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Ok, this is one of the strangest games you will ever play - but also one of the most imaginative and most addictive as well. The Katamari games have become a cult classic, but despite this it is not a very well known game - and remains quite hard to find in most high-street game stores, if they stock it at all. The story: In the latest installment of the Katamari games - Katamari Forever - a strange event has occured causing all the stars to disappear from the sky, and the King of the Cosmos to fall into a coma after being hit on the head by an asteroid. Only to be replaced by a Robot King, when the King of the Cosmos wakes up, he has lost his memory. So it is up to the prince to roll up katamari to create new stars and planets, restore the Kings memory, collect all the presents and find all the cousins! (atleast I think thats the story, its so eclectic and rediculus its kind of hard to tell). Gameplay: The general aim of the game is to play as the Prince, and to roll up items into balls. The more items you roll up, the bigger your ball (or Katamari) gets and the wider range of items you can collect. There are two sets of stages, the normal stages under the King of the Cosmos and the stages under the Robo-King - smaller stages (mini levels), and on each level there are presents and cousins to collect. You often have some sort of mission to complete, such as collecting certain items (eg expensive things, sweet things), collecting a certain amount of items, obtaining a target size or simply making your Katamari as big as possible. The controls are easy to learn yet very hard to get the hang of, making sure you dont find the game too easy and get bored. Visuals and Soundtrack: This game is highly imaginative and very bright and colourful with an array of worlds and levels. The soundtrack is very strange yet catchy, and you find yourself singing or humming it for days afterwards. This is all out Japanese madness - exactly what you expect from such a game! My opinion: This is without a doubt the strangest yet most beautiful game you will ever play. It is highly addictive and you will find yourself craving to get home to play on it some more. The soundtrack is catchy yet bizarre at the same time, and the visuals are something to behold. Its all out madness and makes no sense what so ever - but this is all part of the charm! If, like me you are sick of the current games market and what it has to offer, give this game a try - you wont be disappointed.
The Katamari series has always been something of a cult classic that, rightly or wrongly, seems to fly under the radars of the mainstream press. The concept is truly one of a kind; you're pushing an ultra-sticky sphere that can pick up objects smaller than it. The more you pick up the bigger you get and mostly the goal is to get to a certain size within a time limit (with the occasional diversion to, say, pick up as many of a certain item as possible or as many different items as you can). It sounds silly but has made for some of the most addictive and downright fun experiences in recent video game history. So on to Katamari Forever. In this installment the King of All the Cosmos has gone and smacked his head on a passing meteor and it's up to our friend The Prince to get a substitute to fill in... only things don't exactly go to plan. This is essentially a 'best of' compilation of the series encompassing levels from Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari and Beautiful Katamari, with two all-new levels thrown in for good measure. If this seems a poor deal, bear in mind that Katamari Damacy never got an EU release and Beautiful Katamari was an XBox 360 exclusive so a great deal of the levels are brand new to your average PS-owning gamer in this region. Of course, there are a few additional tweaks, including the 'Prince Hop' that allows you to jump with the katamari (either by flicking the Dualshock controller up or, more practically, pressing the R2 button) and powerups that magnetise your katamari either for an instant or several seconds, making grabbing any hard-to-reach items that much easier. Completion of a level allows you to apply art filters to it when you return and while none of these make that much use of the PS3's grapic potential it makes for a fun little option anyway. And did I mention the soundtrack? Katamari Forever features all-new remixes of songs from the previous games and while I personally still prefer the original tunes your opinion may differ. The final addition I should mention is possibly the most important. There are potentially four modes to unlock. In addition to the basic game, you can also eventually play stages in Eternal mode (removes any time limits so you're free to go hunting for items you've missed for your collection), Classic mode (removes the new powerups and jumping abilities) and Drive mode, which is a double-speed hilarious frenzy where you barely get any time to react at all. These give it a great deal of replay value. In conclusion, then, this game contains more fun and replayability for your money than most. Your hardcore fan of the series may be a little disappointed with the lack of new content but if you don't already own all the previous games or are totally new to the series it's well worth adding to your collection.