Monday, May 3, 2010

I wanna roll you up! (お前を丸めたい!)

For all of you lovely readers who are interested: your host is the official recipient of the 2010 Pomona College Japanese thesis prize. Not only am I entertaining, I'm academically decorated!

Oh, aren't you just thrilled to pieces.

Anyway. We have discussed my status as a video game nerd, correct?

As such, I decided that hey, why not throw some video game reviews into the mix?

Of course, it goes without saying that I will only be reviewing Japanese-made games.

Because, after all, this is a Japan blog, people. You want reviews of Halo? Go somewhere else.


Or, "Me and My Katamari" for you American types (I must admit, I have the American version... they don't tend to sell them foreign games here in America-land.)

First, the basic point of this game, for those of you who have not played Katamari titles in the past (you poor poor souls) is exceedingly simple: you, the dashing Prince of All Cosmos, roll things up.

And up.

And up and up and up.

The point is, of course, to get as big a 塊 (which loosely translates to "lump" or "mass") as you can manage, which, in this installment, will be turned into an island for whoever the Prince happens to be assisting at the moment. (In others you get to make planets, so I do feel a bit short-changed.) They may want a bright island, or a heavy island, but really, the main point is to roll up anything and everything you can.

Sound simple? It is. And yet, it is by far and large one of the most engaging games I've ever played.

I don't know what it is, but this game is addicting. You play, and play, and play, and you just don't get sick of it. Don't ask me how it works, because I don't know myself.

All I know is that Namco did something AMAZING here, and that I wish I could have been part of it.

(I also wish I had discovered this franchise BEFORE my interviews... dang.)

This game is, without question, one of my favorites of all time. HIGHLY recommended. It has certainly eaten up a lot of my time recently... Oh dearie me.

Not only is it fun, it's adorable. The Prince is an excellent protagonist, even if he never speaks and is entirely too small to be possible. I mean, he pushes around katmari that get big enough to roll up VOLCANOES, and the kid is inches tall.

And then, of course, there is the King of All Cosmos. Look at this man. He is, I must say, one of the greatest video game characters ever. Bar none. No argument.

Not to mention the fact that the man localized his speech patterns is a GENIUS. Either that or he simply made the whole thing up... but I have to believe that the Japanese was similarly strange and amazing, so, we'll stick with localizing genius for now.

The music is also quite, quite excellent. I would not, however, recommend listening to "Katamari on the Rocks" in the car... (ahem)

Needless to say, I recommend you pick up this game (or any other Katamari game you can find) in short order. To say that you would not regret it would be an understatement of... well, cosmic proportions.

Oh ho, I made a funny.

This is Edo, signing off with that disturbing urge to roll over everything in her path that's slightly smaller than she is.

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