Katamari PSP mini-review

This is a mini-reivew because I’m still early in the game. So far the level design, music, and little world you access levels from are very cool. Much more reminiscent of Katamari Damacy in style, than We Love Katamari. The king blathers on as always, but since I can’t read Japanese, no idea what he’s saying, I’ll just assume its hilariously trippy. However the controls are seriously shit, not because of the limitations of the PSP, but because the button assignments were chosen by a sadist.

So, about the controls. They basically treat the the D-pad and the four face buttons as the two analog sticks in the PS2 version. So you press D-pad Up and Triangle to roll forwards. If you press d-pad Left and Square, he strafes sideways to the left and so on. The problem comes when trying to turn. For some unfathomable reason the buttons to rotate around your katamari are the d-pad Up, d-pad Down, Triangle and X. Huh? I don’t understand why they aren’t using d-pad Left, Right, Square and Circle for rotating. After some major struggling, I realised that the the shoulder buttons also handle turning, so I can keep Up and Triangle pressed to roll forwards, while pressing either L or R to turn as I roll. Sounds good, except that L makes the katamari turn left, and R makes it turn right. This seems logical enough, but I think this the equivalent of having the ‘invert mouselook’ option off in an FPS. I keep pressing R when I want to turn left, because I would be rotating myself to the right of the katamari, in order to turn it left. That may just be me being a freak, but after 30 minutes or so of continually turning in the wrong direction I got fed up and switched off. I will go back to it tomorrow, perhaps with the aid of some alcohol.

Any word on a US release? It isn’t in Gamestop’s system yet.