A Katamari by Any Other Name

With the King of the Cosmos under some strange influence all the stars in the sky have been destroyed, and it is his son’s (The Prince) job to fix everything!

Almost fifteen years passing since the original release on the PlayStation 2, Katamari Damacy gets an HD re-release on the Nintendo Switch. While this won’t be Katamari’s first console change, it will be the first time on Nintendo’s main console. Reroll is available in both physical and digital forms with a launch price of $29.99 USD plus tax.

Most notable is the update to the graphics; a full HD makeover was given not only to in-game graphics, but to all the cut scenes as well. There is a bit more roundness to some characters, as the Prince seems less edgy in better resolution, but retains some familiar jerky motions while adding more vibrant lush colors.

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The controls are usable and by no means inhibit game play from the original. However, they feel a bit less coordinated having smaller knobs and they are separated considerably more than when the original concept was conceived. Having the Joy-Cons free of the console seems to be the way to go unless the pro controller is available, which handles a little closer to the original game. A two-player mode is also available in split screen versus, and a local co-op mode that unfortunately I did not try.

As far as game play goes, it’s the original map out. Notable features, such as the ability to jump, that became popular in some of the sequels aren’t present. This could be to keep the levels a challenge as they were originally meant to be challenged, but it did take some adjustment not having a jump and a less forgiving speed roll.

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Listening to the game was a joy as always, with the game’s distinct soundtrack along with its charmingly quirky sound effects, Katamari ReRoll is a game that absolutely must be played with the original music. Every stage the track can start off as a relaxing start to a round and adding to the frantic disposition of only being only a few cm short while the timer ticks down to the limit.

The only disappoint with audio was a personal one, as there is no option to have the side videos in English like they were on the PlayStation release. Although I fully support exposure to the Japanese culture that inspired this gem of a game, the original English dubs were hilarious to listen to, and I wish there was an option to turn them on.

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Conclusively, this game is a gem even fourteen years after its launch. With a low price for a HD re-release of a gem with good replay-ability, this game is a great grab for either fans of the series or newcomers looking for a relaxing and quirky game.

Pros:
-The updates are an eye to behold.
-It feels right to have this title on the Switch.

Cons:
-Slightly inferior control handling.
-Missing features from other sequels may take a small adjustment from those who haven’t played the original in a while.

Final Score: 4 out of 5

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