The Katamari series has extended its reach to the PSP, but how well does it fit on this handheld system?[p]Just like the previous two Katamari games on the PS2, Me and My Katamari promotes wild and demented Japanese craziness. The player controls the Prince: the son of the King of Cosmos. Unlike rebuilding stars and planets, as in the past, the King is on a mission to help rebuild islands that he accidentally destroyed. This task is once again given to the Prince to remake what was unmade. [p]The player will use a sticky ball, called a katamari, to roll over objects. This sticky ball starts off at a smaller size but grows with the more objects that are collected. The goal of each stage is to form a katamari to a specific size within a certain amount of time. Some stages add extra requirements such as "pick up fast things" or "pick up fuel to power a rocket." [p]Upon the first initial loading of the UMD disc, players will immediately recognize all the classic Katamarisms. Nutty music, the bright color pallet, and blocky 3D objects will bring back the memories of the first time you played the game on PS2. While Me and My have tons of things in common with the previous games, there are some new elements only housed in this PSP version of the game. [p]The PS2 games used a simple control scheme that utilized both analog sticks. This dual analog setup allowed players to control their katamari like a tank. However, the lack of a second analog stick is the biggest hindrance when playing Me and My. The analog nub must now be used in conjunction with the four face buttons. This strange form of movement will require a hefty amount of time before one grows comfortable with it. Unfortunately, there is no option to fully customize the controls of this sticky ball. Because the PSP controls differently from the PS2, a new control scheme should have been developed. Taking a note from Super Monkey Ball, why couldn’t players control all movement with the analog nub while camera rotation would be controlled with the shoulder buttons? The face buttons could then be used to span a wider view (the "royal view" as the game calls it) instead of performing an awkward button combination. The cumbersome control scheme is by far the most frustrating and biggest disappointment about the game. [p]If players can get used to the controls, Me and My will be an enjoyable experience. Katamari often offers laugh-out-loud hilarity caused by goofy looking characters rolling up random everyday objects, including humans and animals. Victim’s screams will always spark a laugh. [p]Me and My Katarmari is a worthy addition to the Katamari franchise, but it is unfortunately, starting to lose its flare. Why? Because this game is pretty much the exact same thing as the PS2 games. The only difference being new stages and a few new items to collect. But, the level design is also one of the biggest letdowns as levels repeat way too often. Each stage sports a wide area, but this means nothing when you are replaying the same level you just played 20 minutes ago. By the time the game is finished, players will already be exhausted of the level designs and will have little reason to come back. [p]The graphics look and feel just like the PS2 games. However, even though every object is rather blocky (probably due to the fact that every object is interactive), it helps to fulfill the mood for the quirkiness of the title. Each object may not contain a ton of detail, but the resolution of the screen remains quite high. In fact, this PSP game looks clearer than it does on the PS2. This is due to the high resolution of the PSP’s screen. [p]The music is well… quite Japanese. If you played the PS2 games, you will understand what the music sounds like. While this nutty music certainly fits the atmosphere of the game, many of the game’s musical tracks have been directly pulled from the PS2 titles. This rehashing of songs is a minor disappointment. While the sound effects were most likely pulled from the PS2 versions as well, they still add laughter and lighten the mood of the game. [p]Up to four players can compete via Ad-Hoc, but each player will need his own copy of the game. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this function, but it seems to be quite promising. Four players compete in real time to make the biggest katamari. But ramming rivals will cause a shrinkage to his sticky ball. The game will also keep track of the all the stats you could ever want. [p]If you like the Katamari series, then this PSP version will certainly entertain you. However, be warned that the control scheme is quite frustrating and the levels are reused more often than they should. Also, this series is beginning to lose its uniqueness due to the fact that it is essentially the same game we played years ago. Despite a few disappointments, Me and My Katamari is still an enjoyable and entertaining game. It’s too bad this game will only sit inside your PSP for a few hours.
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