Looks like it’s time to roll up absolutely everything once more then. Read on for PlayStation Universe’s We Love Katamari ReRoll Review for PS5.
We Love Katamari ReRoll Review (PS5) – On Another Roll
In Katamari Damacy, a consistent theme of the action was how much you seriously did not impress the King of All Cosmos. He was incredibly dismissive of his son, the character that the player controlled, and generally a bit of an egocentric git despite the fact he sent the universe out of whack and got his son to clean up the mess.
It’s almost unsurprising that in the sequel, set in the aftermath of the first game, sees the King take the credit for the Prince’s hard work, and humanity generally agrees with that. So We Love Katamari is an encore. The hard work is done and now you gotta do more just because that’s what people want and the King is extremely keen to pander to the sycophantic whims of his adoring public.
Rolling up the world is fun. It’s the whole damn point of Katamari in fact. This series is among the most delightfully absurd things I’ve ever played and its daftness is an endearing quality.
But you are left to sort of wonder why the Prince even bothers when he gets no credit and plenty of talking down to. Even the people of Earth are in on the act this time.
But tucked within this remaster is a side story and bonus levels that examine the King’s relationship with his own father. It’s pretty corny and obvious storytelling (strict and demanding father had a strict and demanding father), but the payoff is actually very sweet. And gives a bit of explanation for the cycle of wanting to please a parent no matter how they treat you.
The Roll of the People
I didn’t think I’d be kicking off a review about a Katamari game talking about the story, but there you are. It’s one of many improvements We Love Katamari made over its predecessor. The simple yet highly entertaining premise of rolling up small things with a ball in order to roll up bigger things with that ball is expanded upon in a series of novel ways this time out.
As alluded to before, this time you’re not doing the King’s bidding directly, but instead taking on the requests of humanity. Naturally, these are an odd selection of requests. Arguably more deranged than the previous game in fact. A puny Sumo wrestler who needs to eat enough to squash his much bigger rival.
There’s a surprisingly meta vein running through We Love Katamari as Katamari Damacy is constantly referenced as a ‘popular video game’ and many want to either experience that joy again or find out what all the fuss was about.
I found this aspect quite amusing because it turns that dry scorn of the King of All Cosmos inward and picks holes in the game being liked and loved in a self-deprecating manner. The bar tends to be set even higher for demands this time too. Even going above and beyond what is expected of you in a request can still see you met with underwhelmed responses.
It’s a little disheartening at times, but it’s not really meant to be the true judgement of your Katamari-creating skills, just another way of getting across the high standards the King and his subjects have.
Rolling in a Different Direction
The levels take on a familiar feel to those in Katamari Damacy, but with the new twists on what you have to do peppering the setup, it feels a lot more varied and interesting than before. There’s less of a straight structure for when you take on a level, and there’s second bites of the cherry to be had in many of them once you’ve finished the first objective. Controlling the Katamari is still the same mix of frustration and elation.
The fiddly nature of navigating the Katamari in tight spaces is slightly less obvious this time, and I still find it to be part of the charm, but on a couple of levels (especially the light a fire one) the lumbering turning circle got on my nerves in crucial moments.
The beauty of Katamari is that those moments are fleeting and replaced by joy pretty quickly. Each stage is packed with strange little sights that make ‘exploring’ them such a rewarding task. I’ve seen so many Katamari stages at this point that it should have lost some of its allure.
But no, it’s still just as funny as ever to see weird stuff like a cat in a snorkel mask or having a race against prams.
The Royal Reverie mode adds a few extra levels where you play as the King when he was younger, and these stages have special speed requirements. It’s a nice bunch of extra levels to have, even if they tend to just be rehashes of ones in We Love Katamari’s main campaign.
I Love Katamari
I have a greater nostalgic fondness for Katamari Damacy, but We Love Katamari is undoubtedly the better overall game. Even if it was just more of the same I would have been happy, but this sequel is chock-full of new and interesting additions and tweaks to the formula.
We Love Katamari ReRoll is now available on PS5 and PS4.
Review code generously provided by publisher.