world! The apology just makes it all the more visible.

Sigh, I wish I could be the same way in Paris, but then I wouldn't be smirking at technology nerds, I'd only have boring, artsy, cultured folks to snicker at.

One step back towards reality (1, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731634)

This is coming from a country which makes dating sims. This sort of gameplay is a step back towards reality.

On a more serious note, to be honest the game just looks like a largely expanded version of Animal Crossing's being able to make a snowman. Not very creative with that said. (Basicly what you did in Animal Crossing was start with a snowball and roll it around until it was big enough for the bottom, the middle, and the head part of a snowman.)

Re:One step back towards reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8732499)

On a more serious note, to be honest the game just looks like a largely expanded version of Animal Crossing's being able to make a snowman. Not very creative with that said. (Basicly what you did in Animal Crossing was start with a snowball and roll it around until it was big enough for the bottom, the middle, and the head part of a snowman.)

Yeah, that's pretty fucking original to Animal Crossing. I've NEVER made a real snowman that way.

Smacktard.

Re:One step back towards reality (1, Offtopic)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8733010)

This is coming from a country which makes dating sims. This sort of gameplay is a step back towards reality.

Just because dating and reality fail to intersect in you own personal life, my friend, don't be so quick to assume such things of others.

a US release (2, Funny)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731773)

is not advised. The people are likely to copycat the game and stick things like pins and other sharp objects into themselves.

Oh wait...

Re:a US release (2, Funny)

ajutla (720182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732058)

Or worse. Consider: Due consideration should also be given to people - your primary enemy, and also your main source of clump fodder in later levels. Can you imagine the social problems this would cause? We'd have kids trying to roll over people and crush them into massive blobs, then ignite them into stars! Ye gods!

Re:a US release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8732091)

Oh wait... ? Wait for what? For you to get a fucking sense of humour? No thanks!

Oh wait...

As seen at GDC (3, Informative)

Anm (18575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731830)

The developer of the game presented at GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Personally, I'd love to try the game out. It looks like a lot of fun.

For everyone else wondering where the fun is, it's probably no different than Super Mario Brothers (collect stuff/coins on a level within a time limit), but of course the mechanics are vastly different. It should be noted that the arrange of stuff on the ball changes how it rolls. E.g., a pencil sticking out of the side will make it difficult to turn. That and the ball grows in level, making it possible to roll over large objects by accomulating small objects.

Anm

Re:As seen at GDC (1)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732639)

For everyone else wondering where the fun is, it's probably no different than Super Mario Brothers (collect stuff/coins on a level within a time limit), but of course the mechanics are vastly different.

So, it's a lot like Mario, except completely different?

P.S. I watched the mpg. When the big ball of stuff began picking up buildings, I was thinking, "How does this ball keep its momentum?"

Re:As seen at GDC (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8733503)

His point was that the best games usually have simple mechanics.

"How does this ball keep its momentum?"

If I had to guess, I'd say that it's because it's IN A VIEO GAME. Then again, that's only the blindingly obvious answer and I may be missing something. ;-)

Re:As seen at GDC (1)

Anm (18575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8739266)

"Mechanics" has a specific meaning in game design, relating to the actions users can perform. So yes, the mechanics are "completely different", but the psychological reward structure, or "fun", of the game is very similar.

Anm

Re:As seen at GDC (1)

tyroney (645227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8740215)

If you watch, there's a little green man pushing it around. (Seriously!) By about half way through the movie, he's barely noticable. (because the ball's gotten so lart)

Watch the MPEG (1)

Tofino (628530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731870)

Clicking that MPEG is HIGHLY advised. I've never been more motivated to buy an import game. I actually cheered (quietly) when the parking sign went up.

Re:Watch the MPEG (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731920)

Better yet...watch the wacky commercial:

http://www.playstation.jp/ch/cm/index.html

Second from the top on the right.

Re:Watch the MPEG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8732148)

Is there any way to cache/save these streams? I'm using Windows Media Player.

Re:Watch the MPEG (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8734185)

This page [emoney.al.ru] has a list of programs that will let you do that.

