Beautiful Katamari (2007)

Man, where to start with Beautiful Katamari….

I remember when this game came out, I was excited because it was on a modern console, so it was going to be in “HD”. I remember playing the demo, but never buying it, I think the controls just confused me just enough for me to play the demo and be good. So when I bought it in February of 2019 to continue on my Katamari journey, I was excited and also learned that I did have a save from about an hour or two into the game with a save date of September 2008.

What you get with Beautiful Katamari might as well be labeled a demo because the game itself is insanely short. Barely longer than the first game, but somehow with much less content. The game is “fine” if you get it for free. But to pay the $20 asking price for a digital version made me disappointed with what I got. It is a very lite version of Katamari for the Xbox crowd. There is one level dedicated to collecting luxury items and Xbox 360s are littered throughout, which was a fun nod to the 360 exclusive. But to make this a full fledged game, one that came out 2 full years AFTER the PSP game… It’s just kinda a slap in the face to fans. There is just so little content, and what there IS, is not very good. The levels are the same structure that you have had in the other games, the music is absolutely awful (in comparison to the other games) and it repeats the story of the first game, but somehow even worse. It has none of the charm or crazy japanese culture of the originals and it just is kinda all over the place in terms of quality.

Beautiful Katamari feels like a game that was hap-hazardly slapped together to make a quick buck off of the good will of the franchise for Xbox users that didn’t own a PS2. Everything about it is of lesser quality than the original PS2 and even the PSP games. The game is bogged down by massive frame rate and slow-down issues that the system should have no trouble overcoming in seemingly random areas. The layout of the hub world is confusing as the game doesn’t tell you where to go next, and your movement is so slow that it makes it a chore to explore at all.

This has been a very disappointing game coming from playing the other original games in the series chronologically. Beautiful Katamari is definitely the low point in the series so far. If I had been coming from a background of never playing the originals and bought this because of the word of mouth from others about the PS2 game, I would enjoy it more, but still be baffled as to why everyone loves it so much. As it stands alone, it’s a very mediocre game, but putting it side by side with the originals, this is one that everyone should roll far away from.