Further Beautiful Katamari Thoughts

After being so pissed off at Beautiful Katamari on the first day, and ranting about how annoying stupid the game is.. tonight I was able to get passed that and play through the game thinking of fond memories of We Love Katamari..

Stages

All told, Beautiful Katamari has 16 stages.. 10 main stages, 2 variety stages, and 4 downloadable stages which are released today on Xbox Live marketplace. How many stages did We Love Katamari have? Weren't there 8 main stages, and 8 or 10 variety stages?

We Love Katamari had some very pretty innovative levels.. like the cloud level, where you only roll up clouds. the firefly level, where you're at a camp site in the evening, and roll up all the fireflies you see. During the credits, you could roll up all the continents on earth.. and There was another level where you could roll up all the planets and satellites you've made throughout the game.

Beautiful Katamari has one rather unique level which is unlocked after you complete the game. You are rolling around the King through his infancy, through his childhood, up to adulthood. Throughout this process, the King asks you to roll up specific items to "jog" his memory of his lifetime. "Roll up ocean objects.. it reminds me of my adventures on the sea," he says. This level has no time limit, so you can really have fun with it.

Scale

With each successive Katamari game, they push the eventual maximum size you can reach, usually by limiting the size of the levels. In Katamari Damacy, you started the size of a thumbtack, and grew big enough to roll around on island picking up skyscrappers and huge forests. We Love Katamari did them on better, in the final stage, you grow big enough to escape the island and roll up other islands, eventually getting big enough to roll up the island you began on.. eventually, the maximum size you could reach was between 3,000 and 4,000 meters.

Beautiful Katamari grows exponentially larger than that.. Quite similarly, the final level you begin about the size of a potted plant, and continue to grow. When you reach the size you were in We Love Katamari, you're able to escape the little island region you began on and can roll around the world picking up massive forests and island countries.. This is A LOT like the ending of We Love Katamari where you pick up continents. Eventually you grow large enough to pick up all the continents on earth, and big enough to escape Earth. Then you float around space picking up other planets, and eventually Earth.. This is much like that special level in We Love Katamari.

So, you began the size of a bread basket and grow larger than the Sun to a maximum total of around 1,500,000 kilometers.. Unfortunately, you can't reach that diameter until you unlock the extra 4 levels for their planets to be in that level to roll up.

Despite it's failings, the final main level, and the King level are pretty fun.. A reward for walking through all the shit to get there.

Further Thoughts

Overall, the game is still unimaginative and only offers Scale as a new feature. Where We Love Katamari was making steps in the right direction, Beautiful Katamari took all those steps back and offers very little with an occasionally broken points system.

I'm a big fan of Katamari, so I kept with it. I think most people would probably quit after getting constantly beat down on those first couple of levels. There really isn't a reason to keep going, unless you really want to play the final level.

Today, on Xbox Live, you can purchase 4 additional levels that should have been included with the game for $10 total.. I will probably purchase them to see what they really offer.. They are probably 4 variety levels, so, once again, I have my hopes up for something that'll blow me away as some of the levels in We Love Katamari did.

In other news

I picked up Castlevania on PSP today, but I want to finish up with Beautiful Katamari and Gurumin first, before playing it.. Technically, I beat Gurumin already, but I got the sad ending. To get the good ending, I need to go through and finish all the stages in the game, of which I missed 5 or 6.  So there's not much left to do. Gurumin is a great game, btw ^_^.  I could finish that up in one night, easily.




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