we shall mark this day in history as the day the katamari became fully
self-aware. Touch My Katamari for Vita is aware that despite how delightful
rolling random objects into sticky balls can be for hours on end, the Katamari
series has been feeling a little stale as of late. To freshen in up, Touch My
Katamari uses the Vita's back touchpad to allow you to stretch and squish your
katamari into various advantageous shapes, thereby putting a new spin, if you
will, on the classic katamari gameplay.
Above: Wait for it…
But before we
get to how the new features work, let's back up for a second and talk about how
this katamari reinvention began. Our demo began with the opening cutscene, full
of gorgeously colorful art and typical katamari style, where the King of All
Cosmos eavesdropped on a young boy having a conversation with his parents. When
asked who was cooler – the King or his school principal – the youngster had
some difficulty, ultimately professing them to be of comparable coolness. As
cool as a principal? Truly, this must be rock bottom.
his status as the hippest dude in the universe, the King of All Cosmos sets out
to create a fresh new Katamari game to convert all the people into #1 Katamari
fans again. The overworld map is located on the King's tubular head, and each
stage is represented by a person who needs to be convinced that Katamari is
still cool. All the dialogue is goofy and self aware, and despite the King's
newly humbled position, he still dishes out the harsh love when grading your
performance on each level.
with a young lady's level, an area full of girly accoutrement and the usual
katamari randomness. To change the shape of the katamari, we first swiped our
fingers from the center of the back touchpad to the edges, forming a rolling
pin shape. With greater surface area touching the ground, we were able to
accumulate objects more quickly, covering areas in a single pass that would
have taken several rolls to clean up as a regular sphere.
tapping the back of the Vita returns the katamari to normal shape, which still
comes in handy quite often – in the levels we played, there was no need to
reshape the katamari if we didn't feel like it. Making the opposite motion by
swiping our fingers inward toward the center of the back touchpad, the katamari
squished up into a tall wheel form This way, we were able to zoom up and down
ramps much faster and squeeze into narrow alleys to collect extra stuff.
the Vita-specific features, Touch My Katamari still very much feels like a
traditional Katamari game, which is great news if you're a fan of that
aesthetic and general silliness like we are. The dual analog sticks on the Vita
work perfectly for controlling the katamari too, unlike the single stick woes of Me
& My Katamari for PSP. We're definitely excited to see what surprises we'll
be able to roll up when Touch My Katamari releases at Vita's launch – look for
our full review then.