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Katamari Depressy

October 15, 2009

Picked up Katamari Forever. Bought it sight unseen. Not a single review read. Not a single screenshot viewed. Naaaaaaaaaaaada.

And, well, I probably should have done some measure of “research.” But not for the reasons you’d expect.

I was able to play the game for roughly 10 minutes. In that time, I was able to gawk at the retooled graphics. The regular levels look almost like an impressionistic painting. Or a crayon drawing. Either way, they’re pretty impressive. Yeah, the levels were rehashes of old levels, but the game works these “greatest hits” levels into the plot with much awesomeness.

Turns out that The King of All Cosmos gets an asteroid-induced case of amnesia while trying to train Prince in the magnanimous, magnificent art of jumping. King, in his glorious kindness, shows Prince the proper way to jump. In the process, King runs smack dab into a passing asteroid, and the resulting collision leaves King a shell of his former, royally regal self.

With the universe without its God-like fatherly figure, God’s son Prince and his Cousin disciples construct a replacement king:

ROBOKING!

But this mechanical messiah is a false god. An Anti-King. Immediately upon his creation, he goes berserk and wrecks havoc across the cosmos. In moments, all of the stars in the sky are destroyed. Again. And Prince must recreate the sky. Again.

You could say that Katamari Forever is the series’ equivalent to Revelations.

How this ties into the rehashed levels? Not only do you have to rebuild the cosmos, meaning you have to replay old levels to rebuild the old stars, you have to venture into King’s subconscious and roll up memories in order to restore his mind to its former glory. These flashback scenes play out in black and white, and as you roll up stuff the black and white slowly fades away to reveal color. It’s a pretty clever way of visually representing this stuff.

All of this sounds quite awesome, does it not? Yeah, it is. The game was great for those 10 minutes. Like I said, the graphics were wonderful. The music consisted of remixes of songs from previous games. What few remixes I heard worked fairly well, although I’m sure I prefer the originals. Still, absolutely nothing wrong with hearing some alternative takes on groovy tunes.

Then the game crashed.

At first the game just froze. So I rebooted and restarted. It happened again. Reboot. This time the game didn’t get past the intro sequence (a snazzy remix of the original theme). Reboot. Now the game won’t even start. That little disc thingie in the top corner just spins round and round like a deranged merry-go-round. Nothing.

To make matters worse, my PS3 won’t play any other games. Nor bluray discs. DVDs work, for whatever reasons, but nothing bluray-based works.

The only “logical” conclusion: When rolling up stuff, I rolled up my PS3 and CRUSHED its soul, killing all of its capacity to run bluray discs. Either that or there’s some mundane internal problem with my PS3. But I’m leaning towards the first theory.

A shame, because the game was shaping up to be pretty fun.

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