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Katamari Damacy

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Released: 2003

Genre: Adventure

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

If there’s one thing that we can be truly thankful for, it’s the fact that gaming enjoys – by and large – a global market now. Sure, you’ll get the odd regional exclusives, but rarely do you feel like you’re truly missing out on the fun by not importing. That wasn’t the case even as recently as 2003, though. We can’t count the number of times we’d see a beautiful preview of a PS2 game like Monster Hunter, only for it to fail to release on these shores.

One of those games was the delightfully bizarre Katamari Damacy, a game in which The King Of All Cosmos breaks the night sky, then tasks you with rolling up Earth’s objects in order to repopulate it with stars. In order to do this, you’ve got to identify which objects can be added to your Katamari – if they’re too big, you can’t roll them up until you increase the size of your Katamari. Once you’ve reached the designated size, within the time limit of course, the level ends. This is complicated by not only the tank-style controls you need to deal with, but moving objects like animals that populate each stage. The fun of the game mechanics is only enhanced by the bright and blocky visuals, and the quirky personality of the King.

It sounds excellent, doesn’t it? And that’s why it’s so annoying that it didn’t get released in Europe, forcing us to perform a rather ugly region mod job on our PS2 and buy it via Lik-Sang.