220: Katamari Absurdity

Katamari Absurdity

There's funny-funny, there's funny-weird and then there's Katamari Damacy, a psychedelic swirl of the two. Brendan Main dives deep into the absurdist humor of Namco's gleeful ball-rolling title and finds the game's biggest joke may be on the players themselves.

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A great way to celebrate the NA launch of Katamari Forever!

truly a good game.
no need to try and figure it out, just go with it.

First of all, you've written the best in-depth analysis of Katamari Damacy I've ever read, so well done, and for the love of all that is good and insane, keep writing for The Escapist.

What I really liked about this article is that it reveals the surprising amount of depth the Katamari games have kept hidden from us for so long. While most gamers dismiss it as another of "Japan's Trippy Games," I never realized that this game had so many sides (no pun intended.)

This reads like a love poem to katamari damacy. Royal Rainbow!

Probably one of my all time favorite series of games (while they don't differ too much they have remained consistently comforting; the only flop being the psp attempt) and it's good to see it get some well deserved hype especially with the new installment arriving.
Katamari Damacy was the first game I bought for my ps2 and it was one of the reasons I got one in the first place.

The absurdist pull for me always came from the jab at collection quests (hidden packages and such) but with this your expected to collect everything and the best reward you can expect when your done is a belittling rant which I think I might appreciate more than the chopper in gta4.

But I think what I always appreciated about Katamari is the universal appeal and open simplicity of it. It's a very easy game to pick up and pretty challenging to master. It's one of those games you can still play when you're too wasted to play anything else.
Yea it's hard to believe that no contraband was involved in the creation of this series.

Wow, great read, definitely one of the most thought provoking articles I've seen yet on The Escapist. I absolutely love Katamari, it's that off kilter, absurdist variety and humor that makes the game so much fun for me. It's funny, it looks good, it's clever, and goddamn it's fun

This has got to be one of the best assessments of Katamari Damacy ever. Keep writing articles!

Sometimes you play the game, and sometimes the game plays you - delicious.

I'm always trying to make interconnecting stories for the things I roll up. Like the old lady after the cat and the tree--I'm just helping her out!
Then making a planet out of her.

Great article of a great game.

Kinda interesting that the Katamari picture used contains the old imperialist Japanese flag in the top right corner. Is this a Western promo pic? Most Japanese people don't like to see the old flag as it's a painful reminder of their past. Except to rapid nationalists of course. They like it! :) Not as bad as swastikas are to Germans but along the same lines...

Isnt it from Japan though? I think he is just thinking too hard.

I think one of the best satisfactions in katamari is when u roll over a bunch of things, and then hearing the rapid squishie noises that follows. And when u see a new island of stuff, u go OMG COOKIES!!! or when u go terrorizing the locals and going IM GONNA EAT U IM GONNA EAT U, then a tank rolls its way and ur not big enough, u go awwwww... gonna eat u later.

btw, did anyone notice the amount of giant mushrooms in the game? The designers like mushrooms a bit too much to be legal... :O

Katamari Damacy s one of my all-time favorite games, and easily the most insane one I own.
You did an amazing job on this article. I never put that much thought into the game. I guess I got used to it and just went with the flow....but after reading your article, I have to look at it in a new light. There is (at least the possibility of) so much more to this hgame than I imagined!

My god. I never looked at Kamatari that way. This article is beautiful.

Perhaps the reason I love Katamari is that it doesn't try to be anything more than it is, simple ,arbitrary fun.
I have never thought about what I could make into a Katamari in real life though, that would be very strange.

Hahaha and I thought I pondered too much about this game. Great read!

And my 8-year-old brother says he hates the PS2!

I'ma go out and get this for him just to get him to stop asking to play my 360.

Thanks, folks, for the kind words.

Anyone interested in the premise of Katamari Damacy should check out this short interview with Katamari's game director, Keita Takahashi.

http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/blog/content/kdpostmort.htm

Takahashi goes over what he thinks the team got right and fell short on, and is actually quite blunt about the process. In it, he describes how the game came to him first as an idea while walking around town, and from that concept the design followed suit. It's interesting to note how this fidelity is referred to as 'singular' - as if all his philosophy of gaming rolled up into a single game.

Katamari scares me. Little green guy rolling shit up to JPop music. /scared
Did anyone ever call child services when the king decided to shoot lasers out of his eyes at the prince for faling at making a katamari big enough?

The last Katamari game I played had a bit of a brutal time limit on each level which resulted in me barely scraping through the first few levels before giving up. It became more about frustration than enjoyment, though I hear previous versions didnt have the tight deadlines so I may play one of them sometime.

so, its like the wonderful end of the world? someone please correct me if im wrong.

 

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