Na, Na, Na...The nostalgic music plays as this new, yet familiar game starts up. Katamari Tribute is the newest game in the Katamari series for the Playstation 3. The King of the Cosmos has been hit on the head by some celestial body and now suffers from amnesia. During the accident, the King has also made a mess of things in the universe and now it is up to you to clean it up. To help fill the void of “cluelessness” in the King of the Cosmos, the Prince and his cousins, played by you as always, decide to build a robotic King of the Cosmos, who gives out missions to complete.
Katamari Tribute is straightforward and easy to pick up game. As the Prince of the Cosmos, you have to roll up all the junk in the world in order to replace the stars in the sky, which the King has conveniently destroyed. The controls are fairly simple to grasp; you roll the Katamari ball with both analog sticks. Something new to the series is the ability to use the Sixaxis Motion Sensor to flip your Katamari into the air. This feature is known as the “Prince Hop." Another new feature is the “King Shock,” which adds a glowing object in each level. If you roll up one of these King Shocks, it will allow your Katamari to suck up all of the surrounding objects nearby quickly like a magnet. This is helpful when you are in a tight situation. Like all Playstation 3 games, trophies as well as special Playstation Home items, such as t-shirts of the prince and his cousins for your avatar, are unlockable. Though it is a bit disappointing, as most players hardly ever log into Home ethier way.
Wow, I can really see the heart that went into this game
Interestingly, as you roll up more objects, your Katamari will also continue to grow and you can eventually pick up even larger objects including the stars in the sky.
As the first Katamari game on the Playstation 3, Katamari Tribute is colorful and gorgeous in full HD with many creative visuals. While the graphics aren’t ground breaking, the game has a unique whimsical look that fans have come to expect from the Katamari series. The newest graphical feature that Namco Bandai has introduced to this series is the ability to choose among different graphical filters including cell-shading, wood grain, or pencil shades. There are some levels that starts off in black and white, and as you roll up different objects, they obtain their color. This is helpful when you are unsure whether or not you can roll up certain objects in a level. The graphics in this game are fun too look at and it’s nice to see that Namco Bandai kept this same graphics style that we have come to love from the Katamari series.
The biggest thing that stood out in the game in terms of sound are the numerous Japanese pop and rock music that the game employs to deliver that joyful, uplifting ambiance. Many of the tracks from the previous games reappear as nostalgic remixes, hence the title “Katamari Tribute.” A jukebox option in the menu allows players to listen to the music at any time. In this mode, the prince’s cousins are in a club dancing to the songs while the prince is on the turntables.
While the music in the Katamari series has always been excellent, you still have those weird dialogue “scratching” sounds when the King of Cosmos speaks. Alternatively, you get a new “robot” like sound when you talk to the new Robot King.
While Katamari Tribute is a fun game to play and visually appealing, the game lacks any online multiplayer capabilities, unlike it’s predecessor, Beautiful Katamari for the Xbox 360. The only online functionality offered is the ability to check leaderboards. Local cooperative play is available, where you and a friend both help the King of the Cosmos by pushing and pulling on the same Katamari ball. This can be difficult at times because of the precise cooperation needed between players. We can only hope for a downloadable multiplayer feature coming to the Playstation Network.
Disregarding the absence of online multiplay, there is still much to appreciate from Katamari Tribute. The game is very reminiscent to older Katamari games, but is still enjoyable to play. It will keep players busy, constantly pushing them to achieve a better score.