Warning. (2, Funny)

ajutla (720182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732013)

Do not actually attempt to roll around and collect things as is done in the MPEG, no matter how fun it looks. Not only will attempting this likely be painful, it might get you in trouble with the law and would also probably be very, very embarassing.

Who thought of this? (2, Funny)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732278)

Because Pikmin just isn't weird enough.

Misreading 101 (1)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732863)

The phrase...
...King's drunken heaven-trashing exploits...
...misread as...
...King's drunken heaving trashing exploits...
...leads to the conclusion...

. o O (Great! Finally someone decided to make a game about Elvis' frat-house years!)

i played this game (3, Informative)

sonatinas (308999) | more than 10 years ago | (#8733075)

When you get to the last level you get so big that u can roll over clouds and gods. THe soundtrack is very catchy and is available online at various places. The game can be beaten in a few hours though, but the replay value is in getting better at certain objectives such as getting a bear for a constellation. You can get any bear, but u want to get the big bear; however the whole stage is filled with bears. You also get presents.

Re:i played this game (1)

tyroney (645227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8740247)

You don't egt big, the ball you're rolling gets big. While the ball isn't too huge, you can barely make out the little green figure rolling it around.

I want this game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8733551)

yes, I am serious. But then again I spend my days designing videogames, so what do I know?

Thanks regional games... (1)

eyeball (17206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8733577)

I guess I'll have to wait a few years for Moore's law, and a PS2 emulator becomes available for my 18ghz G6 Powerbook.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8733758)

Starting with a clump no bigger than the Prince himself, you must roll around the deepest crevices...

Wow, the troll's don't have to work very hard on this one.

Translation (2, Informative)

spood (256582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8734112)

So, katamari translates roughly to "lump", "cluster", or "ball", but does anyone have any idea what Damacy means?

Re:Translation (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8734238)

does anyone have any idea what Damacy means?

Maybe it means "Beowulf".

Hmmmm. A Beowulf cluster of trash?

Re:Translation (3, Informative)

jetfuel (755102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8734422)

Damacy is a whimsical romanization of "damashii", which is in turn a modification of "tamashii". Voicing the t, thus turning it into a d, makes it sound better when compounded with another word. Thus, Katamari Damashii, "Cluster Spirit".

Re:Translation (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8735141)

Exactly.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8741337)

Exactly.

Damn fun (2, Informative)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8735171)

Unfortunately, the review has been slashdotted, so I can't tell what it says, but my impressions so far are:

It's a short game. You can definitely finish it the same day you bought it.

However, it's also a damn fun game, in a very simple, straightforward way. Controls are extremely simple (left and right thumbsticks and L3/R3 (clicking the thumbsticks) only). There are only three basic game goal types: Collect as much stuff as you can, collect as much of one type of thing as you can, and get as big as you can before collecting a certain type of object.

The music is great. Like a laid-back JSRF.

The game tries to be cute, and it works.

And the only big problem I can see with exporting it to other countries is the sheer amount of Japanese stuff that you pick up:
  • Japanese toilets
  • Pachinko machines
  • Grand Opening wreath decoration things
  • Kotatsu tables
  • Those gold fish used as roof decorations
  • Yanki kids
  • Bosozoku motorcycles and cars
  • Daruma dolls
  • Festival shrines
  • Doll's day decorations
  • New Years cards
  • Elementary school kid's backpacks (Randoseru)
  • Geta sandals
  • The god of thunder
  • Kintaro, giant bear wrester

And on and on and on and on.

(And boy is it awkwards to write a list of things that don't exist in the target language. Can't really translate, but can't really leave the words as-is).

So how do I get it, netflix style? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8862673)

I currently get games mailed to me, Netflix-style, by TriggerFingers. (I have tried Gplay/GoVoJo, GameFly, TurboGamer, and RedOctane, but Triggerfingers really is the best and offers a 5-games-at-once plan for $30.)

How do I get JAPANESE games mailed to me Netflix-style? I have a modchip so region encoding is not an issue. There are many japanese games I would like to try that I simply cannot get (Fantavision 2).

Anyone?

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