Okay, Mr. Sunshine indeed. Very few games hold the same feeling of joy, happiness, and absurdity as the Katamari Demacy series. In an age where it feels like every publisher is clamoring for gritty, realistic graphics, this is series all about the joy of rolling the world up into a giant ball. In this regard, We Love Katamari Reroll isn’t just the game’s title, it’s a statement.
We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie is an HD Remaster of the second game in the Katamari Damacy franchise. The original version was also the final title to be directed by the series creator Keita Takahashi. It brings the same colorful absurdist fun as the first game but with a greater variety of levels, and wackier writing, but the same fun goal of keeping things rolling.
The King and His Fans
A big theme of We Love Katamari, both the original release and Reroll is just how much everyone loves Katamari. After the events of the first game, The King of The Cosmos now has loads of fans on Earth (even though the series protagonist, The Prince of The Cosmos did all of the work), as such as he now tells the Prince to fulfill Katamari based requests of his many fans.
It’s a very meta plot but in a fun way, with plenty of jokes about what weird fans like to see out of a Katamari title like if Katamari can swim leading to an underwater level or creating a Katamari that is primarily made out of flowers. For such a bright and colorful game, it can also be surprisingly black in its comedy, seriously you go through all the effort to make a Katamari for someone only for them to start complaining that its ‘boring’ or ‘not big enough’ because you didn’t meet some extra goals. The King and his fans can be surprisingly rude and entitled but that works still works with the game’s sense of humor and makes it all the more satisfying when you do hit those goals and see them beam in happiness.
We should also note that every few levels you’ll be treated to a cutscene showing The King’s backstory, his own troubled relationship with his father, and eventually his romance with The Queen. They play out like a melodramatic soap opera, being both funny and pretty cute. They also do a decent job of humanizing The King, showing that while he may be an egotistical diva, he’s got his own insecurities that he needs help with.
Rolling Around The World
The game’s zany sense of style and cartoon humor extends throughout each aspect of the title. Each world is surreal yet lively with various animals, items, and people really to be rolled. The design has a Japanese paper craft aesthetic that is bright and eye-catching making it easy to see each rolling victim coming towards you. Sometimes I just like the stare at the Katamari and seeing all the crazy things that are stuck at weird angles, like cats or gnomes with their legs frantically wiggling out. It’d probably be much more disturbing if the presentation wasn’t so upbeat.
I also can’t talk about We Love Katamari without bringing up its truly phenomenal soundtrack. The opening theme “Katamari on The Swing” might be one of my favorite video game tracks of all time, it’s impossible for me to feel sad while listening to it. It’s far from the only one however with tracks like “KuruKuru Rock” and “Blue Orb” coming close behind. There are a bunch of different genres in the OST from jazz to techno and they all work great.
This style even extends to the menus. One adorable feature is that every time you quit the game, any characters on the main hub world will wave you goodbye, and once you re-open the game, you have to roll up different sections of the Namco logo to pick your save files. They’re small things but they add to the game’s strong personality and leave you in a good mood.
Katamari On The Rocks
We Love Katamari’s gameplay hasn’t changed too far from the original game. The Prince rolls the Katamari into objects which will then stick to them. The challenge here is that items will only stick to the Katamari if they’re the appropriate size and mass, meaning that you have to start with small objects like fruit, thumbtacks, and mice before you gradually get it big enough to start claiming people, buildings and perhaps even landmasses and kaiju. It’s delightfully absurd. Imagine making a ball of things so large that it pokes into the heavens and rolls up some minor deities all while light Japanese pop music sings along in the background.
The actual controls of Katamari might take some time to get used to. You use both analog sticks to move the Katamari, representing the two hands The Prince uses to roll it in a pseudo-tank control style of gameplay. Using one analog stick on its own moves the camera while the other moves The Prince around the Katamari. You can also click on both sticks to get The Prince to do a 180-degree U-turn for faster travel.
It can be unwieldy at first however you do get used to it and after a while, it will come as second nature. That being said the fast-paced gameplay while rolling a ball as it darts around the screen can result in the game making you feel a bit dizzy or motion sick. This won’t affect everyone, but I found myself having to take a break after five levels or so since I was getting a headache especially when the levels started incorporating more verticality.
The Royal Reverie
Outside of the main story mode, there are a couple more collectibles that are available in the game. Throughout the levels you’ll be able to find the Prince’s various cousins who are all playable, you just need to select them on the main menu. They all play the exact same but it’s a fun way of swapping to different costumes essentially.
They are however involved in one of the more annoying aspects of the game as you are required to find all of the cousins in order to unlock the final level. While they’re nice as bonus characters, this makes it quite a grind to get the final level that doesn’t feel worth the trouble.
There is also a multiplayer battle mode where you can a friend can compete to see who can make the bigger Katamari. This is still very much a single-player game so there’s not much to the multiplayer but it can be fun to fool around with.
Finally, some new content has been added, exclusive to the Royal Reverie HD Remaster. Most notable is the titular Royal Reverie mode which you unlock through the story mode. This sees you play as the King when he was a child, undergoing five challenging new levels. There is also Eternal Mode which removes the game’s time limit and simply allows you to keep on rolling to make the biggest Katamari possible. The former made for some challenging new additions that put your Katamari skills to the test while the latter was plain fun. It’s cool seeing just how big you can make the ball in each stage.
We Love Katamari
We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie is an apt title, as the game does present all of what makes the Katamari series such a joy to play. Its wackier writing and charming aesthetic fill the game with a cozy atmosphere that keeps you relaxed even at its most stress-inducing levels. There is just something fun about knowing that you about roll everyone and everything up into a big ball, like something out of a strange slapstick routine.
The game won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re someone who is prone to motion sickness as that is a legitimate issue while playing the game. But even as someone who had this issue, I couldn’t help but keep playing (after a much-needed break). Katamari is a sweet, bright breath of fresh are with a great premise that’s not afraid to let players have fun and be silly.
We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Revierie is available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
A code for the game was provided by the publisher and the game was reviewed on PS5.
Check This Out Next
We Love Katamari ReRoll+ Royal Reverie
- Charming art style and atmosphere
- Witty dialogue
- The gameplay loop is simple yet addicting
- Could make you motion-sick if you play for too long
- Having to find all the cousins to unlock the final level is a chore