I Love Katamari iPhone, iPod Touch Review

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I love Katamari, I literally love it. From the second I experienced the combination of its collect everything mentality, unique art direction, and wonderfully mad soundtrack I knew that this game was something special.

That was back in 2004 however, and as with many a relationship, as the original game spawned more and more offspring it began to sag around the edges, and although the love was still there, it had become somehow less attractive. Sadly the iPhone incarnation of that uniquely refreshing 3D puzzler is not the installment to change any of this.

Once again suffering from the absence of designer Keita Takahashi, I Love Katamari is yet another reproduction of a concept that has been flogged to death. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s a perfectly reasonable recreation of the home console game. The tilt controls – although tricky to adapt to – work as would be expected, sometimes they feel a little too sensitive, but with an on-screen indicator similar to that found in Super Monkey Ball, it’s always made clear when the iPhone is being tilted in the wrong manner. Combined with several touch commands for strafing and quick 180 degree rolls, picking up items becomes a breeze.

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Despite some minor drops in frame-rate as the Katamari increases in size, it also looks absolutely stunning – especially considering the platform on which it’s running. But this is still Katamari, and little has changed outside of the rehashed soundtrack, forced dialogue and tagged on extra missions in an attempt to increase longevity.

These include the usual story mode – filled with nonsensical orders from the King of all Cosmos, a standard time attack mode, an exact size mode and an ‘eternal mode’ which allows you to roll for as long as you like without any limitations. All fine and dandy but with only five stages things become all too familiar, and this handful of extra game-modes feels little more than a means to stretch out the playing time to make it worth the fiver that they’re charging.

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I Love Katamari really comes across as nothing other than a replication of the Katamari experience with little to no additional thought or particular care in delivering something new to the series. As a result, this is a Katamari game solely for those fans who love Katamari Damacy so much that they really must have it everywhere they go.

It’s good at what it does, but then most of what it does has been done on four previous separate occasions. For how long this constant exploitation of the series can continue is anyone’s guess, but it looks as though the Katamari may finally be running out of steam.

6 out of 10
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